State v. Chapin

In State v. Chapin, 118 Wn.2d 681, 686, 826 P.2d 194 (1992), a 69-year-old male patient in a rest home uttered the statement, "Raped me." Chapin, 118 Wn.2d at 683. The statement appeared to be directed at one of the patient's male attendants. The attendant was subsequently charged with and convicted of second degree rape. The Court determined that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting the statement at the male attendant's trial. In doing so, the Court noted first that "the alleged rape occurred 'within a day or so' of Hillison's the alleged victim statement." Chapin, 118 Wn.2d at 689. The Court went on to chronicle other pertinent facts that convinced us it was an abuse of discretion for the trial court to admit the testimony of the alleged victim. The Court noted that: Hillison the alleged victim was confused, prone to confabulation, subject to persecutory delusions, hostile to those who tried to direct his behavior, and hostile in particular to male attendants. Hillison made the statement, "Raped me", after calming down from being angry, not from being excited, and in response to a question from his wife. In addition, Hillison's anger was elicited not by any startling event, but by seeing Chapin, which was a normal part of Hillison's life at the Center and which had occurred at least twice previously that day. These factors leave us persuaded that Hillison's statement was not a spontaneous and reliable utterance made while he was under the stress of excitement caused by the occurrence of a startling event. Chapin, 118 Wn.2d at 691.