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Scott v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia
Apr 23, 1974
206 S.E.2d 558 (Ga. Ct. App. 1974)





Child molestation. Bartow Superior Court. Before Judge Davis.

Hugh B. Pettit, Jr., for appellant.

David N. Vaughan, Jr., District Attorney, for appellee.

The defendant was convicted of child molestation. His motion for new trial was overruled and he appeals. Held:

1. The court, over defendant's objection, allowed a state's witness, a policeman, to testify as to the particulars of the alleged crime as told to him by the victim during an interview with her. The interview took place three days after the occurrence. The state contends that this evidence was admissible as being a part of the res gestae. "Declarations accompanying an act, or so nearly connected therewith in time as to be free from all suspicion of device or afterthought, shall be admissible in evidence as part of res gestae." Code § 38-305. The declaration here does not meet this test. Being inadmissible as part of the res gestae the victim's statement to the police was hearsay and harmful. In this connection see Lowe v. State, 97 Ga. 792 ( 25 S.E. 676) and Creswell v. State, 61 Ga. App. 828 ( 7 S.E.2d 788).

2. The trial court erred in allowing the district attorney over objection to cross examine the defendant on his prior arrests for other crimes committed from 4 to 7 years previously. A witness's credibility may be attacked by proof of conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude. Woodward v. State, 197 Ga. 60 (8) ( 28 S.E.2d 480). Proof of an arrest is not a proper method. Whitley v. State, 188 Ga. 177 ( 3 S.E.2d 588). Further, this evidence was not admissible under the similar method rule as it failed to show a crime committed by the accused and failed to show that the other crimes were connected with or similar to those charged in the indictment. Bacon v. State, 209 Ga. 261 ( 71 S.E.2d 615); Howard v. State, 211 Ga. 186 ( 84 S.E.2d 455); Sloan v. State, 115 Ga. App. 852 ( 156 S.E.2d 177). The reference to other arrests was irrelevant and prejudicial. Manor v. State, 223 Ga. 594 ( 157 S.E.2d 431).

3. According to the state's evidence this crime occurred when defendant enticed the victim into a bathroom of a house that was then undergoing extensive remodeling. Defendant was employed as a carpenter. The defendant's sworn testimony was that he never was present in this bathroom with the victim at any time. One witness testified that the defendant was not out of his view for more than "2 minutes" during the time span when this offense was charged to have occurred. This evidence fairly raised the defense of alibi. The trial court did not charge on this defense. It is error, even in the absence of a request, to fail to charge on the law of alibi where the defense is supported by evidence. Brown v. State, 122 Ga. App. 470 ( 177 S.E.2d 509).

4. As a new trial is granted, we do not pass on the sufficiency of the evidence.

5. All other enumerations of error either have no merit or are not likely to re-occur in the event of another trial.

Judgment reversed. Quillian and Clark, JJ., concur.


Summaries of

Scott v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia
Apr 23, 1974
206 S.E.2d 558 (Ga. Ct. App. 1974)
Case details for

Scott v. State

Case Details

Full title:SCOTT v. THE STATE

Court:Court of Appeals of Georgia

Date published: Apr 23, 1974


206 S.E.2d 558 (Ga. Ct. App. 1974)
206 S.E.2d 558

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