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Substitute Senate Bill No. 810

Public Act No. 09-63

AN ACT CONCERNING THE TENDER YEARS EXCEPTION TO THE HEARSAY EVIDENCE RULE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 54-86l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2009):

(a) Notwithstanding any other rule of evidence or provision of law, a statement by a child [under thirteen] twelve years of age or younger at the time of the statement relating to a sexual offense committed against that child, or an offense involving physical abuse committed against that child by [a person or persons who had authority or apparent authority over the child] the child's parent or guardian or any other person exercising comparable authority over the child at the time of the offense, shall be admissible in a criminal or juvenile proceeding if: (1) The court finds, in a hearing conducted outside the presence of the jury, if any, that the circumstances of the statement, including its timing and content, provide particularized guarantees of its trustworthiness, (2) the statement was not made in preparation for a legal proceeding, (3) the proponent of the statement makes known to the adverse party an intention to offer the statement and the particulars of the statement including the content of the statement, the approximate time, date and location of the statement, the person to whom the statement was made and the circumstances surrounding the statement that indicate its trustworthiness, at such time as to provide the adverse party with a fair opportunity to prepare to meet it, and (4) either (A) the child testifies and is subject to cross-examination at the proceeding, or (B) the child is unavailable as a witness and (i) there is independent nontestimonial corroborative evidence of the alleged act, and (ii) the statement was made prior to the defendant's arrest or institution of juvenile proceedings in connection with the act described in the statement.

(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to (1) prevent the admission of any statement under another hearsay exception, (2) allow broader definitions in other hearsay exceptions for statements made by children [under thirteen] twelve years of age or younger at the time of the statement concerning any alleged act described in subsection (a) of this section than is done for other declarants, or (3) allow the admission pursuant to the residual hearsay exception of a statement described in subsection (a) of this section.

Approved May 27, 2009