PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The attorney for a medieval history group leader who hosted weekend sleepovers for children will be among the first to take advantage of a recent state Supreme Court decision concerning sexually abused children.
Benjamin Schragger’s lawyer wants to find out if any of the 10 children Schragger is accused of abusing were tainted by leading questions from investigators.
Legal experts say investigators can improperly sway a child in an abuse case by using suggestive interview techniques, by being coercive or by using threats and promises. They say children sometimes want to please an interrogator by responding with the “right” answer.
A September Supreme Court decision allows for so-called taint hearings to be held so a judge can rule if false memories were planted, primarily in young children, during interviews.
Allentown attorney John Waldron said he will request a taint hearing next month on behalf of Schragger, who is accused of abusing children ranging in age from 7 to 14 at his New Tripoli home, 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia.