Gwinnett Superior Court convicted a defendant of two counts of aggravated child molestation, aggravated sexual battery, and three counts of child molestation. The defendant appealed, believing that the evidence was not sufficient in supporting the convictions and that his trial counsel was not adequate.
Georgia’s Court of Appeals sifted through the evidence and determined that it was sufficient in supporting the defendant’s convictions. The Court also examined the trial attorney’s role in the case, and noted that the victim commented about the abuse from the defendant to several people who appeared as witnesses for the prosecution. The comments were made before the child was 16 and were deemed admissible by the Court under Georgia’s Child Hearsay Statute. The defendant felt that his attorney should have objected to their testimonies, but the objections would have been without value because of the aforementioned statute. The defendant also thought that his counsel should have objected to the nurse examiner’s testimony regarding comments that the victim made, but the attorney refrained because he did not want “to alienate the jury.” The Court believed this to be reasonable based on previous circumstances following the attorney’s attempt to object to a detective’s testimony.
The Court of Appeals supported the trial court’s ruling and determined that trial counsel was effective.