For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 48

Admissibility of SANE Nurse Testimony
The admissibility of a SANE nurse's testimony
regarding a victim's statement to the nurse must
undergo a two-part test in Pennsylvania. First, it
must meet a hearsay exception under either the
Tender Years Statute53 or be a Statement Made
for Medical Diagnosis or Treatment.54 Second,
an analysis is necessary to evaluate whether the
admission of the testimony would violate the
Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment
or the Pennsylvania Constitution, Article 1, § 9.
Pennsylvania currently does not have a binding
decision on whether admission of a SANE nurse's
testimony would violate the confrontation
clause.55

Hearsay Exceptions
Pennsylvania Rule of Evidence 802 bars the
admission of hearsay evidence in trial. Hearsay
is defined as "an out-of-court statement offered
to prove the truth of the matter asserted ... "56

2019

One exception to the inadmissibility of hearsay
evidence is the Tender Years Hearsay Act, 42 Pa.
C.S.A. §5985.1. The Tender Years Hearsay Act
relates to out-of-court statements made by a
child victim or witness, who was 12 years of age
or younger at the time the statement in question
was made. The Tender Years Hearsay Act allows
the admission of such statements in any criminal
or civil trial if: 1) the court finds, in an in camera
hearing, that the evidence is relevant and that the
time, content, and circumstances of the statement
provide sufficient indicia of reliability; and 2)
the child either testifies at the proceeding or is
unavailable as a witness.57
When determining whether a statement is
"reliable" under 42 Pa. C.S.A. §5985.1, there are
several factors to be considered by the court.58
The factors include, but are not limited to, "the
spontaneity and consistent repetition of the
statement(s); the mental state of the declarant; the
use of terminology unexpected of a child of similar
age; and the lack of a motive to fabricate."59 The

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November 21 and 22
PANTONE

The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia
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48

For The Defense

l

Vol. 4, Issue 3

#EAC137



For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3

Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 1
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 2
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 4
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 5
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 6
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For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 47
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 48
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For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 52
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 53
For the Defense - Vol. 4, Issue 3 - 54
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol6_issue3_2021
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