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United States v. Batton

602 F.3d 1191 (2010)

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United States v. Batton

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

602 F.3d 1191 (2010)

Facts

William Batton (plaintiff) was a long-time acquaintance of J.D., a minor child, and J.D.’s family. Because of the trust placed in Batton by J.D.’s family, J.D. was allowed to visit and travel with Batton, including overnight, without his parents present. Approximately five years after J.D. started spending time with Batton without his parents’ supervision, J.D.’s mother discovered that Batton was a registered sex offender and had a prior conviction for assault of a 14-year-old boy. Upon being questioned, J.D. told his mother that Batton had repeatedly touched him in inappropriate and sexual ways when J.D. was alone with Batton. The sexual abuse started when J.D. was in second grade and ended after J.D. finished sixth grade. Batton was prosecuted for sexual assault of a minor. At trial, the prosecution introduced expert testimony from Dr. William Heineke, a clinician specializing in the treatment of child sexual abuse victims and offenders. Prior to allowing Dr. Heineke’s testimony, the trial court conducted a Daubert hearing to confirm Dr. Heineke’s qualifications, the relevance of his testimony, and that his testimony would provide necessary context for the jury’s determinations. The trial court strictly limited Dr. Heineke’s testimony to the general characteristics and methods of child sex abusers and did not allow Dr. Heineke to opine on Batton or the facts of the case. Dr. Heineke testified that child sex abusers were not typically strangers to the child; rather, the typical abuser was familiar to the child and used that familiarity to groom the child and cultivate victimization opportunities. The jury convicted Batton. Batton appealed, arguing that Dr. Heineke’s testimony was improperly admitted because it amounted to profile evidence.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Tymkovich, J.)

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