Orgon v. BlackAnnotate this Case
A teenage boy, GP, who had been dating defendant Jonathan Black’s daughter, reported that defendant had had inappropriate sexual contact with him at defendant’s residence. That report triggered an investigation, and that investigation uncovered four other teenage victims, one of whom was JN. Ultimately, defendant was indicted and proceeded to a jury trial. Defendant sought to offer the testimony of Dr. Johnson, a child psychologist, to explain the established protocols for interviewing children and to identify portions of the interviews of GP and JN that, in his opinion, did not meet those protocols. The judicially created "vouching rule" precludes one witness from commenting on the credibility of another witness’s trial or pretrial statements. This case required the Oregon Supreme Court to determine whether certain evidence defendant sought to offer at his trial violated that rule. After review of the specific facts presented by this case, the Supreme Court concluded that the proffered testimony did not violate the vouching rule and that the trial court’s preclusion of that evidence was not harmless. Therefore, the Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals, and the judgment of the circuit court, and remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings.