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Evaluating credibility of child testimony

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What happened one year ago might be easy for an adult to recall, but for a four-year-old child, it's a different story.

"Their brains are physically unable to have memories like we have memories," said Sam Bassett, a criminal defense attorney.

In his 26 years of practicing law, Sam Bassett says cases like Greg Kelley's are the most challenging.

He's tried half a dozen cases involving child sexual abuse allegations, where the credibility of child testimony has come up.

Bassett said, "Their imaginations and emotions often interfere with accurate recall of what happened."

Greg Kelley is the 19-year-old former Leander High School football player originally charged with two counts of super aggravated sexual assault of a child, plus two counts of indecency with a child, but one of the alleged victims changed his account, saying Kelley never touched him.

He said, "If they're questioned over and over again, it does created the possibility that what really happened does get warped."

Bassett has some advice for those operating in the court of law, as well as parents at home.

"Don't question them. Let professionals question them and try to have them questioned about it as few times as possible," said Bassett. "If that child was abused, then they're obviously a victim. If they weren't abused, they're a victim as well because they're being put through a system, for whatever reason, based on something that really didn't happen."

Cases involving such young victims continue to create clear, divided support on both sides of the courtroom.

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