309 Pirkle Ferry Road, Suite B-400, Cumming, Georgia 30040

Child Molestation and Sexual Battery Convictions Reversed

Posted on by Parker McFarland

Pointer v. State, 299 Ga. App. 249 (2009)

Client (N.P.) was convicted of child molestation and sexual battery in 2002 in Lamar County Superior Court. In 2008, Client retained new counsel, Parker McFarland, to handle his appeal.

Client had just begun serving a seven-year prison sentence for a probation violation when Attorney Parker McFarland filed a motion for new trial, alleging that a state expert improperly bolstered the credibility of the victim and invaded the province of the jury when he testified that his evaluation “strongly suggests that the victim had been sexually abused as alleged.”

McFarland also stated that Client’s trial attorney provided ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to object, move for a mistrial, or ask for an instruction from the judge to the jury to disregard the improper testimony.

The trial court denied the motion and an appeal was filed to the Georgia Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals ruled that this testimony was improper and that trial counsel was deficient in failing to object to it.

Moreover, the Court of Appeals agreed with Parker McFarland that the evidence was not overwhelming and that trial counsel’s failure to object contributed to the verdict. Therefore, the Court of Appeals reversed all convictions and granted a new trial.

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