PHOENIX — An Arizona Supreme Court ruling said an expert witness
testifying about general principles and practices doesn’t have to be familiar
with an individual criminal defendant’s case.
A man convicted in a Pima County child-molestation case tried unsuccessfully to
keep the prosecution from presenting testimony from an expert witness on child
victims of sexual abuse.
The defense argued that the expert’s lack of knowledge or information about the
case against the defendant meant the expert couldn’t reasonably apply general
principles and methods.
The Court of Appeals upheld the trial judge’s decision to allow the testimony.
The Court of Appeals ruling said the expert’s testimony could help jurors weigh
the testimony of an alleged child victim.
The Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday agrees, saying general testimony to educate
judges or jurors is allowed.