CALCRIM No. 1193. Testimony on Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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1193.Testimony on Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation
Syndrome
You have heard testimony from <insert name of expert>
regarding child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome.
Child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome relates to a pattern of
behavior that may be present in child sexual abuse cases. Testimony as
to the accommodation syndrome is offered only to explain certain
behavior of an alleged victim of child sexual abuse.
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) [or any conduct
or crime[s] with which (he/she) was not charged].
You may consider this evidence only in deciding whether or not
s <insert name of alleged victim of abuse> conduct was
consistent with the conduct of someone who has been molested, and in
evaluating the believability of the alleged victim.
New January 2006; Revised August 2016, April 2020, March 2021, September 2022
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].
This Instruction Upheld. People v. Munch (2020) 52 Cal.App.5th 464, 473-474
[266 Cal.Rptr.3d 136]; People v. Gonzales (2017) 16 Cal.App.5th 494, 504 [224
Cal.Rptr.3d 421].
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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, supra, 203
Cal.App.3d at p. 394.) 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,
supra, 208 Cal.App.3d at p. 735; 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].)
SECONDARY SOURCES
1 Witkin, California Evidence (5th ed. 2012) Opinion Evidence, §§ 54-56.
3 Millman, 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, Crimes
Against the Person, § 142.23[3][d] (Matthew Bender).
Couzens & Bigelow, Sex Crimes: California Law and Procedure § 12:7 (The Rutter
Group).
SEX OFFENSES CALCRIM No. 1193
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