Charges against a
Dothan businessman accused of sexually assaulting a 3-year old girl have been
dismissed. Benson Picklesimer's trial
had been suspended last week after the girl--now four years old---was unable to
Upon being put on the stand, the child was unable to adequately testify and Circuit Judge Mike Conaway ruled her "unavailable for testimony." Defense Attorney Matt Lamere made a motion that other evidence cannot, under law, be admitted if that evidence is hearsay and the victim is unable to testify. Lamere considered the evidence against PIcklesimer hearsay.
In his argument, Lamere cited a Supreme Court ruling in a case brought against the state of Washington. The legal action concerned "the determinative question of whether the evidence that the government seeks to introduce is testimonial. If a court decides that evidence is testimonial, the defendant must be given an opportunity to cross-examine the person who created the evidence (or made the statement), or the evidence may not be admitted."
Lamere argued that Conaway's ruling regarding the victim being unable to testify fails to allow cross-examination by the defense. Assistant District Attorney Patrick Amason disagreed and filed a Writ of Mandamus, putting the question before the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. The court ruled against the prosecution.
Picklesimer, 40, was arrested June 2, 2011 and charged with sexual abuse involving a close family member. Dothan First, as a general policy, does not identify victims of sex crimes.
(Click below download defense motion to dismiss)