How important is psychic evaluation of the victim in sexual crimes?

Materiality of sexual abuse

Materiality of sexual abuse

Although the result of the psychic evaluation is not sufficient to prove the materiality of sexual abuse, praxis demonstrates the habitual use of it by the accusatory body and by the magistrates themselves to affirm with certainty the occurrence of sexual violence.

This is because it is common for sexual crimes to occur in the absence of witnesses, which reinforces the need for other probative elements (in addition to the alleged offended report), such as the psychic evaluation of the sedentary victim, to deem (in) verisimilitude the accusatory narrative.

In the case of a sexual offense allegedly perpetrated against a vulnerable person, such as a minor, psychic evaluation assumes a leading role in the determination of the crime, in view of the difficulty of a person not attached to the psychology / psychiatry environment to perceive the degree of reliability of the infant version.

She is TRINDADE (2013, 59), a professional world-wide known for her experience in dealing with matter, which corroborates the above statements:

“… there are indicators (vulnerability, limited experience, lability, aspects of imagination and symbolization, in others) that suggest that young children are more susceptible to influences of both outer and inner order – these coming from their own world internal (fantasies) – either by the characteristics of the stage of the life cycle in which the child is inserted, or because the child is still little equipped with the load of experiences that life can lend. “

In this way, just as the result of the psychic evaluation has sufficient evidentiary power to generate a condemnation, it can undoubtedly lead to an acquittal, as long as it demonstrates the incongruity or impossibility of attesting the plausibility of the alleged victim.

Let’s work with a case study. In a criminal case that establishes the crime of rape as vulnerable, the medical-legal expert psychiatrist was quite emphatic in the psychological report of the alleged victim, stating that ” the victim does not present a psychological limitation or their cognitive abilities that prevent it to issue a valid report “. Therefore, it presented the pericited total aptitude to inform the evaluator of the alleged sexual abuse situation.

However, in spite of the expert’s considerations, the injured party did not verbalize a situation of sexual abuse during the interview. In the absence of a narrative of abuse, essential responses to generate credibility were not answered, for example:

  • Whether the report fulfills credibility criteria;
  • If the narrative shows signs of influence and / or induction;
  • Whether there is a causal link between the victim’s version and any symptoms displayed;
  • If the victim has psychological suffering due to the alleged abuse.

It can be seen that spinal points remained in the void; oblivious of answers and clues. Now, is it reliable to base a condemnatory edict to the detriment of an account of alleged abuse without analyzing its criteria of credibility? Lacking influence and / or induction signal analysis? Without analyzing the causal link between the reported situation and the presented symptoms? The answer can only be negative.

“Listening, analyzing, pondering, doubting, asking, responding, responding, criticizing, contributing, participating and seeing, hearing, observing and evaluating” are essential poses for professionals to deal with complaints of sexual abuse ( 2008, 44). All this proved to be prejudiced in the psychic evaluation of our hypothetical case.

The Rio de Janeiro State Court recently acquitted a defendant convicted of committing rape against vulnerable because of the inexistence of technical evidence capable of proving the offense, mainly because the psychological report concluded that it was impossible to analyze the validity of the alleged victim’s statement:

APPEAL-CRIME. CRIMES AGAINST SEXUAL DIGNITY. RAPE OF VULNERABLE. ABSOLUTION. Absolution. Absolution is a tax measure, given the evidential context that presents itself. There is no technical evidence to support the actual existence of the crime. The psychological report. The conclusion of the psychological report in one of the victims indicated that there was “no possibility of applying the validity analysis of the statement to try to establish the credibility of the information and the existence of a causal link.” […] Thus, there being insurmountable doubt as to the actual configuration of the fact described in the complaint and its circumstances, it is necessary to acquit the accused. […] RESOURCE PROVIDED. (ACR No. 70048486203, Fifth Criminal Chamber, Rel. Judge Diogenes Vicente Hassan Ribeiro, Judge on January 30, 2013)

In view of the lack of conclusion of the psychiatric evaluation about the credibility of the version of the sedentary offended, apart from the fact that there are no eyewitnesses and other evidence, there are no conclusive elements concerning the materiality of the alleged crime, deserving the defendant be acquitted based on art. 386, II and VII of the CPP.  

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