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Sep 12

The importance of preventing a witness to testify that another witness was telling the truth – cannot be understated. In this case the defendant argued that the trial court erred in permitting a child’s mother to essentially testify that J.K. was not lying when J.K. first reported that defendant had sexually assaulted her.

The rule is this  A witness may not opine with respect to whether another person was telling the truth on a specific occasion.”

The Court held that when the alleged victim’s mother testified that the victim did not engage in her typical “lying” behavior on that occasion, it implied that the victim was telling the truth on that occasion. Therefore, the evidence elicited by the prosecution in this case was improper.

Finally the absence of other physical evidence of, or eyewitness testimony to, the alleged sexual assaults and the absence of any type of confession by the defendant meant that the credibility of the victim was the critical issue before the jury in determining whether the sexual assaults had occurred.

The Defendant’s convictions were reversed and the case was remanded for a new trial.

The case in which this issue was decided is 2015 COA 122. No. 12CA0574. People v. Cernazanu please follow the link for more information.

 

 

 

Summary
Article Name
Important Case Explores The Crime Of Sexual Assault on a Child—Child's Testimony—Veracity.
Description
The importance of preventing a witness to testify that another witness was telling the truth - cannot be understated. In this case the defendant argued that the trial court erred in permitting a child's mother to essentially testify that J.K. was not lying when J.K. first reported that defendant had sexually assaulted her.
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