In a recent Arizona opinion involving sexual assault, the court denied the defendant’s request to make his daughter answer questions in an interview regarding her experience as a victim of the defendant’s actions. Even though Arizona law protects sexual assault victims from having to do interviews against their will, the defendant argued that since the daughter resided in North Dakota, this law should not apply to her. The court disagreed, ruling that the daughter did not, in fact, have to answer questions if she did not want to answer them.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant was indicted in 2019 on one charge of sexual conduct with a minor under fifteen. The victim was the defendant’s daughter, who he allegedly abused from 1997 to 1999 in the state of Arizona. The case against the defendant became complicated by the fact that the defendant’s second daughter also reported that he had sexually abused her when she was living with him in North Dakota. The defendant pled guilty in North Dakota to continuous sexual abuse of his second daughter, and he was sentenced to twelve years in prison.
Meanwhile, in the case that was happening in Arizona, the defendant wanted to interview his first daughter, the one who accused him of sexual assault in North Dakota. The defendant thought that including an interview with this second daughter could somehow strengthen his case in Arizona. This daughter in North Dakota, however, declined to be interviewed. On appeal, the defendant argued that his daughter in North Dakota should have been forced to answer questions in an interview and that her refusal to interview unfairly affected his ability to put together a complete defense.