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Criminal Practice – Sexual Offense & Rape of a Child – Expert Testimony – No Physical Evidence – Victim’s Credibility

State v. Towe. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-07-0282, 13 pp.) (Robert N. Hunter Jr., J.) Appealed from Surry County Superior Court. (Ronald E. Spivey, J.) N.C. App. Click here for the full text of the opinion.

Holding: The state’s expert testified that 70 to 75 percent of sexually abused children show no clear physical signs of abuse. The expert agreed that she would place the complainant in that category. Thus, although the complainant showed no physical signs of abuse, the expert testified that she had been sexually abused.

This type of testimony is plainly prohibited by State v. Stancil, 355 N.C. 266, 559 S.E.2d 788 (2002).

Defendant is entitled to a new trial.


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