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University of Baltimore Law Review

Abstract

The Maryland General Assembly recently passed legislation, effective July 1, 1988, which grants a trial court the opportunity to allow a physician, psychologist, social worker, or teacher to testify to an out-of-court statement made by an alleged child abuse victim if the court finds that the circumstances in which the statement was made exhibit sufficient particularized guarantees of reliability. This article discusses the need for such an exception to the rule precluding admission of hearsay for statements made by alleged victims of child abuse, exposes the inadequacies of pre-existing exceptions, addresses the constitutional considerations raised by admission of such hearsay statements, and studies the approaches taken by other jurisdictions. The author critiques the new Maryland statute and urges the adoption of liberalizing amendments.

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