in this manner does not hold the same strength as voluntary testimony.143 The decision was based
on State v. Upton,144 a 1946 statutory rape case involving a fifteen-year-old female145 in which the
court allowed the use of leading questions for purposes of modesty and the lack of objection of
defense counsel during the trial.146
The Supreme Court of Arkansas came to a similar conclusion in Clark v. State,147 and
provided six factors for child sexual abuse cases in which leading questions could be appropriate
for child witnesses:
( 1) the seriousness of crime; ( 2) the natural embarrassment of the witness about the
incident; ( 3) the child’s fear of being in a courtroom full of people; ( 4) the necessity
of testimony from a victim; ( 5) threats toward victims from those perpetrators; and
( 6) to avoid the possibility that an accused might escape punishment for a serious
offense merely because of the victim’s reluctance to testify.148
Another case, Warren v. People,149 is based on the appeal of a Colorado defendant initially
accused of sexual activities with a ten-year-old girl and contributing to the delinquency of a
minor.150 Warren brought several issues upon appeal, one being the prosecutor’s use of leading
questions to elicit testimony from two child witnesses who were crying on the witness stand.151
The defendant argued that the use of leading questions was not acceptable because it biased the
jury in favor of the prosecution.152 The Supreme Court of Colorado affirmed based on the age of
the witnesses and the personal nature of the questions being asked.153 The Warren decision
reaffirmed Wills v. the People,154 which permitted the use of leading questions for clarification
purposes for child witnesses in sexual assault cases.155
In People v. Luigs, the Appellate Court of Illinois held that leading questions for child
witnesses in cases of child sexual abuse were appropriate.156 The court allowed leading questions
of a twelve-year-old female victim of sexual abuse because it reasoned that the victim had intended
to testify about the incident; therefore, the attorney’s use of leading questions were only an attempt
at clarification and not an attempt to elicit false responses.157 Courts in Rhode Island have held
that leading questions were allowed when the questions represented a reiteration of facts that had
already been presented to the court since there would be less harm.158
143Id. at 371.
144State v. Upton, 174 P.2d 622 (Ariz. 1946).
145Id. at 94.
146Id. at 95.
147Clark v. State, 870 S.W.2d 372 (Ark. 1994).
148Id. at 376.
149Warren v. People, 213 P.2d 381 (Colo. 1949).
150Id. at 382.
151Id. at 384.
154Wills v. People, 66 P.2d 329 (Colo. 1937).
155Id. at 131.
156People v. Luigs, 421 N.E.2d 961, 967 (Ill. App. Ct.1981).
157Id. at 967.
158See State v. Girouard, 561 A.2d 882 (R.I. 1989) (holding that the trial justice did not err in overturning the
defendant’s objection to the prosecution’s use of leading questions. Id. at 888.) See also State v. Brown, 574 A.2d 745