CAAF decided United States v. Squire, No. 13-0061/AR, 72 M.J. 285 (CAAFlog case page) (link to slip op.), on June 13, 2013, finding that the statements the 8 year old child sexual assault victim made to medical providers were not testimonial and the Appellant was not deprived of his Sixth Amendment right to confront his accuser when the military judge admitted the statements as having been made for purposes of medical diagnosis or treatment. CAAF affirms the Army CCA and the findings and sentence.
Judge Erdmann writes for a unanimous court.
The Appellant was convicted contrary to his pleas, by a general court-martial composed of members, of engaging in a sexual act with a child who had not attained the age of twelve years, in violation of Article 120 (2006). He was sentenced to confinement for 20 years and reduction to E-1.
The conviction was based on an alleged encounter between the Appellant and his fiance’s 8 year old daughter. After coming home early, the girl’s mother encountered the girl leaving the master bedroom wearing only a long t-shirt (and not the underwear and pants she had been wearing). The Appellant was in the master bed, also without pants. The mother questioned the girl, and the girl said that the Appellant had touched her vagina. Medical treatment was sought, and two doctors conducted separate examinations of the girl. During those examinations the girl made additional statements, including saying that the Appellant “put his wee wee inside me and it hurt.” DNA analysis of swabs taken from the girl’s genitals and underwear further implicated the Appellant in the assault. Neither side called the child to testify at trial, but the Government successfully moved to introduce her statements to the doctors under the exception to the general rule against hearsay for statements made for the purposes of medical diagnosis or treatment.
CAAF granted review to determine:
Whether Appellant was denied his Sixth Amendment right to confront his accuser when the military judge permitted testimonial hearsay in the form of SL’s statement to a physician.