Robinson v. State, A05A1002.

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
Citation621 S.E.2d 770,275 Ga. App. 537
Docket NumberNo. A05A1002.,A05A1002.
Decision Date21 September 2005
275 Ga. App. 537
621 S.E.2d 770
No. A05A1002.
Court of Appeals of Georgia.
September 21, 2005.

William Lea, Donald Samuel, Garland, Samuel & Loeb, Atlanta, for Appellant.

Daniel Porter, District Attorney, Tracie Hobbs, Assistant District Attorney, for Appellee.

RUFFIN, Chief Judge.

A jury found Scott Edward Robinson guilty of four counts of child molestation.1 Robinson appeals, challenging several evidentiary rulings. For reasons that follow, we affirm.

Page 771

Viewed favorably to the verdict,2 the evidence shows that, in May 2002, Robinson's 13-year-old stepdaughter told her mother that Robinson had molested her. The victim testified that, when she was ten years old, Robinson squeezed her breast as they sat together on a couch, watching television. On subsequent occasions, Robinson touched her vagina and her buttocks, and he placed her hand on his penis over his clothing.

Prior to trial, Robinson moved to exclude several pieces of evidence. First, he argued that a portion of his videotaped interview with police should be excluded because it improperly bolstered the victim's credibility. Robinson also moved to exclude references to his stepbrother's conviction for child molestation. And he sought to exclude evidence that his wife caught him masturbating with the victim's underwear on the night the victim reported the abuse. The trial court denied Robinson's motion regarding the bolstering statements and the masturbation evidence. As to the stepbrother's criminal history, the trial court ordered that any reference to the conviction be redacted from Robinson's interview tape. It further determined, however, that the victim would be allowed to testify regarding the conviction. Robinson now appeals these rulings.

1. Robinson argues that the trial court's refusal to redact the bolstering statements from his videotaped interview — which was shown to the jury — improperly increased the victim's credibility, while decreasing his own. The record shows that, during the interview, the police asked Robinson whether the victim is a "good girl" and [275 Ga. App. 538] honest. Robinson replied that the victim is "good," "probably" honest, and had not lied to him. Nevertheless, when confronted with the victim's allegations later in the interview, Robinson denied many of the allegations and asserted that the victim had lied.

Although a party normally may not bolster the veracity of an unimpeached witness, the State may "rehabilitate a witness whose credibility has been attacked."3 The record shows that, just after vouching for the victim's honesty, Robinson called her a liar.4 We recognize that Robinson questioned the victim's credibility after he vouched for her honesty. But all of these statements were made during the same interview, and Robinson does not challenge the admissibility of his disparaging remarks. On the contrary, he apparently contends that the trial court erred in admitting his favorable comments regarding the victim's character, but not the unfavorable comments.

We disagree. Robinson's statements were admissible to rehabilitate the victim against the upcoming attack, an attack about which all parties were aware.5 Although the bolstering testimony may have been premature, its admission was not error where the parties knew that the victim's credibility would be undermined immediately thereafter.6 Accordingly, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the evidence.7

2. We also find no error in the trial court's refusal to exclude the victim's statements regarding Robinson's stepbrother. These statements were admitted as part of the victim's videotaped interview with police, which the State played for the jury. During the interview, the victim stated that Robinson told her he was trying to stop touching her, that he knew what he was doing was...

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6 cases
  • Belcher v. State, A17A1982
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • February 26, 2018
    ...under this same theory if the evidence was improperly admitted for purposes of rehabilitation.29 The State cites Robinson v. State , 275 Ga. App. 537, 621 S.E.2d 770 (2005), for the proposition that "[a]lthough a party normally may not bolster the veracity of an unimpeached witness, the Sta......
  • Patterson v. State, A05A2100.
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • March 10, 2006
    ...the realm of the jury's knowledge, and expert testimony to aid the jury would be admissible. 6. Although Robinson v. State, 275 Ga.App. 537, 537-538(1), 621 S.E.2d 770 (2005), relies on Smith, it concerned the rehabilitation of the witness through the defendant's own prior taped statement, ......
  • Jones v. State, A12A1572.
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • October 19, 2012
    ...the State may rehabilitate a witness whose credibility has been attacked.” (Punctuation and footnote omitted.) Robinson v. State, 275 Ga.App. 537, 538(1), 621 S.E.2d 770 (2005); see also Hall v. State, 255 Ga.App. 631, 632(1), 566 S.E.2d 374 (2002). Jones also claims that the prosecutor imp......
  • Pittman v. State, A17A1122
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • October 30, 2017
    ...committed the crime on trial because he has a criminal character") (citation and punctuation omitted); see also Robinson v. State, 275 Ga. App. 537, 538 (1), 621 S.E.2d 770 (2005) (the State may "rehabilitate a witness whose credibility has been attacked.") (citation and punctuation omitted......
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