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Home / Courts / Criminal Practice – Plain Error Standard – Sexual Abuse – Expert Testimony (access required)

Criminal Practice – Plain Error Standard – Sexual Abuse – Expert Testimony (access required)

State v. Towe In the absence of physical evidence of sexual abuse in this case, the only bases for expert witness Dr. Everett’s conclusory assertion that the victim had been sexually abused were the victim’s history as relayed to Dr. Everett by the victim’s mother and the victim’s statements to a social worker that were observed by Dr. Everett — evidence that, standing alone, is insufficient to support an expert opinion that a child was sexually abused. Therefore, Dr. Everett’s expert testimony was improper when she stated that the victim fell into the category of children who had been sexually abused but showed no physical symptoms of such abuse.

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