Released Date: 12/6/12

The Macon County State’s Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with Growing Strong (Rape Crisis Center), recently offered a well attended courtroom testimony training course to medical professionals within the community. The purpose of the training was to prepare medical professionals for courtroom testimony in sexual assault and sexual abuse cases. The course offered attendees guidelines for courtroom testimony, an explanation of hearsay rules related to medical diagnosis and treatment, and an outline of direct examination. Attendees were also given the opportunity to review trial transcripts of testimonies from a nurse and doctor. Health care professionals from Decatur Memorial Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital, the Carle Foundation in Champaign, and the Macon County Health Department attended and actively participated in the course.

The training was presented by Assistant State’s Attorney Elizabeth Dobson who is Macon County’s lead prosecutor in sexual assault and sexual abuse cases. Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Koll, Victim Advocate Melanie Long, and Stephanie Moreau of the Macon County Health Department assisted with the training. Meals were provided by the Decatur Memorial Hospital SANES (sexual assault nurse examiners who are certified to perform exams of sexual assault victims).

Growing Strong played a major role in organization of the training. Growing Strong is a not-for profit organization whose mission is to provide healing services to victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse. Based upon the success of the training, it is the goal of Growing Strong and the Macon County State’s Attorney’s Office to offer the training course on an annual basis.