Is Child's Testimony Enough for Criminal Solicitation Conviction ?
The offense of criminal solicitation of a minor contains a corroboration requirement: a person may not be convicted on the uncorroborated testimony of the minor allegedly solicited unless the solicitation is made under circumstances strongly corroborative of both the solicitation itself and the actor's intent. See Tex. Penal Code Ann. 15.031(c) (West Supp. 2000).
The corroboration requirement of this statute embodies the same concept as that contained in the general solicitation statute. See Tex. Penal Code Ann. 15.03(b) (West Supp. 2000).
The corroboration requirement for solicitation is analogous to the corroboration requirement when accomplice witness testimony is in issue. See Richardson v. State, 700 S.W.2d 591, 594-95 (Tex. Crim. App. 1985); Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. 38.14 (West 1979).
In accomplice witness cases, the test used to evaluate corroborating evidence is to eliminate from consideration the accomplice testimony and then determine whether there is other incriminating evidence tending to connect the defendant with the crime. Richardson, 700 S.W.2d at 594 (citing Adams v. State, 685 S.W.2d 661 (Tex. Crim. App. 1985)).
It is not necessary that the corroboration evidence directly link the defendant with the crime or that it be sufficient in itself to establish guilt. Id. (citing Shannon v. State, 567 S.W.2d 510 (Tex. Crim. App. 1978)).
In determining the sufficiency of the corroboration, the court should consider the combined weight of the non-accomplice evidence even if it is entirely circumstantial. Id. (citing Rice v. State, 587 S.W.2d 689 (Tex. Crim. App. 1979)).