[Update] On Sunday, June 15, 2008 at 2:08pm, Detective Dale Koons passed away in his home in the presence of family and friends. He was a great example of what a father, husband, and professional man should be and will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Many thanks to his friends for their continual prayers and thoughts during his illness. Communications may still be sent to his family at firstname.lastname@example.org. We, his family, will keep this site up in his memory. Further information can be found at the Anderson Herald-Bulletin website after June 16, 2008.
To my friends,
Three weeks ago, I landed in the hospital seriously ill. After a week of being subjected to wide ranging examinations, it was determined I have small cell lung cancer. Since then, I have been receiving aggressive chemo treatments. More importantly, I am receiving prayers from friends world-wide and there is where this battle will be won. With God's help, I am determined to gain victory over this and return to the career I love. Please, do not hesitate to seek answers to your important questions. I intend to continue consulting on these matters. Thank you for all your support over the years. ... dKoons (October 13, 2006)
Crime against families and individuals devastates our future. Crime's impact on children is cruel, irreversible. Family violence--physical, psychological, sexual--must be combated, and combated more effectively. Thorough investigation must be balanced with sensitivity to crime victim's needs.
Over my twenty-five years of experience, I found investigation of crimes more and more complex and frustrating. The growing number of false allegations of child abuse increases the confusion. Finding credible evidence that will stand in front of a jury and lead to conviction proves to be a challenge. Juries consist of members of the community; their beliefs and attitudes undergo change as society changes. Evidence that once was regarded as clear cut proof now brings skepticism in juries' minds. Deciding to bring a case to prosecution involves the decision to expose the victim to the possibility that their story will not be believed, leading to another trauma in their life.
General police training does not prepare an officer for these difficult cases. New and experienced investigators alike must continue to learn more about abuse. This index is an important resource for you. .. dKoons
- Sharing my Experience...My publications
- Investigator's Notebook...Links for investigators
- Indiana Criminal Law...Do you know the law?
- Case Law...Do you know the rest of the law?
- Research...What we know, what we don't
- Police Links...Useful sites
- News Media Coverage of Abuse & Related Issues...Investigative reports
Site Index for all others
- Sharing my Experience...My publications
- Sexual Exploitation and Abuse...Informative links for everyone
- News Media Coverage of Abuse & Related Issues...Investigative reports
- Internet Safety for You and Your Children...Buckle-up
- Recommended Reading...The internet cannot replace a good book
- Survivor Links...Refusing to remain a victim
- Memories and Unanswered Questions...Precious lives lost to violence
- Statistics About Our Children...How are Indiana's children doing?
- Web Page Awards...Thank you!
Sharing My Experience
"To know the nature of the beast study his actions, not his words"...dKoons
- "The Forensic Interview of Children"...What is a forensic interview?... by Det. Koons
- "Effective Courtroom Performance"... For Investigators...by Det. Koons
- "I Need a Daddy!"...The family would have to make a five hour drive from a northern state just to get to Anderson. My time with the child would be short. Still, the caller insisted, would I please just try?...a true story by Dale L. Koons
- "Preparing to Protect Your Child from Sexual Abuse"...Your child is vulnerable to sexual abuse. To protect your child you must first acknowledge the possibility that someone may hurt or take advantage of your child...by Dale L. Koons
- "The Marriage of Law Enforcement and Victim Advocacy"...social workers/advocates and policemen and women seemed to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. They glared at one another across a gulf that seemed impossible to bridge. Investigators appeared as faceless, heartless and unfeeling persons in uniforms, whereas advocates seemed to be emotional, hypersensitive robots in jeans and pullovers... by Det. Koons
- "SEDUCTION BY LUST:EVERYONE’S ACHILLES HEEL"...a reliable roadmap for all those walking, perhaps sometimes stumbling, along the path of Christian Faith... by Dale L.Koons (2007)
- "Child Molesters:A Threatening Iceberg"...We feel safe when criminal background checks are conducted on teachers, day care providers, school bus drivers, Sunday school teachers and others. Still investigators, like myself, continue to encounter great numbers of children violated by molesters who slipped through these safeguard procedures. Why?.. Det. Koons's thoughts on hiring practices
The following links are intended to better equip you. Invaluable information will be discovered in conservative and liberal sites. Apply your own common sense and experience when evaluating all information.
Investigator's NotebookInvestigating sexual crimes against children requires more than desire and the ability to talk with children. Forensic interviewing techniques must be learned, developed and relied upon in every investigation.
Forensic interviewing establishes a child centered, truth seeking atmosphere. The interview is structured to determine the truth rather than create evidence. The child is permitted and encouraged to relate an event or series of events in a non-judgmental setting. The child is allowed to expand upon his or her interpretation of events without the interviewer placing suggestions in that child's mind. The pertinent information gained through a forensic interview will enable the interviewer to make a legally competent judgment regarding the allegations. This truth seeking focus results in better outcomes for the child, family, and legal system in these critical situations.
These web pages, links and recommended readings offer only a sampling of available information for equipping an investigator. ... dKoons
- Who are Sex Offenders?...Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a profile of a sex offender..Unfortunately, most typologies either are extremely complex or have little empirical basis (that is, there is no research to confirm that the way in which they separate different types of sex offenders is accurate). There are some distinctions, however, that may be helpful...
- Interviewing Methods & Hearsay Testimony...The potential inaccuracies in hearsay testimony are a crucial issue because of the likely due process violations created by inaccurate and unreliable hearsay. The current research on interviewing techniques which may compromise the reliability of children's testimony is summarized and methods of increasing the accuracy of interviews and hearsay testimony are discussed...
- Interviewing Techniques to Avoid...Prosecutors rely on the integrity of the interviews to establish the credibility of the child's claims. On the other hand, defense attorneys often dissect the interview techniques looking for patterns of suggestion or coercion that may result in unreliable statements...
- "Competency for the Youngest Witnesses"..."You've got this really smart little kid, and a lawyer who does not know how to ask questions," says Dr. Lyon, Ph.D., J.D. "Because the lawyer doesn't understand how to approach the child, she doesn't get to speak her piece. It's incredibly unfair..." new approach in the courtroom
- Abuse Injuries in Infants and Young Children...A complete differential diagnosis is essential when assessing potential child abuse injuries. The differential diagnosis provides clinicians with the opportunity to compare injuries that might mimic abuse with actual abuse-related injuries. The differential diagnosis should delineate the injury type, injury site, instruments used, patterns, and the appearance of old or repeated injuries...The Nurse Practitioner
When a child is injured we all want
to know why, who's responsible?
Comparing injuries of a child with
an account given by their caregiver
may lead to suspicions of abuse.
A medical opinion of possible abuse
is an important starting point, not
the conclusion, of an investigation.
It is extremely important for all
that the truth be determined. If the
truth is to be found, it will be
the result of a thoroughly investigating
the circumstances of the injury.
- Evaluation of Physical Abuse in Children...This article will review the physician's role in caring for children who are suspected victims of physical abuse. Typical features of the history, physical examination and focused laboratory and radiologic studies help physicians in diagnosing physical abuse in children. In addition, physicians caring for children must remain cognizant of the many medical conditions whose presentation can mimic signs of physical abuse. History ..American Family Physician (2000)
- Normative Sexual Behavior in Children...Sexual behavior in children has been the focus of increasing attention over the past decade, after the advent of research that demonstrated a consistent relationship between sexual abuse and sexual behavior in children.1 Although a broad range of sexual behaviors has been observed in normal children,2 further research is needed to expand the knowledge base of practicing pediatricians regarding what is normative about sexual behavior in children...
- Innocence Lost--The Plea...From time to time over the last decade, Americans have awoke to headlines announcing that another day care center has been discovered to house a coven of child-abusing conspirators. The resulting court trials have showcased often bizarre dramas of small children describing unthinkable acts of sexual abuse. What was especially alarming was that the alleged abusers looked like wholesome loving people, like us...another sobering report by PBS
- Dangerousness:Predicting Recidivism in Violent Sex Offenders...When a violent sex offender has been tried and convicted of his crime(s), he may be proffered to a mental health facility of some variable nature for assessment and treatment..When a deciding body releases a convicted violent sex offender from a mental health institute back into society, it has potentially put the wolf back into the sheep pen. The reality is that the sex offender could do it again, possibly escalating. That is precisely why good tools for dangerousness assessment are necessary... B.Turvey, 1996
- Statistics, Research & Resources...historical and cultural factors have created and shaped the concept of "child abuse" as most of us understand it today. The same is true of our relationship to statistics: it is embedded in historical and cultural patterns, particularly how science and statistics are used to define important social problems, shape debates about them, and decide public policies. Unfortunately, our healthy respect for scientific research, empirical data and quantifiable knowledge is often untempered by critical thinking...by J.Hopper, Ph.D.
- Joint Investigative Approach...The results of the evaluation showed that content on dynamics of child sexual abuse could be taught and retained using an eight hour training period. The applicability of the training to investigative interviews could not be taught in the eight hour period. Implications for future training include longer and more intensive training periods which involve practice time, observation, and working as a secondary officer with a trained investigator before the trainee becomes a primary officer for the investigation. Key issues for training include child sexual abuse dynamics, children and suggestibility, the sexual abuse disclosure process, child development issues, the use of non-leading questions, the use of interview aids, fact vs. fantasy, rapport building with children, discussion of private parts, and setting the stage for a spontaneous disclosure...
- Investigation & Prosecution in Child Sexual Abuse... an annotated bibliography
- Sexual Abuse Victim & Offender Statistics...and much more
- Resources--Professional Abstracts...going deeper!
Indiana Criminal Law
- Indiana's Duty to Report Child Abuse or Neglect Law...an individual who has reason to believe that a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect shall make a report as required by this article...
- Immunity and Duty to Report Child Abuse or Neglect Law...is immune from any civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be imposed because of such actions...
- Battery and Related Offenses...Child abuse laws are hidden within general criminal statutes such as Battery
- Indiana's Sex Offense Laws...rape,deviate sexual misconduct,child molest, child pornography, vicarious sexual gratification, solicitation, child seduction, sexual battery, sexual misconduct with a minor
- Indiana's Laws on Indecent Acts...public indecency,prostitution,patronizing a prostitute, promoting prostitution, voyeurism
- Indiana's Obscenity & Pornography Laws
- Indiana's Laws on Crime Impacting the Family...bigamy, incest, neglect, contributing, invasion of privacy, tobacco, etc.
- Indiana's Statutes on Victim Rights
- Law Links Page...legal research starts here
Indiana law requires that any person who knows, or has reason to believe, that a child has been abused must report it to the local Child Protective Service. Remember, "reason to believe" means that you have received information of abuse. It does not mean that you are certain that abuse has occurred or have proof of abuse.
- Child Pornography Wrongfully Admitted Evidence Ruling...As distasteful as we find these drawings and photographs, they do not show that Buchanan had a common plan to sexually molest little girls...Indiana Court of Appeals (2001)
- DNA:Reasonable Expectation of Privacy Ruling...To determine whether a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, we employ a two-part test: (1) "we ask whether the individual, by his conduct, has exhibited an actual expectation of privacy;" and (2) "we inquire whether the individual's expectation of privacy is 'one that society is prepared to recognize as reasonable.'" ...Indiana Court of Appeals (2001)
- Detective Koons's Expert Testimony Tested...However, Koons' testimony was not a direct comment upon the credibility of M.K.'s testimony, but was rather an indirect comment on M.K.'s credibility which has been held to be permissible in Indiana...
- Admissible Confessions...Carter V. State
- Juvenile Rights Knowingly Waived...Trowbridge V. State
- Child Testimony "Coy v. Iowa" ...The Confrontation Clause by its words provides a criminal defendant the right to "confront" face-to-face the witnesses giving evidence against him at trial. That core guarantee serves the general perception that confrontation is essential to fairness, and helps to ensure the integrity of the factfinding process by making it more difficult for witnesses to lie... U. S. Supreme Court
- Child Testimony "Maryland v. Craig" ...Supreme Court on "Confrontation Clause"
- Child Hearsay "Idaho v. Wright"..."particularized guarantees of trustworthiness." To be admissible under the Confrontation Clause, hearsay evidence used to convict a defendant must possess indicia of reliability by virtue of its inherent trustworthiness, not by reference to other evidence at trial...
- Child Neglect Statute...The plain language of IC 35-46-1-4 contemplates only acts that place one who is a dependent at the time of the conduct at issue in a dangerous situation - not acts that place a future dependent in a dangerous situation...Addicted mother cannot be charged
Bureau of Justice Statistics
- SourceBook of Criminal Justice Statistics
- Juvenile Offenders and Victims 2006
- The FBI Uniform Crime Report
- International Justice Statistics
- National Criminal Justice Reference Service
- Mandatory Reporting Laws (State by State)
- Sex Offender Registry of Indiana
- Indiana Department of Corrections Searchable Offender Database
- Crimes Against Children Research Center University of New Hampshire
Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Information LinksDon't assume to know the nature of a molester or predator based on one investigation, one victim interview, one conviction, or one evaluation of a molester. A glimpse is not the entire picture. Availability and vulnerability, more than preference will determine who will be victimized. Have you ever entered an ice cream store craving a particular flavor only to find it sold out? Did you walk out of the store without buying anything? No, you substituted. So it is with molesters and predators. ...dKoons
- Recognizing Child Abuse...National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect ...
- Responding to Sexual Abuse...When a child tells an adult that he or she has been sexually abused, the adult may feel uncomfortable and may not know what to say or do. The following guidelines should be used when responding to children who say they have been sexually abused: ...
- Sexual Abuse of Boys...Sexual abuse of boys appears to be underrecognized, underreported, and undertreated, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Such wholesale societal shunning of the magnitude of the problem may contribute, in part, to the development of long-term psychosocial problems ...University of Pennsylvania Medical Center
- Why must my child testify?...This case requires us to decide whether the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment categorically prohibits a child witness in a child abuse case from testifying against a defendant at trial, outside the defendant's physical presence, by one-way closed circuit television. ...United States Supreme Court-1990
- Sexual Exploitation by Professionals...Mental health professionals, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, therapists, doctors, nurses, clergy, attorneys, professors, educators, social workers, law enforcement officers, or other professionals who either pursue or even allow a sexual relationship to develop with their patients/clients often are taking advantage of an inherent power imbalance in the relationship...
- Indiana Department of Corrections...Offender Information
News Media Coverage of Abuse & Related Issues
- Convicted Child Molesters Often Strike Again...special report by FoxNews March 30, 2005
- Dirty Secrets:Why sexually abusive teachers aren't stopped...investigative report
- Dirty Secrets:Message from a pedophile...molests student while teaching stranger-danger
- Casualties of a Custody War...abused by court room experts
- Are Background Checks Effective?...multiple news articles say "NO"
- Streetwalkers of Cyberspace...special report MSNBC
- Double Standard?...article suggests boys not viewed as victims
- News Articles on Childhood Violence...is it preventable?
Internet Safety for You and Your ChildrenCyber-predators are out there, and they’re not just after our children. They seek out anyone who is vulnerable. Some have created web sites for victims; their purpose is to seduce, exploit and stalk persons already suffering from past abuse. Others lurk in chat rooms of legitimate and illegitimate sites for the same purpose. Posing as victims, interchanging their character as male or as female, they create detailed postings. They create sexualized, fictional accounts of their own sexual abuse, encouraging real victims to share intimate details of abuse. Exploiting these victim’s accounts, they seek out “the child within” while enjoying their secret fantasies as the abuser. Ultimately they reveal themselves to their victims, shattering again an abused child. The more dangerous of these predators stalk their victims through cyberspace and, sometimes, into real life.
Be careful out there,
- Special Report...Men who had fantasies that they were once ashamed to admit or afraid to act upon now found a “community” in online clubs and chat rooms devoted to preteen sex. No longer did pedophiles have to prowl the seedier sections of the city for photos or films; they could meet friends and download, in their living rooms, child pornography made with film-free digital cameras (no need to risk exposure at a photo store) and home-made CD-ROMs... Newsweek Magazine (2001)
- Special Reports: "ChatRoom Danger"...For weeks I have been working with a brilliant technology journalist, former editor of ZDNet News UK, Richard Barry. We can now prove that our children are just two clicks of the computer mouse away from a paedophile... by ZDNET.UK (2001)
- Stalking in CyberSpace...Institute for Law and Justice
- Internet Crimes Against Children...Children have always been vulnerable to victimization. Their trusting natures and naivete make them perfect targets for perpetrators—both people they know and those they don’t...U.S. Department of Justice Publication 2001
- A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety... It is important for parents to understand that children can be indirectly victimized through conversation, i.e. "chat," as well as the transfer of sexually explicit information and material. Computer-sex offenders may also be evaluating children they come in contact with on-line for future face-to-face contact and direct victimization... prepared by the FBI
- Internet Risks for Children...another informative link
- KidsCom...a safe and fun site for kids
- The Gift of Fear
by Gavin de Becker
by Mic Hunter
- Jeopardy in the Courtroom: A Scientific Analysis of Children's Testimony
published by the American Psychological Association (Stephen J. Ceci, Ph.D. & Maggie Bruck, Ph.D.)
Statistics About Our Children
- Perpetrator Statistics...Who is abusing children
- Child Population Characteristics...America's Children 2005
- Web of Justice...a great resource
- Hot Indiana Police Links...agency and officer homepages
- Criminal Justice Links...Cecil Greek, Florida State University
- Anderson Police Department...where I work
Every Victim of Sexual Assault Needs to Hear
I Loved You Before
I Love You Now
I'll Love You Afterwards!
Our future will be determined by our definition of family!
DISCLAIMER: This information is NOT intended to replace professional counseling or legal services; but rather, to serve as encouragement for seeking those services.
If your child (or a child you know) has been abused, or is at-risk of being abused, report it to the appropriate authorities and seek professional counseling.