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Date: 06-10-2024

Case Style:

The State of South Carolina v. Eric Emanuel English

Case Number: 2022-000760

Judge: Eugene C. Griffith, Jr.

Court: Circuit Court, Lexington County, South Carolina

Plaintiff's Attorney: Lexington County South Carolina Solicitor's Office

Defendant's Attorney:

Click Here For The Best Lexington, South Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer Directory


Lexington, South Carolina criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendant charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

The Victim in this case is English's biological daughter. She was six or seven
years old at the time she was sexually abused. On March 4, 2014, after Victim began
experiencing symptoms consistent with an STD, Victim told her mother English had
sexually abused her. Victim's mother took Victim to Palmetto Health Richland
where Victim tested positive for gonorrhea.

The next day, Jamie Stroman, Victim's mother's boyfriend, went to Lexington
Medical Center's Swansea urgent care branch and asked to be tested for STDs.
Stroman tested negative for gonorrhea. The day after that, English went to
Lexington Medical Center's Lexington urgent care branch and requested an STD
test. Like Victim, English tested positive for gonorrhea. There is no evidence
personnel at either testing facility were aware of allegations of sexual abuse at the
times Stroman's and English's samples were taken or at the times the test reports
were prepared.

We address the court of appeals' holding that English's and Stroman's
test reports were admissible as business records under Rule 803(6), SCRE. English,
436 S.C. at 346-48, 872 S.E.2d at 195-96. At trial, English lodged only two
objections to the admission of his and Stroman's test reports. His first objection was
based on the now-abrogated James rule. English's second objection was hearsay.
The trial court admitted the test report under Rule 803(6). However, English never
argued the particulars of Rule 803(6) were not satisfied. This issue was, therefore,
unpreserved, and the court of appeals erred in addressing it. S.C. Dep't of Transp. v.
First Carolina Corp. of S.C., 372 S.C. 295, 301-02, 641 S.E.2d 903, 907 (2007).
Accordingly, we vacate the portion of the court of appeals' opinion holding English's
and Stroman's test report was admissible under Rule 803(6), SCRE. See State v.
Dunbar, 356 S.C. 138, 142, 587 S.E.2d 691, 694 (2003) ("An issue that was not
preserved for review should not be addressed by the Court of Appeals, and the court's
opinion should be vacated to the extent it addressed an issue that was not
preserved."). Our ruling on this point may seem overly particular; however, one of
the foundations for the admissibility of business records under Rule 803(6) is that
the person testifying about the reports—here, Dr. Frierson and Nurse Levi—must be
a "custodian" of the records or "other qualified person." The record does not reflect
whether either witness was a custodian or other qualified person.

Outcome: Defendant was found guilty.

Affirmed as modified in part and vacated in part.

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