California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)

1193. Testimony on Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome

Download PDF
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.
New January 2006; Revised August 2016
BENCH NOTES
Instructional Duty
Several courts of review have concluded there is no sua sponte duty to give this
instruction when an expert testifies on child sexual abuse accommodation
syndrome. (People v. Mateo (2016) 243 Cal.App.4th 1063, 1073–1074 [197
Cal.Rptr.3d 248]; 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].) See also People v. Humphrey (1996) 13
Cal.4th 1073, 1088, fn. 5, 1090–1091, 1100 [56 Cal.Rptr.2d 142, 921 P.2d 1],
which concludes that a limiting instruction on battered woman syndrome is
required only on request. But see People v. Housley (1992) 6 Cal.App.4th 947,
958–959 [9 Cal.Rtpr.2d 431], which did find a sua sponte duty to give this
instruction.
Related Instructions
If this instruction is given, also give CALCRIM No. 303, Limited Purpose
Evidence in General, and CALCRIM No. 332, Expert Witness.
AUTHORITY
• 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].
Secondary Sources
1 Witkin, California Evidence (5th ed. 2012) Opinion Evidence, §§ 54–56.
3Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 71,
Scientific and Expert Evidence, § 71.04[1][d][v][B] (Matthew Bender).
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 142,
940
0232
Crimes Against the Person, § 142.23[3][d] (Matthew Bender).
Couzens & Bigelow, Sex Crimes: California Law and Procedure § 12:7 (The Rutter
Group).
COMMENTARY
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]).
RELATED ISSUES
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].)
SEX OFFENSES CALCRIM No. 1193
941
0233