There are rarely a large number of civilian witnesses in a child pornography case. Nevertheless, there are occasions where there are some that may be very important. These can include the defendant’s household members, co-workers, employees of a business, etc. Not all of these witnesses may be mentioned in the police report. Some will require creative thinking and investigation on your part and some may come from your client. For example, did your client buy the computer off of someone else? Did someone else see the defendant use the computer? Who else had access to the computer? You cannot assume that the State will nail all of this down. In fact, they often don’t.
Best practice is to have a private investigator do most if not all of the interviewing. Care must be taken to find a really good investigator that knows how to ask the right questions to get the right answers. Then all of this needs to be memorialized in either a taped or written statement. I try not have the attorney present for most of these interviews but the attorney should be available by phone so that the interview is thorough.
Be sure to check local discovery rules to determine when and if these statements need to be turned over to the State.