Sexual Assault Training Features Prosecutors, SANE Nurses, Victim Advocates

(BLOOMINGTON) – The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council recently finished a three-day trial advocacy training attended by more than 90 students, including prosecutors, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) nurses and forensic interviewers. Last week’s trial advocacy program prepared students to try their first sexual assault trial.

Lectures focused on corroborating allegations of sexual abuse, preparing victims for testifying and working with experts on presenting cases.
The course, held in Bloomington from April 16-18, featured SANE nurses and forensic interviewers for the first time, allowing them to practice testimony as the prosecutors practiced direct examination. This valuable experience allows students to get feedback in real time from experienced nurses, forensic interviewers and prosecutors on best practices for testifying as an expert in a trial.
“It’s hard for young lawyers to get real-life experience in trials other than throwing them straight into the courtroom,” said Jim Oliver, IPAC’s Chief Deputy of Criminal Law. “Our trial ad courses allow them to get comfortable with the many different features of a criminal trial.”
The theme of the afternoon when all the students were working together was learning how to examine an expert in a particular line of work, in this case, a SANE nurse who had examined the victim after an alleged attack.
In addition to sexual assault and domestic violence, IPAC also conducts trial advocacy courses on traffic issues, drugs, and in-depth voir dire courses.