Commonwealth v. GarciaAnnotate this Case
After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of raping his nineteen-year-old stepdaughter, Sally. Defendant and Sally’s mother were married. The Appeals Court reversed, concluding that Sally was precluded from testifying about a private marital conversation between her mother and Defendant, the substance of which Sally’s mother had purportedly disclosed to her. Specifically, at trial, the mother denied that she told Sally that Defendant had confessed to the crime in a private conversation between the parties. To impeach the mother, however, Sally was permitted to testify to the contrary. The Supreme Judicial Court reversed Defendant’s conviction on other grounds, holding that the admission of this highly prejudicial evidence created a substantial risk of a miscarriage of justice.