State v. Banks

2017 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 129 (2017)

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State v. Banks

Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
2017 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 129 (2017)

Facts

David Banks (defendant) was charged with attempted rape of a minor, aggravated sexual battery, and child abuse. At trial, Banks called Jane Cain, an employee of the Department of Children’s Services (DCS), to testify. Cain had written a note about one of the child victims. The note referred the victim to counseling, stating that the victim exhibited behavioral issues, including lying. Cain testified that she had only interacted with the victim briefly and that the note was not based on personal knowledge. Cain testified that she could not remember why she made the note about lying but that the note was based on conversations she had had with the victim’s mother, school principal, and assistant principal. The prosecution (plaintiff) objected to any testimony about the note on the ground that it constituted improper character evidence about the victim. Specifically, the prosecution argued that Cain did not know the victim well enough to give an opinion about her character for truthfulness. The trial court sustained the objection and excluded the note. Banks was convicted, and he appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Williams, J.)

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