State v. Fernando V.Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Appellate Court concluding that the improper exclusion of P's testimony during the underlying criminal proceedings was not harmless, holding that the testimony was necessary for the jury to assess the complainant's credibility, and therefore, the exclusion of P's testimony was not harmless.
Defendant was charged with sexual assault in the second degree and two counts of risk of injury to a child. The trial court precluded Defendant from calling P, the complainant's longtime boyfriend, as a witness regarding his observations of certain aspects of the complainant's behavior that the State's expert witness had testified were commonly exhibited by child victims of sexual assault. The Appellate Court reversed, holding that P's testimony was improperly excluded because it was relevant to the issue of whether the complainant had exhibited behaviors associated with some sexual assault victims, which had a clear and direct bearing on the central issue in this case - whether the complainant had been sexually assaulted by Defendant. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the improper exclusion of P's testimony was not harmless.