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State v. Batangan

Supreme Court of Hawaii
71 Haw. 552 (1990)


Facts

Felomino Batangan (defendant) was charged with sexual abuse of his daughter. The victim alleged that Batangan physically and sexually abused her when she was six or seven years old. The victim could not provide any specific dates nor were any of the acts specific to one incident or another. There were no witnesses to the alleged acts. The victim did not report the abuse until several months after they occurred when she reported physical abuse to school officials. She then recanted the allegations of physical abuse but accused Batangan of sexual abuse. The victim then recanted the allegations of sexual abuse, but testified to them at trial. Batangan was tried on charges of sexual abuse. At trial, the prosecution presented Dr. John Bond as an expert in the field of clinical psychology with a subspecialty in sexually abused children. Bond testified as to how he evaluates whether a child is telling the truth about sex abuse. Bond then implicitly testified that the victim here was believable and that he believed she had been abused by Batangan. Batangan was convicted of first degree sex abuse. He appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Wakatsuki, 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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