1193. Testimony on Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome
You have heard testimony from <insert name of expert> regarding child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome.
______'s <insert name of expert> testimony about child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome is not evidence that the defendant committed any of the crimes charged against (him/ her).
You may consider this evidence only in deciding whether or not ______'s <insert name of alleged victim of abuse> conduct was not inconsistent with the conduct of someone who has been molested, and in evaluating the believability of (his/her) testimony.
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction if an expert testifies on child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome. (People v. Housley (1992) 6 Cal.App.4th 947, 958-959 [9 Cal.Rtpr.2d 431]; but see People v. Sanchez (1989) 208 Cal.App.3d 721, 736 [256 Cal.Rptr. 446] and People v. Stark (1989) 213 Cal.App.3d 107, 116 [261 Cal.Rptr. 479] [instruction required only on request].)
Eliminate Juror Misconceptions or Rebut Attack on Victim's Credibility. People v. Bowker (1988) 203 Cal.App.3d 385, 393-394 [249 Cal.Rptr. 886].
1 Witkin, California Evidence (4th ed. 2000) Opinion Evidence, §§ 53-55.
3 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 71, Scientific and Expert Evidence, § 71.04[d][v][B] (Matthew Bender).
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 142, Crimes Against the Person, § 142.23[d] (Matthew Bender).
The jurors must understand that the research on child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome assumes a molestation occurred and seeks to describe and explain children's common reactions to the experience. (People v. Bowker (1988) 203 Cal.App.3d 385, 394 [249 Cal.Rptr. 886].) However, it is unnecessary and potentially misleading to instruct that the expert testimony assumes that a molestation has in fact occurred. (See People v. Gilbert (1992) 5 Cal.App.4th 1372, 1387 [7 Cal.Rptr.2d 660].)
The prosecution must identify the myth or misconception the evidence is designed to rebut (People v. Bowker, supra, 203 Cal.App.3d at p. 394; People v. Sanchez (1989) 208 Cal.App.3d 721, 735 [256 Cal.Rptr. 446]; People v. Harlan (1990) 222 Cal.App.3d 439, 449-450 [271 Cal.Rptr. 653]), or the victim's credibility must have been placed in issue (People v. Patino (1994) 26 Cal.App.4th 1737, 1744-1745 [32 Cal.Rptr.2d 345]).
Expert Testimony Regarding Parent's Behavior
An expert may also testify regarding reasons why a parent may delay reporting molestation of his or her child. (People v. McAlpin (1991) 53 Cal.3d 1289, 1300-1301 [283 Cal.Rptr. 382, 812 P.2d 563].)
(New January 2006)