Ball v. State, No. 93-04281

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtFRANK
Citation651 So.2d 1224
Parties20 Fla. L. Weekly D572 Virgil Eugene BALL, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.
Decision Date03 March 1995
Docket NumberNo. 93-04281

Page 1224

651 So.2d 1224
20 Fla. L. Weekly D572
Virgil Eugene BALL, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Florida, Appellee.
No. 93-04281.
District Court of Appeal of Florida,
Second District.
March 3, 1995.

Page 1225

Manuel E. Penton, Jr., of Mosley & Hoskins, P.A., Clearwater, for appellant.

Robert A. Butterworth, Atty. Gen., Tallahassee, and Tonja R. Vickers, Asst. Atty. Gen., Tampa, for appellee.

FRANK, Chief Judge.

Virgil Eugene Ball was convicted of five counts of handling and fondling a child under the age of sixteen and one count of lewd and lascivious act in the presence of a child under the age of sixteen. The three victims, friends of Ball's daughter, alleged that he touched them in a lewd and lascivious manner on various occasions when they were in the sixth grade. None of the girls immediately informed an adult of Ball's aberrant behavior. After they watched a film on sexual abuse at school, however, the girls told their guidance counselor--and subsequently their parents and a police detective--that Virgil Ball had improperly touched them during games of tag and hide and seek at sleep-overs with his daughter, during an outing to the beach, and while riding in his car.

No medical or physical evidence was admitted to substantiate the victims' charges. The state did, however, present Dr. Joseph Crum, the director of the psychology department at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. He was qualified as an expert in the psychology of sexually abused children. Crum had examined each of the girls and testified about the results of his interviews. In doing so, Ball contends, the court improperly admitted expert testimony. We agree and reverse.

The state elicited from Dr. Crum during his direct examination that it was unusual for children eagerly to discuss sexual abuse. Generally they did not want to talk about the subject, and one victim, H.S., was reluctant to relate what had happened to her. Dr. Crum was also permitted to explain that even though there was a spacious gap between H.S.'s chronological age of eleven years, eleven months and her mental age of nine at the time of his examination, H.S. nevertheless understood the ramifications of lying. Dr. Crum made similar assessments of A.H. and L.K., who also exhibited discrepancies between their mental and chronological ages but who nevertheless could discern the difference between truth and fabrication. Finally, Dr. Crum testified that it was common for sexual abuse victims to delay...

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2 practice notes
  • Hadden v. State, No. 93-436
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • February 14, 1996
    ...older children on the ground that its primary purpose and effect is to bolster the credibility of the alleged victim. Ball v. State, 651 So.2d 1224 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995); Audano v. State, 641 So.2d 1356 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994); J.H.C. v. State, 642 So.2d 601 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994); Drawdy v. State, 644......
  • Smith v. State, No. 94-962
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • May 3, 1996
    ...to the jury, because the child in this case was fifteen years old and fully capable of describing what happened. See Ball v. State, 651 So.2d 1224 Page 794 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995); Audano v. State, 641 So.2d 1356 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994). Lawson's testimony regarding her belief that Smith abused the c......
2 cases
  • Hadden v. State, No. 93-436
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • February 14, 1996
    ...older children on the ground that its primary purpose and effect is to bolster the credibility of the alleged victim. Ball v. State, 651 So.2d 1224 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995); Audano v. State, 641 So.2d 1356 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994); J.H.C. v. State, 642 So.2d 601 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994); Drawdy v. State, 644......
  • Smith v. State, No. 94-962
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • May 3, 1996
    ...to the jury, because the child in this case was fifteen years old and fully capable of describing what happened. See Ball v. State, 651 So.2d 1224 Page 794 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995); Audano v. State, 641 So.2d 1356 (Fla. 2d DCA 1994). Lawson's testimony regarding her belief that Smith abused the c......

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