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State v. Preuitt

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-13-2013
Case #: A145602
Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Haselton, C.J.; and Sercombe, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A145602.pdf

Evidence: An expert witness may not testify as to the credibility of another witness. An expert may testify to matters that would assist a jury in reaching a conclusion, but may not include her own conclusions as to the witness' truthfulness.

Defendant was convicted of numerous counts for various sexual crimes against his step-granddaughter, K. Upon examination, K showed no signs of physical abuse and was referred to a counselor, Richards. During Richards' testimony at Defendant's trial, she commented on K's credibility. On appeal, Defendant argued that Richards' testimony regarding K's credibility was impermissible and the trial court erred in allowing it. The State contended that Richards' statements were admissible as part of her expert testimony. The Court of Appeals held that Richards' testimony constituted impermissible vouching because it included her own conclusions as to K's truthfulness, rather than testify to matters that would help a jury reach its own conclusion, and that the error was not harmless. Convictions on 8 counts reversed and remanded; remanded for resentencing; otherwise affirmed.