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King Washington Form 982: What You Should Know

King, 24 In. App. 451, 981 P.2d 855 (Ct. App. 1997). In King, 25 In. App. 477, 607 P.2d 528 (1979), we found that the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to instruct the jury on the elements relating to a statutory rape as to defendant, when he had testified at the guilt phase of the trial. We explained that: The trial court's refusal to submit the case to a jury by refusing to permit the witness to testify at trial, and the resulting jury charge, were errors of fact sufficient to warrant reversal. King, 25 In. App. 830, 607 P.2d 528. We reiterated: We also conclude that the trial court's refusal to permit the defendant to state his claim of statutory rape as to each of the two accusers, in connection with the jury charge, was error of fact sufficiently to require reversal. While an instruction under this section may preclude cross-examination of a witness, a refusal to direct the jury to consider that witness' conflicting statements and offer additional evidence in his support is not an error of law. We explained: When the defendant and the witness, having previously testified in different aspects of the defendant's guilt or innocence in the case, are again called to testify in the same trial, both parties have the opportunity to address a question in their respective closing statements concerning the credibility of the defense witness for the prosecution and that witness' contradictory statements. King, 25 In. App. 836, 607 P.2d 528. We added: If, in the jury charge, the trial judge has the following question concerning the credibility of the prosecution witness for the prosecution: 'Does the defense witness seem to be confused about the difference between statutory rape and aggravated criminal sexual conduct?' and the following statement: 'I know you have already testified there was no assault as alleged; do you know what your witness says has occurred?' it would seem to the average person that the defendant's attorney would be entitled to instruct the jury to consider the credibility of the prosecution witness. We determined the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to instruct the jury on two counts of statutory rape, and this abuse of discretion was not harmless error.

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