A former assistant state attorney in Florida who has prosecuted hundreds of child sexual abuse cases has low hopes for today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where senators will listen to a woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of trying to rape her in high school.
Boz Tchividjian, who also happens to be the third eldest grandchild of Rev. Billy Graham, told CBN News Wednesday, "I think in a public, political arena it's going to be incredibly difficult to stay focused on fact-finding."
Tchividjian is also concerned that the senators who will question both Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh, will do so without the benefit of any type of investigation.
"I don't think I could ask the questions tomorrow because I'd be going in with an empty toolbox," he said. "I've got like two small tools in the toolbox, important tools, but I don't have the benefit of any other observation or investigative findings. So the best thing I'm left to do is simply review the public statements made by each and ask questions."
Tchividjian founded GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), a non-profit that advises faith-based groups on sexual abuse. He also serves as a lecturer and consultant on legal issues relating to the prosecution of child sexual abuse. He says he supports an independent investigation by the FBI or a bipartisan congressional fact-finding group that can focus on Ford's accusations as well as others recently brought by several women who say they knew Kavanaugh during high school and college.
"An investigation, even if it was a two or three-week investigation, would undoubtedly provide more data for the senators in helping them make such an important decision," said Tchividjian.
Tchividjian says he would begin by interviewing the alleged victims. He would ask them about witnesses and try to narrow down dates, locations and times. He'd also try to find people to whom the witnesses disclosed information about the alleged assault. At the end of the investigation, he'd interview Judge Kavanaugh, presenting him with the information he gathered, both positive and negative, and give him an opportunity to tell his side of the story.
"As a lawyer, as a former abuse prosecutor, I'm very concerned with the process if indeed the ultimate objective is fact-finding," he said.
"These are serious allegations that deserve serious attention and we need to stop looking at them through our political lenses and look at them with the notion of what is the truth and how do we get there?" he said.
Also, Tchividjian says an investigation would send a message to abuse victims across the country that their allegations will be taken seriously, even if never prosecuted.
Right now, he says, the current frenzy around the Kavanaugh accusations is probably deterring that high school girl who's been assaulted by someone in her class.
"If you were to ask me now, I would say she's probably less likely to step forward and say something than more likely," he said. "And that's discouraging. It has nothing to do with whether the disclosures of Dr. Ford are truthful or not. It has everything to do with how we've responded as a nation."