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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The Nevada Senate has approved a bill allowing some hearsay evidence in the early stages of sensitive court cases.
Senators voted 11-8 on Saturday to approve AB193, with Democrats opposing.
The bill would allow a victim's statement to police, rather than their firsthand testimony, to be presented in a preliminary hearing or in secret grand jury proceedings for child sex abuse or domestic violence cases. Those hearings determine whether there's enough evidence for a case to proceed.
Supporters said preliminary hearings can be adversarial and the bill would spare children the trauma of testifying.
Democratic opponents said the defense should be able to vet the accuser in a preliminary hearing, and pointed out that the stakes in such cases are very high.
The bill already passed the Assembly.