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Home / Opinions / Courts / Court of Appeals, Southern District / Criminal Law : Child Testimony – Courtroom Screen – Findings

Criminal Law : Child Testimony – Courtroom Screen – Findings

Where a trial court in a statutory sodomy case allowed the child victim to testify behind a screen, the procedure violated the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to confront the victim face to face, and the court erred in allowing the screen without making the required case-specific findings, but the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt because the error did not contribute to the verdict.

Judgment is affirmed.

State v. Benitez (MLW No. 65093/Case No. SD32063 – 14 pages) (Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, Rahmeyer, J.) Appealed from circuit court, Jasper County, Dally, J. (Jessica P. Meredith, Jefferson City, for respondent) (Margaret Mueller Johnston, Columbia, for appellant).

Read the full text of this opinion. (PDF)