Appeal from Superior Court of King County. Docket No: 93-1-04957-5. Date filed: 05/09/94. Judge signing: Hon. Donal Haley.
Petition for Review Denied June 3, 1997,
Authored by C. Kenneth Grosse. Concurring Susan R. Agid, Faye C. Kennedy. WE Concur
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Grosse
GROSSE, J. -- Guy Adam Rook appeals his conviction of first degree rape of a child and seeks a new trial. He asserts the trial court abused its discretion by: (1) excluding the testimony of an expert witness who was to testify regarding the suggestibility of children being interviewed in sexual abuse cases; (2) denying Rook's request for a 60-day continuance in order to prepare for cross examination of a surprise expert witness; and (3) admitting Rook's second degree burglary conviction for impeachment purposes. We affirm.
In late 1989, S. and her daughter M.W. began living with Rook. They lived together until May of 1993 when allegations of sexual abuse arose.
Although not her biological father, M.W. considered Rook to be her daddy.
S. has two additional children by Rook, one born shortly after she left him.
Rook was away from the house for a few weeks when M.W. volunteered to S. that Rook abused her or, in her words, "slooped her privates." By phone, Rook convinced S. that M.W. was fabricating the allegations and they would talk about it when he returned home. Shortly after Rook's return to the house, M.W. disclosed that she had seen her dad's "bad" movie (Debbie Does Dallas). M.W. said the movie made Rook do bad things, like "slooping." The child made masturbation gestures and licking motions. When M.W. came forth with this disclosure, S. left the house with her children and called authorities.
M.W. met with a Child Protective Services (CPS) caseworker who asked her general questions about her family. M.W. talked about her mother and volunteered information about her daddy who didn't live with them anymore because "he did something to me, he needs to be stopping." M.W. talked about "slooping" but could not define the term. The caseworker asked if "slooping" was a kind of touch. M.W. responded in the affirmative and pointed to her vaginal area. She also said her daddy touched her with his tongue. She said she had seen her daddy do the same to her mother. Additional disclosures were made concerning bodily fluids and body parts.
Later, M.W. began seeing Susan Peterson, a social worker. Peterson and M.W. discussed the allegations of sexual abuse in their first two sessions. M.W. brought up the subject at some of their subsequent counseling sessions.
Rook was charged with one count of first degree rape of a child. A jury trial was conducted but ended in a mistrial as the jury was deadlocked. A second jury trial was held. At the beginning of the second trial, Judge Haley reviewed each of Judge Piehler's pretrial rulings and adopted them.
At each trial, M.W. testified to acts of sexual abuse by Rook. She testified that while the abuse was happening she watched movies in which she saw people "slooping" in a library and a bathroom. Rook testified that he never molested M.W. He acknowledged that M.W. had probably witnessed he and S. engaging in sexual activity and that once while baby-sitting the children he began the Debbie Does Dallas videotape and left the room for 15 minutes or less, but when he returned and discovered M.W. watching the video, he stopped it and reacted angrily to her watching.
In rebuttal, a detective viewed the videotape and testified about the sex scenes in the video which took place in a bookstore, a library, and a shower. She also placed in time sequence the various scenes in the over 1-1/2 hour video to rebut Rook's testimony that the tape only played for approximately 15 minutes.
At the second trial, counsel for Rook offered the testimony of Dr. Maryanne Garry as to the suggestibility of children and how interviewing techniques and interviewer bias can affect disclosures and the interpretation of a child's disclosures. The State objected to this testimony for three reasons, the third being that her proposed testimony would not be helpful to the jury because it related to an area within common knowledge and understanding on which the argument could ...