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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jul 13, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Mark C. Scruggs, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brandon Ackerman.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Brian Holmgren and Kristin Menke, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WITT

A Davidson County Criminal Court jury convicted the defendant, Brandon Ackerman, of four counts of soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor, see T.C.A. § 39-13-529(b)(1) (2006); two counts of child abuse, see id. § 39-15-401; and one count of rape of a child, see id. § 39-13-522, and the trial court imposed a total effective sentence of 27 and one half years’ incarceration, 20 years of which was to be served at 100 percent by operation of law, see id. § 39-13-523(b). In this appeal, the defendant asserts that the trial court erred by excluding the testimony of his expert witness, by admitting into evidence a video recording of the victim’s forensic interview, by permitting three State’s witnesses to testify regarding the hearsay statements of the victim, and by denying his motion to suppress his pretrial statements to his ex-wife and to police. Because the trial court erroneously admitted into evidence the video recording of the forensic interview and the victim’s hearsay statements to three witnesses and because those errors cannot be classified as harmless, the judgments of the trial court are reversed, and the case is remanded for a new trial.