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United States v. Powers

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
59 F.3d 1460 (4th Cir. 1995)


Facts

Grady Powers (defendant) was charged with aggravated sexual abuse of a minor in connection with raping his daughter. At trial, Powers sought to introduce the expert testimony of Dr. Anthony Sciara. Sciara had created a profile of incest abusers, which indicated that 40 percent of incest abusers had characteristics of a fixated pedophile. Sciara planned to testify that Powers did not exhibit the psychological profile of a fixated pedophile. According to Powers, this was relevant and would assist the jury. The district court excluded Sciara’s testimony under the admissibility standard set forth in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993). Specifically, the district court found that Sciara’s testimony was not relevant to the fact at issue, which was whether Powers had abused his daughter. Powers was convicted, and he appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Williams, 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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