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State v. Bradley

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 11-07-2012
Case #: A142466
Brewer, J. for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; and Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A142466.pdf

Evidence: OEC 803(18a)(b) intends to ensure an opposing party has reasonable time to prepare for trial in response to hearsay statements made by a victim by requiring notice to the opposing party no later than fifteen days before trial. At a minimum, the rule requires identification of the witness or the means that will be used to introduce the hearsay statement as well as the substance of the hearsay statement or how it will be introduced.

Defendant appealed a conviction for fifteen counts of sexual offenses against two children. Defendant argued the lower court erred in denying his motion to exclude one victim's out-of-court statements. OEC 803(18a)(b) intends to ensure an opposing party has reasonable time to prepare for trial in response to hearsay statements made by a victim by requiring notice to the opposing party no later than fifteen days before trial. Defendant argued the State did not adequately provide the notice required by the rule because the notice did not specify which statements the State intended to introduce, nor did it specify the names of the hearsay witness. The Court agreed the notice was insufficient to comply with the rule because it failed to specify the particular statements the State intended to introduce and failed to identify the witness. However, if the evidentiary error was harmless, the judgment would not be reversed. Defendant argued the error was not harmless because the hearsay statements provided more persuasive evidence of his guilt than the victim's trial testimony and allowed the State to bolster the victim's credibility. The Court agreed with the Defendant and held the hearsay statements were not harmless and were erroneously admitted because they could have had an effect on the verdict with respect to that victim. Reversed and remanded for a new trial as to counts 1 through 7, and counts 10 and 11.