Since the 1960s, every state has passed laws against child abuse and neglect. The most publicized sexual abuse allegations from the 1980s to the early 1990s were against the Little Rascals Day Care Center. Research the case and discuss the following:
- Provide and overview of the facts of the case.
- What was the prosecution's strongest evidence in this case? Provide at least two examples.
- What was the prosecution's weakest evidence in this case? Provide at least two examples.
- What were the strengths of the defense's case?
- What were the weaknesses of the defense's case?
- In your opinion, should children testify to physical and sexual abuse in a court case? Why or why not?
- At what age do you feel a child should be asked to testify on his or her own behalf? Explain
Overview of the facts of the Little Rascals Day Care Center case.
In the case, a former police dispatcher, who was not trained as a psychologist or someone who is tasked with exposing child sexual abuse, was the catalyst for the injustices that occurred. Brenda Toppin, a police officer, attended an educational program on satanic ritual abuse and had a friend whose child was in the Day Care. Upon speaking with her friend, she received information about "bathroom accidents." Furthermore, the child would apparently become "upset" when not told whether he or she was going to Little Rascals, a babysitter, or a family members. As a result, the untrained former police dispatcher took it upon herself to interview the child, determining without any professional credentials that the child was abused. After this first interview, Brenda took it upon herself to guide other parents on how they ...
The expert examines little rascals day care center and sexual abuse.