In a recent child molestation case coming out of Arizona, the court vacated the defendant’s convictions and sentences, remanding the case for a new trial. Originally, the defendant had been found guilty of molesting a minor, and he made multiple arguments in his attempt to appeal the guilty conviction. While the court rejected the majority of the defendant’s arguments, it accepted his assertion that the trial court had unfairly admitted hearsay into the evidence for the jury to consider. Agreeing with the defendant on this point, the court vacated the guilty conviction.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the child involved in this case lived with her mother and her stepfather when she was four years old. At that time, the child’s stepfather, the defendant, began touching the child sexually at least once a week. This behavior continued for many years, through the family’s move to Sierra Vista when the child turned eleven.
The defendant told the child not to tell anyone about the sexual activity. Eventually, the defendant and the child’s mother separated and moved away from each other. In November of that same year, the child’s gym teacher noticed that she was not acting like “her usual self.” When the gym teacher asked the child what was happening, the girl admitted that her stepfather had been molesting her. The gym teacher and the school counselor promptly reported these statements to the police.