405 Mass. 610 (1989), Commonwealth v. Tufts
|Citation:||405 Mass. 610, 542 N.E.2d 586|
|Party Name:||COMMONWEALTH v. Laura TUFTS.|
|Case Date:||August 21, 1989|
|Court:||Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts|
Argued May 3, 1989.
[542 N.E.2d 587] Richard L. Dahlen, Boston, for defendant.
Stephanie Martin Glennon, Asst. Dist. Atty., for Com.
Before LIACOS, C.J., and ABRAMS, NOLAN, LYNCH and O'CONNOR, JJ.
LIACOS, Chief Justice.
The defendant, Laura Tufts, was convicted by a jury in June, 1987, of several indictments charging rape, indecent assault and battery, and child pornography. She took no appeal from her convictions. In August, 1988, she filed a motion for a new trial claiming that the use of videotaped testimony of the child victim deprived her of her right to confront the witnesses against her. After a hearing, the motion was
denied. She now appeals from the denial of her motion for a new trial. We transferred the case to this court on our own motion.
The defendant and her codefendant, Joseph Dockham,
During the recess, the judge allowed the prosecutor to ask some questions of the child witness in the judge's lobby to refresh his recollection. The child witness made a detailed statement about how the defendant and codefendant had taken pictures of him and had touched him and his sister. He stated that the defendant had touched his penis with her hands and her mouth. He said that the codefendant had touched his penis with his mouth and had tried putting his penis up the child's "bum"; the penis "got hard and fit in a little bit." The [542 N.E.2d 588] child stated further that both the defendant and codefendant touched the witness's sister and made him touch his sister's vagina. The boy stated that the codefendant took pictures while the defendant
was "sucking [his] penis," and that the defendant took pictures while the codefendant was "sucking [the girl's] vagina." The child agreed to answer some of the same questions again in the courtroom.
When the child witness resumed the stand in the courtroom, he was biting his shirt, could not speak, turned around in his chair, and put his head on the railing. When asked if someone did something while he lived with the defendant, he responded, "I already said it. Now enough's enough." When further questioning elicited no response from the child witness, the judge called another brief recess.
The judge again called the child witness into the lobby. The boy stated that he was not talking, that he had had enough, and that he was not answering anymore. The judge allowed the child's foster mother to come into the lobby. The child thereafter agreed to answer questions in the courtroom.
The child witness resumed the stand before the jury. He testified that he and his sister had been touched but refused to answer additional questions, saying that he had "already said it." The judge, at that point, allowed the foster mother to sit in the front of the courtroom. The child again stated that he was not answering any questions, saying, "I said that was enough." The judge concluded...
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