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Name: People v. Sisavath
Case #: F0141885
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 05/27/2004
Subsequent History: Rehrg den. 6/10/04; Rev. den. 9/15/04

A sexual abuse victim’s hearsay statements to a police officer and another interviewer were inadmissible under Crawford v. Washington (2004) __ U.S. __ [124 S.Ct. 1354]. The young victim in this case had been found incompetent to testify because she could not express herself so as to be understood and did not understand her duty to tell the truth. The prosecution then introduced testimony from a police officer and another interviewer who had spoken with the victim prior to trial, and because the witness was deemed to be unavailable, the testimony was admitted. The Court of Appeal reversed, finding that the proffered evidence was testimonial in nature under Crawford, and thus its introduction violated appellant’s right to confront witnesses under the Sixth Amendment.