State v. Adams
The plain error doctrine is invoked sparingly and is reserved for those situations in which a reviewing court concludes that the failure to grant relief with regard to an unpreserved claim of error would result in a manifest injustice. Dwayne Adams, charged in connection with the alleged sexual assault of an eight year old, was convicted of counts of sexual assault in the first degree and risk of injury to a child. Adams appealed raising multiple claims including that the trial court improperly admitted certain constancy of accusation testimony and expert testimony that indirectly bolstered the victim's credibility. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment. The defendant did not preserve his evidentiary claims at trial and the Appellate Court declined to reach the merits of the unpreserved claims. The defendant's contention that he had the right to review of any claim raised on appeal regardless of its nature or whether it was raised before the trial court conflicted with ample and well settled appellate precedent. He was not entitled to review under the 1989 Connecticut Supreme Court case of State v. Golding because the evidentiary claims were not of constitutional magnitude. The unpreserved evidentiary errors of which he complained did not rise to the level of plain error. The Court declined to grant relief in the exercise of its supervisory powers. Further, the defendant was not deprived of a fair trial as a result of the prosecutor introducing the constancy of accusation evidence. This was found to be an attempt to transmute his unpreserved evidentiary claim into a claim of prosecutorial impropriety. Additionally, sufficient evidence was presented to support the verdict. The victim's testimony was strongly corroborated by the results of forensic testing. DNA testing of the child's underwear, stained with seminal fluid, revealed that the defendant likely was the contributor.