Assistance dog used at St. Charles Co. courthouse

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. (KSDK) – A dog is being used to help calm the nerves of young victims set to testify about horrible events at the St. Charles County Courthouse.

Prosecutors say last week the dog played an integral role in a case.

Jersey is now known as "The St. Charles County Courthouse Dog."

Last Wednesday she made her first visit to the courthouse and the "facility dog" came with a special mission.

"Her main job that day was to be a bit of a distraction," said Nola Ewers, the Service Dog Program Director with Champ Assistance Dogs.

"Jersey is a huge blessing to us in our child victim cases," said Tim Lohmar, the St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney.

Last week Jersey met a child victim and the two instantly hit it off. They sat in a conference room for about two hours before the ten year old took the stand.

"The victim and her sister were sexual abuse victims. The perpetrator in this case was the father. They were adopted from Russia and at some point after their mother passed away, their adoptive mother passed away, these incidents of abusive took place," said Lohmar.

The victim was set to face her alleged abuser for the first time in years.

"What we did notice is that the child almost nonstop was petting Jersey, so she seemed to have a little nervous energy going on and Jersey was kind of the outlet for that," said Ewers.

"I have serious doubts that our victim would have been able to do what she did without Jersey," said Lohmar.

Prosecutors say her testimony led to a guilty verdict.

"I think this is the start of something that could be really big," said Lohmar.

For more information on C.H.A.M.P. Assistance Dogs, visit their website



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