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June 14, 2024 Clouds | 68°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 16F: Expedited trials of sex crimes involving minor children as victims or witnesses; continuance; impact statement

Section 16F. In any criminal proceeding involving an alleged sex crime perpetrated upon a minor child, or in which a minor child is expected to testify as a witness to a sex crime, the court shall, in order to minimize stress on such child, take action to expedite trial and give precedence to the case over any other case; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed to mean that trial shall be expedited if it is not in the best interests of the child.

When a motion or a request for a continuance is made the prosecutor shall file an impact statement which specifies whether the commonwealth agrees to the request for continuance, whether the child or the child's representative agrees to such request, and the effect, if any, the granting of the continuance will have on the child. In ruling on any motion or request for continuance or other delay, the court shall consider and give weight to any possible adverse impact that a delay or continuance may have on the child. Prior to issuing an order on a motion for continuance or delay, the court shall make written findings of fact concerning the impact on the child of continuing or delaying the case.