Friday, December 15, 2006

5th Circuit Upholds Admission of Testimony on Modus Operandi of Sexual Predators

The Fifth Circuit has published an opinion upholding the trial court's admission of expert testimony on the "grooming" process and other common features of pedophile behavior. See United States v. Hitt, No. 05-30835 (5th Cir. Dec. 13, 2006) (Higginbotham, Dennis, & Clement, JJ.).


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Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.