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Blake v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming
933 P.2d 474 (1997)


Facts

At the trial of David Alfred Blake (defendant) for second-degree sexual assault of his stepdaughter, the court allowed Dr. Mary Bowers, over Blake’s objection, to testify regarding statements that the victim made to Dr. Bowers during a sexual assault examination. The victim’s statements included identification of Blake as the perpetrator of the sexual assault. The victim was not called to testify at the trial. Before questioning Dr. Bowers regarding the victim’s statements to her, the State (plaintiff) asked Dr. Bowers about the purpose and nature of the sexual assault examination that she performed on the victim and the types of questions that Dr. Bowers typically asks in the process of performing this type of examination. Dr. Bowers testified that the purpose of the exam is to provide health care for an alleged sexual assault and that in order to direct the exam and determine what treatment is needed, Dr. Bowers asks detailed questions about the nature of the assault, including the identity of the perpetrator. Dr. Bowers explained that it is important for her to ascertain the victim’s emotional state and that knowledge of the perpetrator’s identity is important for determining the extent of testing and treatment needed. Dr. Bowers then testified that the victim told her that Blake had subjected her to forcible sexual intercourse over the past several years and that the most recent incident had occurred in the bathroom of their home a week prior to the examination. Blake was convicted on two counts and appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court of Wyoming.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Lehman, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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