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Name: People v. Foss
Case #: C050992
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/13/2007

The trial court properly prohibited the defense from questioning a witness about her feelings regarding child molestation. During appellant’s trial for multiple child molestation charges, the trial court prohibited the defense from questioning a witness who was involved in the reporting of the molestation about whether she had a morbid fear of sexual matters including child molestation. On appeal, appellant contended that this violated his right to cross examine witnesses and to present a defense. The appellate court rejected the argument, finding that the evidence was properly excluded and that there was no violation of appellant’s right to cross examine or present a defense. The court rejected People v. Scholl (1964) 225 Cal.App. 2d 558, because it did not reflect current law. As the testimony of victims of sex crimes is no longer deemed inherently suspect, the testimony of a non-complaining witness in a sex crime case who may have been a victim herself of unwanted sexual advances should also not be inherently distrusted.