Exclusion of In-Court Identification by a Minor Molestation Victim

In People v. Rodriguez (1977) 68 Cal.App.3d 874, a five-year-old, non-English-speaking girl was molested. A few days after the incident, the little girl and her mother went to the police station to talk with an officer. The officer inadvertently left a folder on his desk, containing a single picture of the defendant, before leaving the room momentarily. The child opened the folder and viewed the single photograph. ( Id. at pp. 879-880.) Due to her extreme youth, the traumatic circumstances of the crime and the weighty impact a single photograph -- which she had been told not to look at -- carried, the trial court found such circumstances "impermissibly suggestive" and excluded her in-court identification. ( Id. at p. 881.)