Objecting to a Testimony About Truthfulness of Minors Complainants

In Marles v. State, the San Antonio (Tex. App.-San Antonio 1996, pet. ref'd) the defendant was accused of sexually assaulting several children. During its case in chief, the State asked the investigating officer if she believed the minor complainants were telling the truth about the molestation. Id. at 672. When she stated that she did, the defendant objected and received an instruction to disregard. Id. The defendant then moved for a mistrial and his request was denied. Id. Following this exchange, however, the defendant cross-examined this witness on her belief about the complainant's credibility. Id. The defendant also took the stand and denied that the sexual assaults ever occurred, a fact which the court found to be an indirect attack on the credibility of the minor complainants. See id. The appellate court held that any error in admitting this testimony was harmless since the testimony would arguably have become admissible after the defendant took the stand and denied that any molestation occurred. Id.