State v. Volynets-Vasylchenko

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 11-23-2011
  • Case #: A141967
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Schuman, P. J. for the Court; Wollheim, J., & Nakamoto, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Medical treatment recommendations that convey the medical expert's implicit conclusions that a child victim's reports of sexual abuse are credible are inadmissible unless corroborated by physical evidence.

Defendant was convicted of various sexual offenses involving a child. The child reported the abuse and was evaluated by a nurse at a child abuse assessment center. The evaluation did not uncover any physical signs specific to sexual abuse. At trial, the nurse's supervisor testified about the child's recommended treatment. Defendant appealed his conviction on the grounds that such testimony is inadmissible as a diagnosis of sexual abuse, if it is not corroborated by physical evidence. The state argued that treatment recommendations are not a diagnosis of sexual abuse. The Court found that one of the recommendations conveyed the expert's implicit conclusions that the child's reports were credible, coloring the other recommendations to supplement a diagnosis of abuse. Reversed and remanded.

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