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Erroneous admission of child’s videotaped statement was harmless

State v. J.L.B., 2016AP2358, District 4, 8/3/17 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

The circuit court erred in finding that a six-year-old child’s videotaped interview was admissible under § 908.08 because nothing in the interview showed the child understood the importance of telling the truth and that there are negative consequences to untruthfulness. See § 908.08(3)(c)State v. Jimmie R.R., 2000 WI App 5, ¶¶40-45, 232 Wis. 2d 138, 606 N.W.2d 196. (¶¶6-10). The error was harmless, of course: At trial the child testified in person (see § 908.08(5)(a)) and repeated her allegation that J.L.B. had touched her vaginal area, and another witness provided testimony lending credibility to the child’s testimony. (¶¶14-17).

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