Eaton man accused of sexually abusing a child to get new trial

Michigan

A judge’s gavel is shown in a file photo. (Credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus)

EATON COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan Supreme Court recently ruled that a man accused of sexually abusing a child between the ages of 5 to 9 will be getting a new trial.

The new trial is to take place on the grounds of an error made that should have resulted the initial trial in a mistrial, based upon statements made by the examining physician in the trial. The examining physician examined the child in the case, and spoke that the child had been sexually assault, without providing actual evidence.

For an examining physician to properly declare that sexual abuse had taken place, the doctor would need to provide evidence- which Dr. Guertin did in this case.

The following is an excerpt Defense’s examination of Dr. Guertin,

Q. Now, Doctor, Dr. Guertin, I believe in prior times we’ve had hearings, and I believe you mentioned that sexual abuse can be a diagnosis. 

A. Sexual abuse, physical abuse, child abuse is a diagnosis, a medical diagnosis. 

Q. Which causes my next question, is that, in your evaluation, under your [a]ssessment portion of your report you never diagnose [the complainant] as being a victim of sexual abuse.

A. Well, I feel that the report, pretty much, speaks for itself in that regard. But if you’re asking me do I consider to—her to be a victim, I do. 

Q. Well, you didn’t put that in your report, Doctor. 

A. Well, it says: “She gives a very clear history of being sexually molested between the ages of five and nine. She indicates that the person who did this was a man…

Dr. Guertin asserts that any evidence found on the child does not coincide with sexual trauma.

According to the Michigan Supreme Court,

“In sum, Dr. Guertin repeatedly testified to the ultimate issue of the case—whether the complainant was sexually abused—and this testimony lacked physical corroboration. Such testimony is impermissible because it vouches for the complainant’s credibility and veracity and invades the province of the jury to determine this issue… Accordingly, we REVERSE the judgment of the Court of Appeals and REMAND this case to the Eaton Circuit Court for a new trial.”

The defendant’s new court date has not yet been released.

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