State v. Pickett

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 10-12-2011
  • Case #: A143116
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Sercombe, J. & Rosenblum, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Where there is plain error in admitting an expert’s diagnosis of sexual abuse in the absence of physical signs of abuse, the court may decline to exercise its discretion to correct the error when the admission did not likely affect the lower court’s verdict.

Defendant was convicted of various crimes involving sexual abuse of a child. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court should not have admitted an expert’s diagnosis of sexual abuse when there were no physical signs of abuse. The Court of Appeals agreed that the admission of the diagnosis was plain error, but declined to exercise its discretion to correct the error. Given the evidence, which consisted of Defendant’s detailed admissions to police and photos corroborating the victim’s account, the court concluded that the admission of the diagnosis did not likely affect the trial court’s verdict. Affirmed.

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