Remarks on latticed allegations - This article aims to analyse the specific characteristics of latticed allegations. This particular sort of allegation, which often involves large numbers of children from a small, restricted community have a number of characteristics which are to be found time and time again and which can render the evaluations of an expert witness extremely complex. Phenomena of mass suggestion and amplification of the episode can, on the one hand, lead to the creation of facts which have never happened but also, on the other, sometimes to the concealment of a very real form of abuse. The authors, after making an exhaustive study of the specific nature of the problems involved, propose a form of detailed investigation which takes into account the particular nature of this type of allegation as well as the cognitive and psychological characteristics of the child. The aim is to help the methodology of the expert witness to acquire a greater epistemological coherence and to guarantee a greater respect for the scientific rules which should form the basis for any medico-legal investigation.
Key words: latticed allegations, methodology of expert witness, children’s competence, child sexual abuse.
Parole chiave: denunce a reticolo, metodologia dell’indagine peritale, competenza del bambino, abuso sessuale infantile.