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June 3, 2006
Kentucky Man Charged with Rape of 7-Year-Old Gets Lesser Sentence on Remand of Victim Screen Ruling
In March the Kentucky Supreme Court reversed the rape conviction of a defendant charged with rape and molestation of a 7-year-old child. The trial judge had allowed the child to testify in a jury trial with a large white board between her and the defendant. In an apparent attempt to not draw the jury’s attention to the board, the trial judge had tried to disguise the board’s purpose by among other things having it referred to as an exhibit. The Kentucky Supreme Court was not satisfied that the trial judge had provided sufficient reasons of a compelling need for the screen and reversed the rape conviction relying on Coy v. Iowa, 487 U.S. 1012 (1988). It rejected the prosecutor’s claim that the need for the screen was “implicit” in the trial judge’s ruling to allow the screen procedure.
This week, the defendant pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and received a four-year prison sentence despite the vehement opposition of the victim’s mother. News Source. Kevin Eigelbach, cincypost.com. For the complete news story, please click here (last visited June 3, 2006, reo). The decision of the Kentucky Supreme Court in the case Wardia v. Commonwealth may be found by clicking here and typing in "Wardia" as the search term (last visited June 3, 2006, reo).
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