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Arizona Supreme Court to rule on expert testimony

jThe Arizona Supreme Court is scheduled to rule Thursday on whether an expert witness in a criminal trial must be familiar with the facts of the defendant’s case.

A man convicted in a Pima County child-molestation case tried unsuccessfully to keep the prosecution from presenting testimony from an expert witness on child victims of sexual abuse.

The trial judge allowed the testimony, and the state Court of Appeals upheld that decision. The Court of Appeals ruling said the expert’s testimony could help jurors weigh the testimony of an alleged child victim.

The defense argued that the expert’s lack of knowledge or information about the case against the defendant meant the expert couldn’t reasonably apply general principles and methods.

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