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Name: People v. Winslow
Case #: B172600
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 10/25/2004
Subsequent History: Rhrg. den. 11/10/04; revw. den. 1/19/05

In appellant’s trial for sexual assault on a 13-year-old victim, the trial court admitted the victim’s preliminary hearing testimony, after finding that the victim was unavailable to testify due to his post-traumatic stress disorder. The victim’s psychiatrist testified at the unavailability hearing that the victim, who had an IQ of 65, would be exposed to trauma at having to testify before a jury which would aggravate a psychological problem. The appellate court here upheld the admission of the testimony. Substantial evidence supported the trial court’s factual findings regarding the trauma to the victim. Further, the victim was unavailable as a witness because of mental illness or infirmity and because he was “unable to testify without suffering substantial trauma” pursuant to Evidence Code section 240, subdivisions (a)(3) and (c).