State v. Beauvais

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 03-26-2014
  • Case #: A147355
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Schuman S.J. for the Court; Wollheim .P.J.; & Duncan J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Simply because evidence subsequently becomes irrelevant after the state's dismissal of charges relating to another defendant, is not sufficient to demonstrate prejudice.

Chad Allen Beauvais (Beauvais) was charged with one count of first-degree sexual abuse, and two counts of attempted first-degree sexual abuse, arising out of his alleged contact with the victims, J and K. In a motion in limine, Beauvais sought to exclude the testimony of experts from Kid's Intervention and Diagnostic Service Center, arguing that it was inadmissible because it was scientific evidence that was highly prejudicial and only minimally probative. Other witnesses' testimony was inadmissible, Beauvais maintains, because it did not directly vouch for the credibility of the victim. The trial court denied the motions. In addition, The trial court also denied Beauvais' motion to sever and his motion for a mistrial, in which he contended that trying the counts involving J and K together was prejudicial. Midway through a jury trial, the state dismissed the charges relating to J. Beauvais was subsequently convicted of one count of first-degree sexual abuse involving K. The Court found that the physical evidence satisfies the criteria that the physical evidence is sufficiently corroborative, i.e., that there is "sufficient physical evidence so that the diagnosis of sexual abuse tells the jury something that it is not equally capable of determining on its own." The court also found that an expert witness can ordinarily describe the subsidiary principles underlying the diagnosis including general characteristics that the expert looks for in examining a child, and necessarily include characteristics that allow the expert to assess the validity of the complaint. Lastly, the court found that the fact that the evidence subsequently became irrelevant after the state's dismissal of the charges relating to J is not sufficient to demonstrate prejudice. Affirmed.

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