Basyle Tchividjian , Liberty University Follow. Basyle J. The admissibility of prior bad act evidence in child sexual abuse prosecutions oftentimes makes the difference between a guilty and not guilty verdict. Due to the potentially high prejudicial effect of admitting propensity evidence, it is more critical than ever that courts carefully apply the decisive evidentiary gatekeeper, the probative value balancing test of Federal Rule of Evidence and its state equivalents.
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In Eubanks v. The defendant was charged with child molestation following an incident with an 11 year-old relative with whom he lived temporarily. The defendant argued that the probative value of such evidence was greatly outweighed by the risk of undue prejudice. The Court of Appeals disagreed, holding that it is within the discretion of the trial court to weigh the probative value against any risk of prejudice, and that such decision will only be reviewed for an abuse of that discretion. Although the Court acknowledged that the previous allegation was quite remote, having occurred almost 2 decades ago, it found that the striking similarities between the current and prior allegations weighed heavily towards its admission. Under the new evidence code, O. Thus, the defendant in this case could present character witnesses, or even expert witnesses, to testify that he acts appropriately towards children and that he does not have a sexual interest in children.
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Page last updated October Evidence of Uncharged Sex Offense. The People presented evidence that the defendant committed the.
So much attention has been given by researchers and professionals to the critical link between child abuse and juvenile delinquency that most would assume that child abuse causes later juvenile delinquency and wonder why there is still a discussion of the issue. Early research suggested that this was a simple relationship. Widom and Smith and Thornberry found evidence of this relationship initially. However, more recent studies have found that the relationship between child abuse and juvenile delinquency is more multifaceted and intriguing than originally thought.