It is common for children to be placed in therapy when sexual abuse is either suspected or alleged. In fact, police departments, social workers and child abuse investigators will frequently refer cases to child therapists that they believe will assist with disclosure or treatment of sexual abuse.
It is critical that criminal defense attorneys, representing clients in molestation or sexual abuse cases, get any and all therapy records and examine the records for impeaching or exonerating evidence.
Therapists are mandated reporters under California law. If a therapist has made an official report saying that a child claimed abuse, that information will be discoverable and should simply be listed in a police report. Attorneys should issue a subpoena duces tecum or “SDT” to the therapist for all records regarding the child, including emails, notes, billing statements, photocopies of books and photographs of toys that were used as part of the therapy.