Hearsay Testimony In Crimes Against Children In Texas
Is hearsay testimony allowed in crimes against children in Texas ?
The trial court is the exclusive trier of fact in a hearing to suppress evidence. Taylor v. State, 604 S.W.2d 175, 178 (Tex. Cr. App. 1980).
The trial court has broad discretion in determining the admissibility of evidence and the appellate court will not reverse unless a clear abuse of discretion is shown. Garcia v. State, 792 S.W.2d 88, 92 (Tex. Cr. App. 1990).
Article 38.072 provides for the admission of hearsay testimony in the prosecution of an offense committed against a child twelve years of age or younger. TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 38.072 (Vernon Pamph. 2000).
That article applies only to statements that describe the alleged offense that were made by the child against whom the offense was allegedly committed and were made to the first person, eighteen years of age or older, other than the defendant, to whom the child made a statement about the offense. Id.
The statement must be more than words which give a general allusion that something in the area of child abuse was occurring. Garcia, 792 S.W.2d at 91.
The evidence must clearly show that the victim described the alleged offense in some discernible manner to the witness. Id.