Sunday, December 22, 2013

United States v. Tome case brief

United States v. Tome case brief summary
61 F.3d 1446 (1995)

CASE SYNOPSIS
The United States Supreme Court remanded the matter to the court for further review after reversing the court's decision affirming defendant's conviction for aggravated sexual abuse.

CASE FACTS
Defendant was convicted of aggravated sexual abuse in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. §§ 1153, 2241(c), and 2246(A). He sought review of his conviction, arguing that the district court erroneously admitted hearsay statements by several adults regarding information relayed to them by the child victim.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The court affirmed the conviction. The Supreme Court reversed the court's decision and remanded the matter for further review of the admissibility of the statements.

DISCUSSION

  • On remand, the court held that the testimony by three pediatricians, who stated that the victim told them that defendant was her assailant, was admissible under Fed. R. Evid. 803(4) because it was a domestic sexual abuse case and, under such circumstances, defendant's identity was reasonably pertinent to the proper treatment of the victim. 
  • However, the court reversed and remanded defendant's conviction because the district court erroneously admitted hearsay statements by a social worker, the victim's babysitter, and the victim's mother, that did not fall within any recognized exception to the hearsay rule or the residual exception of Fed. R. Evid. 803(24) and the admission of the statements was not harmless.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed defendant's conviction for aggravated sexual abuse because the district court erred in admitting hearsay statements by a social worker, the victim's babysitter, and the victim's mother, and the errors were not harmless. The court remanded the matter to the district court for further proceedings.


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