Bousquet v. State

In Bousquet v. State, 47 S.W.3d 131 (Tex.App.--Houston 1st Dist. 2001, pet. ref'd), the victim's uncle testified that the victim had been living with him in Colorado for four months and that his behavior had improved dramatically. Returning to Texas would be highly detrimental to his emotional progress. Id. at 135. The victim did not want to come back because he feared the defendant--his father. Id. Although he missed his mother, he was able to compensate for the loss by living with family in a home environment. Id. A CPS case worker also testified that the victim was frightened of the defendant. Id. The court found that the evidence did not provide a sufficient basis to conclude the victim was unavailable. Id. at 136. The factors influencing the court's decision included the child's age at the time of trial (he was twelve), the fact that the alleged sexual assault consisted of a single touching occurring three years before trial, and the absence of testimony from a child care expert regarding the victim's psychological state of mind at or near the time of trial. Id. Despite the uncle's testimony that the boy was reluctant to come back to Texas and that he would be harmed by doing so, he was actually in town and at the district attorney's office at the time. This afforded the trial judge an opportunity to directly question the boy regarding his reluctance to testify, but she did not do so. Id.