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State v. McCarthy

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 07-18-2012
Case #: A144997
Brewer, P.J. for the Court; and Haselton, C.J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A144997.pdf

Evidence: A witness, expert or otherwise, may not give an opinion on the credibility of another witness, or whether he believes a witness is telling the truth. The assessment of credibility is for the trier of fact only.

Defendant appealed convictions of 2 counts of first-degree rape. Defendant argued that the trial court erred in overruling his objection to the admissibility of a pediatric nurse practitioner's ("NP") testimony because the testimoney constituted impermissible vouching for the complainant's credibility. The complainant, Defendant's daughter, reported to another person that Defendant had sexually abused her on multiple occasions several years earlier. At trial, the NP testified regarding a physical examination that was conducted by another physician on the complainant even though evidence of abuse was lacking. Pursuant to State v. Southard and State v. Lupoli, a witness, expert or otherwise, may not give an opinion on the credibility of another witness, or whether he/she believes a witness is telling the truth. Rather, the assessment of credibility is for the trier of fact only. Thus, this Court of Appeals determined that the trial court erred in admitting certain portions of the NP's testimony. Reversed and remanded.