Problems with Prior “Consistent” Statements

Ortuno v. State, 36 Fla. L. Weekly D471 (Fla. 1st DCA Mar 2, 2011): Defense appeal, reversed for new trial – State presented evidence of “prior consistent statements” of the victim.  However, evidence code requires that prior consistent statements must have been made “prior to the existence of a fact bias to indicate bias, interest, corruption, or other motive to falsify.”  Victim statement was made after she was moved into father’s home which she clearly preferred over her mother’s.  Court found that this was clear fact of possible bias and statements should not have been introduced.  No other corroborating evidence existed, not harmless, new trial granted.

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