The police finally caught up with Robert. They arrested him, charged him with aggravated assault with the intent to kill and child sexual assault, and, given the publicity in the case, held him without bond. They also notified Alice of Robert’s arrest in the hopes that she would finally decide to stay in town and testify at his trial.
Recalling Alice’s statement that the police responded to her domestic disturbance calls two times before, you research the police records. The first time she called them out, the reporting officer described the incident as “disturbing the peace” and wrote in the body of the report that the neighbors complained about yelling and noise coming from the house. On arrival, the officers informed Robert and Alice of the complaint and stated that they both would be charged with disturbing the peace if the police were called back that night. The police did not conduct any investigation into domestic violence. The second report stated that the incident was a domestic disturbance. In this incident, the police noted bruising and scratches on both parties. The police reported that an argument escalated to a physical altercation. It appeared as if both the parties were at fault, and because there were no serious injuries, the police counseled both and left. There was no mention of Alice’s request to press charges or of any statements from her about the assault.
Discuss the appropriate police responses in the earlier situations of domestic violence and specific ways to improve them in this scenario.
Discuss how the police should have handled the earlier incidents and give an opinion as to whether this incident may have been prevented.
Discuss if the police’s interviewing Serena on the scene may have hurt the case.
Discuss how charges should be filed and in which court systems, on the basis of the details of this case over the past several weeks.
Discuss the difference between the district court and the domestic violence court, giving the advantages of one over the other.
Discuss Serena’s testimony, how the police should have interviewed her, and what form her testimony should take.
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