Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Nation

N.Y. court upholds 'comfort dog' in court

NY midlevel court upholds having 'comfort dog' in court for young witness in sex assault case

ALBANY, N.Y. — A midlevel New York court has upheld allowing a therapeutic “comfort dog” to help a girl testify about sexual abuse.

The Appellate Division rejected Victor Tohom’s appeal of his 2011 convictions for predatory sexual assault against a child. Among his claims, Tohom says the golden retriever named Rosie made the 15-year-old unduly sympathetic to the jury.

The unanimous ruling by four justices says Tohom failed to show the dog’s presence was impermissible under state law or impaired his right to a fair trial.

Prosecutors acknowledged there was no statutory or case law allowing the dog to accompany the girl, though there was precedent for children testifying with a comfort item like a teddy bear.

The 39-year-old Tohom is in prison serving 25 years to life.

Click to comment

Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem?

Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet.

Copyright © 2015 Toledo Blade

To Top

Fetching stories…