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Name: Fowler v. Sacramento County
Case #: 04-15885
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 08/31/2005

The district court erred in refusing to issue a habeas writ where the defendant was prevented from cross-examining the complaining witness in violation of his Sixth Amendment rights. The defendant was convicted of child molestation in California state court, and at trial he was was precluded from cross-examining the victim regarding two prior incidents in which she alleged that other men had molested her. In reversing the district court order denying the petition for writ of habeas corpus, the Ninth Circuit concluded that the cross-examination sufficiently related to the victim’s reliability or credibility such that the jury might reasonably have considered it. Thus, the cross-examination implicated defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to confrontation.