- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
- Date Filed: 04-21-2021
- Case #: A163473
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Aoyagi, J. for the Court; DeHoog, P.J., & Egan, C.J.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant appealed convictions for first-degree sexual abuse, second-degree rape, and second-degree sodomy. On appeal, Defendant challenges the trial court's evidentiary rulings. Specifically, Defendant argues that his two former partners' testimony be excluded as impermissible character evidence; that a police officer's testimony be excluded as irrelevant; and that the admission of grooming evidence be excluded based on a lack of scientific foundation. Defendant reasoned that the police officer's grooming evidence be excluded because it lacked relevance under OEC 401; that it failed to assist the trier of fact under OEC 702, and that it was unfairly prejudicial under OEC 403. The Court affirmed its ruling on the first two issues. In response to the admission of grooming evidence argument, the Court stated that the testimony was likely interpreted by the jury as scientific, rather than based on the officer's experience. However, "scientific knowledge cannot assist the trier of fact if it is not 'scientifically valid.' State v. O'Key, 321 Ore. 285, 293, 899 P2d 663 (1995). Thus, when evidence is scientific in nature, the State must comply with the standards for admission of scientific evidence. The Court determined that the trial court erred in admitting the evidence. Reversed and remanded.