Legal Question in Criminal Law in Louisiana

Can the state prosecute if the victim doesn't want to pursue?

A young girl gives a video-statement to police concerning the sexual abuse she suffered from a male adult.

Her guardian later decides not to take the matter further. It has been stated that the conduct of the man would clearly support a conviction for molestation of a juvenile under Louisiana law.

Why would the state choose not to pursue this?

thankyou

Asked on 9/15/06, 5:16 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Andrew Casanave Andrew M. Casanave
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Re: Can the state prosecute if the victim doesn't want to pursue?

The answer to the title attached to this question is yes. The State can prosecute anybody for anything because prosecutoral discretion is absolute. Most ethical prosecutors choose to not prosecute some people that they otherwise could.

You said, "It has been stated that the conduct of the man would clearly support a conviction for molestation of a juvenile under Louisiana law." Many things have been stated that were incorrect. Perhaps the prosecutor's professional judgment is that this is one of those times. The title claims that the "victim doesn't want to pursue". Because of the emotional turmoil of being the victim in the trial of a sex-crime (plus the trauma of the crime itself), many prosecutors honor the victim's wishes.

Ultimately my answers are educated guesses. None of us can say exactly why anyone else makes any decision. Perhaps you should ask the particular prosecutor.

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9/15/06, 8:41 am

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