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Friday, March 04, 2011

Ind. Decisions - "COA rules against judge's decision on testimony in child molesting case"

This ILB summary from Feb. 22, 2011 says only:

State of Indiana v. Andy J. Velasquez, II - "In conclusion, we find no abuse of discretion in the giving of a preliminary instruction pursuant to Evidence Rules 105 and 404(b). We do, however, find that the trial court erred in excluding the testimony of witnesses under Evidence Rules 802 and 704(b)."
Today Laura Lane of the Bloomington Herald Times has a good story ($$$) on the decision. Here are a few quotes:
It’s been more than a year since Andy Velasquez was acquitted of two counts of child molesting after allegations made by an 8-year-old girl who drew a stick-figure picture for jurors illustrating what she said the 27-year-old man did to her.

After the trial, the prosecutor’s office vowed to challenge Monroe Circuit Judge Teresa Harper’s decision to not allow a psychologist, a social worker and the girl’s grandmother to testify about her demeanor, claims of sexual abuse and her assertion that Velasquez threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

In a recent 23-page opinion, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Harper should have allowed testimony from the three women during the trial. Velasquez already has been found not guilty of the charges, so they cannot be refiled for a second trial with the witness testimony.

Later in the story, Bob Miller, Monroe County chief deputy prosecutor, is quoted as saying:
“The point of this kind of appeal is to provide guidance for trial courts for future cases,” he added. “We can’t change the outcome of this case, but the decision does provide legal authority for future child molesting cases across the state.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 4, 2011 10:16 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions