People v. Baier

CourtNew York Supreme Court Appellate Division
Writing for the CourtBefore HOPKINS
Citation422 N.Y.S.2d 734,73 A.D.2d 649
PartiesThe PEOPLE, etc., Respondent, v. Edwin BAIER and Alfred Sluisman, Appellants.
Decision Date17 December 1979

Page 734

422 N.Y.S.2d 734
73 A.D.2d 649
The PEOPLE, etc., Respondent,
Edwin BAIER and Alfred Sluisman, Appellants.
Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department.
Dec. 17, 1979.

Vincent G. Berger, Jr., Commack, for appellant Baier.

Barbara & Cohn, Carle Place (Dominic A. Barbara, Carle Place, of counsel), for appellant Sluisman.

Denis Dillon, Dist. Atty., Mineola (Bruce E. Whitney, Kew Gardens, and William C.

Page 735

Donnino, Mineola, of counsel), for respondent.



Appeals by defendants from two judgments of the County Court, Nassau County, one as to each defendant, both rendered January 19, 1978, convicting each of them of rape in the first degree, sodomy in the first degree, sexual abuse in the first degree, endangering the welfare of a child, and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree (three counts), upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentences.

Judgments reversed, on the law, and new trial ordered.

Defendants were indicted for, Inter alia, rape in the first degree and sodomy in the first degree. The complainant, 15 years old at the time of the alleged crimes, had an extensive history of mental illness necessitating lengthy periods of hospitalization. Diagnosed as suffering from "schizophrenia, chronic, undifferentiated type", and an in-patient at the time of the trial, the complainant's symptoms included withdrawal, anxiety and hallucinations. As a result, the complainant's mental condition, her ability to distinguish fact from fantasy, her capacity to take an oath and her general credibility were critical factors which permeated the trial. Prior to swearing her, the trial court sought to determine her competency to testify (see People v. Parks, 41 N.Y.2d 36, 45-46, 390 N.Y.S.2d 848, 856-857, 359 N.E.2d 358, 365-367; see, also, Richardson, Evidence (Prince, 10th ed.), § 389). Moreover, upon the People's application, the trial court allowed a clinical psychologist who had personal knowledge of the complainant's condition by virtue of having worked extensively with her, to testify before the jury. The sole purpose of the psychologist's testimony was to help the jury in evaluating the complainant's credibility by providing an objective, factual framework for the jury to perceive the complainant's mental illness. Although the complainant's voluminous mental health and hospital records were subpoenaed by the defendants, the trial...

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9 cases
  • People v. Batista
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • October 1, 1982
    ...between Page 1014 the necessity to protect the rights of the * * * and the right of the defendant to a fair trial" (People v. Baier, 73 A.D.2d 649, 650, 422 N.Y.S.2d 734, 736 This court is bound to follow the holding of the Court of Appeals in People v. Ocasio (supra ) that Sandoval princip......
  • People v. Reidout
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • May 26, 1988 indispensable to effective cross-examination. Id., 84 A.D.2d at 928, 447 N.Y.S.2d at 64; to the same effect, see People v. Baier, 73 A.D.2d 649, 422 N.Y.S.2d 734 (2nd Dept.1979); People v. Lowe, 96 Misc.2d 33, 408 N.Y.S.2d 873 (Crim.Ct., Bronx County 1978); People v. Freshley, 87 A.D.2d ......
  • People v. Baranek, 2
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • December 3, 2001
    ...counsel should have been permitted to impeach the complainant with the hospital records during cross-examination (see, People v. Baier, 73 A.D.2d 649). V. The trial court also erred in precluding the defense from offering expert testimony regarding the complainant's psychiatric condition (s......
  • People v. Loomis
    • United States
    • New York County Court
    • March 20, 1997
    ...compel a psychiatric examination might attach. Id., see also People v. Passenger, 175 A.D.2d 944, 572 N.Y.S.2d 972, and People v. Baier, 73 A.D.2d 649, 422 N.Y.S.2d The "Parental Alienation Syndrome", as far as this Court can divine from the case law and the papers submitted, comes into exi......
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