…radio silence to bring you this update:
In the defense interview the prosecutor and the victim advocate decided to place Stilson on top of the table during the interview. It was such a surprise to the child (and the defense attorney) to see Stilson snoozing on the table that the child came out from under the table and everyone petted him during the interview. Under these circumstances the child did a much better job describing what had occurred and it was a fairly pleasant experience for everyone.
It is also less likely that a defense attorney would engage in aggressive questioning when a dog is seated or lying in between the attorney and the witness.
If the witness and facility dog have not had a previous experience together, be sure to arrange for them to have at least 45 minutes to interact and play with one another before the interview begins.