Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
� 1 Appellant, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, asks us to determine whether the trial court abused its discretion in deeming a seven year old child incompetent to testify in a criminal action. We must also determine whether the trial court abused its discretion in finding that the child’s statement to her physician, which implicated Appellee as the perpetrator, was inadmissible under Pennsylvania Rule of Evidence 803(4). We hold that the trial court properly found the child incompetent to testify because there is ample evidence in the record to support the trial court’s conclusion that the child was unable to perceive or coherently convey the events which allegedly occurred. We also hold that the trial court properly barred the child’s statement to the physician concerning the identity of the perpetrator, because the child’s statement was not essential to the child’s medical diagnosis or treatment as required by Pa.R.E. 803(4). Accordingly, we affirm.

� 2 The relevant facts and procedural history of this case are as follows. On April 2, 1998, Appellee was the subject of a criminal complaint alleging that he committed the following offenses against his minor daughter: rape, *fn1 involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (2 counts), *fn2 indecent assault, *fn3 corruption of minors, *fn4 and endangering welfare of children. *fn5 These charges stemmed from sexual activity allegedly occurring between October 1996 and June 1997, when the child was approximately four years old. During this period, Appellee had physical custody of the child as the child resided in the home of Appellee and his paramour.

� 3 On June 16, 1997, Child Protective Services received a report of suspected child abuse. Specifically, the child alleged that Appellee touched her in the vaginal and buttocks area and physically abused her. She further alleged that she bled during the course of the sexual contact. The report was transmitted to Erie County Children and Youth Services (“CYS”). Amy Hoffman, a CYS caseworker, conducted a series of four interviews with the child concerning the allegations of abuse. Three of the interviews were tape recorded. Ms. Hoffman independently interviewed the child’s two siblings, who were also living with Appellee during the relevant period.

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

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

More From ALM

Premium Subscription

With this subscription you will receive unlimited access to high quality, online, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry. This is perfect for attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions or for attorneys that have fulfilled their CLE requirement but need to access resourceful information for their practice areas.
View Now

Team Accounts

Our Team Account subscription service is for legal teams of four or more attorneys. Each attorney is granted unlimited access to high quality, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry along with administrative access to easily manage CLE for the entire team.
View Now

Bundle Subscriptions

Gain access to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with our 2 bundle options! Our Compliance bundles are curated by CLE Counselors and include current legal topics and challenges within the industry. Our second option allows you to build your bundle and strategically select the content that pertains to your needs. Both options are priced the same.
View Now

African Legal Awards (AFLA) 2022

September 02, 2022

The African Legal Awards recognise exceptional achievement within Africa s legal community during a period of rapid change.

Learn More

China Law & Practice Awards (CLPA) 2022

September 08, 2022

The annual China Law & Practice Awards is the jurisdiction's most prestigious legal awards ceremony that applauds China's elite.

Learn More

Texas Legal Awards (TXLA) 2022

September 14, 2022
Dallas, TX

The Texas Lawyer honors attorneys and judges who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession in Texas.

Learn More

Litigation Associate

A well-respected regional law firm that has represented businesses in Tampa Bay for decades is seeking a commercial litigation associate to ...

Apply Now ›

Transactional Intellectual Property / Corporate Lawyer - CT or Remote

We are seeking a lawyer with extensive transactional intellectual property experience to join our corporate practice. Candidates should hav...

Apply Now ›

FINANCE & REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATES - Connecticut Preferred; Remote will be considered

Shipman & Goodwin LLP is seeking two associates to expand our national commercial real estate lending practice. Candidates should have ...

Apply Now ›



Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP wants to announce the Happy Retirement, Honorable Joel Rosen!

View Announcement ›



DEASEY MAHONEY & VALENTINI LTD is proud to announce that Lauren M. Steins and Leanna B. Ruotanen have been named Partners of the firm.

View Announcement ›



Parrett, Porto, Parese & Colwell, P.C. welcomes attorneys Alison L. Broad and Andrew I. Schaffer as principals of the firm.

View Announcement ›