State v. Gene C.
Connecticut Supreme Court precedent recognizes that a jury reasonably can find a defendant guilty of sexual assault based on the victim's testimony alone. In connection with the alleged sexual assault of his two daughters, L and M, over the course of several years beginning at the ages of six and seven respectively, Gene C. was convicted, following a jury trial, of multiple crimes including counts of sexual assault in the first, second and fourth degrees and risk of injury to a child. He appealed claiming, first, that the court improperly denied his post-trial motion for a judgment of acquittal due to insufficient evidence to support his conviction. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgments. A reasonable view of the evidence plainly supported the verdict. L and M provided graphic testimony detailing the sexual assaults. The jury, as sole arbiter of credibility, was free to believe that testimony. It mattered little that the state's case consisted primarily of that testimony or that it lacked physical evidence. The defendant also contended that the court improperly admitted the constancy of accusation testimony of M's aunt. The defendant asserted that M reported the sexual assaults to her aunt after filing a complaint with police and making a report to school officials. The Supreme Court has clarified that admission of constancy of accusation testimony is limited to reports made by the victim to constancy witnesses prior to the victim's filing of an official complaint with police. The undisputed evidence in the record demonstrated that M reported the sexual assault to her aunt before filing a complaint or speaking with police. The limitation was not triggered, as claimed, by M's report to school officials. In State v. Arroyo, the 2007 Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that an agent from the Department of Children and Families' report to police did not constitute an official complaint to police to trigger the limitation on constancy of accusation testimony. Therefore, the panel could not fathom how the filing of a report to the department by a school official, a mandated reporter, would constitute an official complaint to police.