State v. Transfiguracion
Hawaii Supreme Court
2013 WL 1285112 (2013)
Faustino Transfiguracion (plaintiff) was convicted on multiple counts of sexually abusing minors. During the trial, the five complaining witnesses all testified against Transfiguracion, all alleging that Transfiguracion touched them inappropriately when they were young children. In all instances, Transfiguracion had a prior relationship with the child and molested the child in his home, in the child’s home, or in his own vehicle. During the trial, the State of Hawai’i (defendant) introduced expert testimony from Dr. Alex Bivens, a child sexual abuse expert. Dr. Bivens did not know the facts of the case and did not testify about the facts or opine as to Transfiguracion’s culpability. Dr. Bivens provided general testimony about (1) delayed disclosure of child sexual abuse; (2) grooming, which is the pattern of behavior offenders engage in to develop trust with a potential child victim; (3) the statistical profile of child sexual-abuse victims; (4) the statistical profile of child sexual abusers, including that abusers typically have a trusting relationship with the child prior to the abuse; and (5) statistical evidence that child sexual abusers typically have multiple victims. Transfiguracion challenged the admission of Dr. Bivens’s testimony, arguing that it improperly bolstered the complainants’ credibility and encouraged the jury to convict Transfiguracion because he matched the statistical profile of a child molester. The trial court denied Transfiguracion’s motion. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the denial. Transfiguracion’s petition for certiorari from the Hawai’i Supreme Court was denied.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning ()
Dissent (Acoba, J.)
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