Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:At Ramon Reyna’s trial, he attempted to introduce evidence, which the trial judge excluded. He did not argue that the Confrontation Clause demanded admission of the evidence, but the court of appeals reversed the conviction on these grounds. Reyna was charged with indecency with a child. At trial, after the state had examined the victim, Reyna sought to introduce evidence of the victim’s prior false allegation of sexual assault and her recantation of that allegation. The court sustained the state’s objection and ordered that the record of the hearing be sealed for appeal. The court of appeals held that “[e]vidence that a complainant has made previous false allegations of sexual misconduct is admissible.” The court cited but did not discuss Hughes v. State, 850 S.W.2d 260 (Tex. App. – Fort Worth 1993, pet. ref’d), and Thomas v. State, 669 S.W.2d 420 (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] 1984, pet. ref’d). The state moved for rehearing and simultaneously filed a motion to view the sealed record. The court of appeals granted the motion to view the record but overruled the motion for rehearing. HOLDING:The court reverses the judgment of the court of appeals and reinstates the judgment of the trial court. The court agrees that the appellate court should have unsealed the record. As the court of appeals recognized, there was no basis for sealing the record in this case. “In this case, because the trial court chose to exclude the evidence, appellant is the party adversely affected by his own default. Because appellant failed to specify which portion of the transcript he intended to introduce into evidence, the court was presented with a proffer containing both admissible and inadmissible evidence. When evidence which is partially admissible and partially inadmissible is excluded, a party may not complain upon appeal unless the admissible evidence was specifically offered.” Reyna did not argue that the Confrontation Clause demanded admission of the evidence. Reyna’s arguments for admitting the evidence could refer to either the Rules of Evidence or the Confrontation Clause. His arguments about hearsay did not put the trial judge on notice that he was making a Confrontation Clause argument. Because Reyna did not clearly articulate that the Confrontation Clause demanded admission of the evidence, the trial judge never had the opportunity to rule upon this rationale. As the losing party, Reyna must suffer on appeal the consequences of his insufficiently specific offer, the court states. Reyna did not do everything necessary to bring to the judge’s attention the evidence rule or statute in question and its precise and proper application to the evidence in question. The court of appeals erred in reversing Reyna’s conviction on a ground that he did not present to the trial judge, the court holds. OPINION:Keasler, J., delivered the opinion of the court in which Keller, P.J., and Meyers, Price, Hervey, and Cochran, JJ., joined. Holcomb, J., filed a dissenting opinion in part I of which Womack, J., joined and in which Johnson, J., joined in full. DISSENT:Holcomb, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Johnson, J., joins. Womack, J., joins as to part I. “With today’s holding, we are not heading down a slippery slope; we have hit rock bottom. The majority decision today holds litigants to such a high standard that even the most careful, alert, knowledgeable, and brilliant lawyer can be tripped up, and the constitutional rights belonging to his client will be unavailable due to a judicially crafted enlargement of a reasonable and fair rule of court. We should not allow our new”less common notions’ of hair-spitting analyses gut the constitutional rights of citizens accused. For these reasons, I dissent.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.