The defendant in a recent child molestation case appealed his conviction on the grounds the trial court improperly admitted as evidence statements made by the alleged victim to her therapist. Such statements, he asserted, were the equivalent of hearsay per Evidence Rule 803(a)(4).
The Washington Court of Appeals, after weighing the defendant's assertions in Washington v. Fey, rejected them and affirmed his conviction.
Hearsay is often an issue that arises in child molestation cases because courts are often reticent to press a child into making more statements regarding a reportedly traumatic event or series of events. Certainly, protecting the well-being of children is a valid interest for the court. However, sometimes these protections can infringe on the constitutional due process rights of the accused. Specifically, the concern is there will not be an opportunity to directly confront witnesses and evidence presented to his detriment.