State v. Wood

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 10-24-2012
  • Case #: A147596
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Haselton, C.J.; and Duncan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under OEC 803(18) hearsay concerning sexual abuse may be admitted when the prosecution gives pretrial notice of the statement. The proponent must identify the statement, the substance of the statement, and the means by which the statement will be introduced.

Defendant appealed his conviction for first degree sexual abuse. During trial, the Defendant objected on the grounds of notice requirements for certain hearsay when a social worker, who interviewed the child, discussed what the child said during the direct examination. The trial court overruled Defendant's objections and the court found the Defendant guilty of first degree sexual abuse. On appeal, the Court reversed Defendant’s conviction of first-degree sexual abuse because the trial court erred in admitting the social worker's hearsay statements. Under OEC 803(18) hearsay statements concerning sexual abuse may be admitted by a declarant who testifies and is subject to cross examination by the prosecution and is given pretrial notice of the statements. The rule requires that the proponent identify the particular statement, the substance of the statement to be introduced, and the means by which the statement will be introduced. Reports in which the statements were found were not before the trial court when it admitted the hearsay, were not part of the record on appeal, and the record does not show how many reports were produced. Because the improperly admitted hearsay bore on the corroboration and credibility of the child, the admission of the hearsay statements required reversal of the Defendant's conviction. Based on the reversal, the Court did not reach Defendant’s second assignment of error regarding the imposition of a 75-month sentence. Reversed and remanded.

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