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Pediatrician accused of child sex crimes seeks juvenile records of accusers

Jeff Bobo • Jan 6, 2018 at 1:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Rogersville pediatrician Dr. Chris Calendine is seeking juvenile court records and Department of Children’s Services files of the two boys ages 12 and 14 who accused him of sexual battery last July.

Court records indicate the purpose for obtaining those files is to determine if they “contain exculpatory or impeachment evidence” that would discredit the alleged victims as witnesses.

Calendine’s Jan. 18 trial on two counts of sexual battery has been reset for May 21 to allow time for the court to consider several recently filed defense motions.

Calendine, 45, of Rogersville, appeared in Criminal Court Wednesday for hearings on those motions that were filed last month, but Wednesday’s hearings were postponed as well, until May 1.

In August, Calendine was named in a Hawkins County grand jury indictment charging him with aggravated sexual battery and sexual battery by an authority figure.

The Class B felony aggravated sexual battery indictment alleges that on July 23 Calendine engaged in sexual contact with a 12-year-old male and that he acted intentionally and knowingly with regard to the victim’s age.

The Class C felony sexual battery by an authority figure indictment alleges that on July 23 Calendine engaged with sexual contact with a 14-year-old boy and acted intentionally and knowingly with regard to the victim’s age.

The indictment further alleges that at the time of the offense Calendine had custodial authority over the 14-year-old victim and used that authority to accomplish sexual contact.

Calendine told the Times News in August, “The accusations are completely false, and I will take every necessary step to prove that. I have been advised to limit any additional statements for now.”

He remains free on $50,000 bond, and although he is prohibited from making contact with the alleged victims, he continues to operate his practice at Promise Medical Group in Rogersville.

Several motions were filed Dec. 13 in Hawkins County Criminal Court on behalf of Calendine by his attorney, Heather Good.

Among the motions to be considered May 1 is a motion to exclude the term “victim” or other “prejudice inducing terminology” when referencing the two alleged victims. The motion seeks to identify the boys in trial as “the accusers” or “complaining witnesses” and Calendine as “the accused.”

Other motions scheduled to be heard May 21 include:

* Motion to disclose the complaining witnesses’ protected juvenile records

“Protected juvenile records such as juvenile court proceedings and/or the Department of Children’s Services files may contain exculpatory or impeachment evidence that must be furnished to the defendant once requested.”

* Motion to exclude uncharged acts

This motion would prevent the prosecution from introducing evidence related to uncharged acts; exclude testimony concerning uncharged acts; and prohibit any witnesses who make reference to uncharged acts.

The motion states, “This motion’s ‘uncharged act’ includes, but is not limited, to any acts referenced in the discovery (prosecution evidence) provided by the state. According to that discovery, for example, during the forensic interview of (the 12-year-old boy), (the boy) makes a number of speculative, vague, and unreliable hearsay statements concerning uncharged insinuations of allegedly improper acts that are wholly unrelated to the charged offenses.”

* Request for disclosure of impeachment material

Any information that could bring a prosecution witness’ credibility into question, such as a pending criminal charge, must be disclosed to the defense for the purpose of impeaching the witness during cross examination.

* Motion for a jury questionnaire

This questionnaire would be filled out by the jury pool prior to jury selection in the interest of “impaneling a truly impartial jury.”

The defense will want to know if potential jurors or anyone they know have been victims of sexual assault or sexual abuse, and these are questions that potential jurors might not be comfortable answering honestly in front of strangers during oral voir dire.

* Motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, for a bill of particulars

The motion claims that the indictments fail to allege all the required statutory elements of the charged offenses, to include the specific act of sexual contact being alleged, and that such contact was for sexual gratification.

“Dr. Calendine seeks this information so that he may prepare and present a defense, prevent unfair surprise at trial, and assert constitutional protections.”

* Motion for a pre-trial hearing on the admissibility of the complaining witness’ forensic interview

The defense seeks a hearing to exclude video of an interview with the 12-year-old boy during which the boy describes any alleged sexual contact.

* Motion to prohibit access to the child witnesses by the state and its agents, to compel the state to disclose the circumstances of its past meetings with the child witnesses, and to require the state to notify the defendant prior to any such future meetings

“Repeated interviews of an alleged victim in a child sexual abuse case foster inaccurate recall, are inherently suggestive, and diminish the reliability of the evidence.”

As of Friday, the attorney general’s office hadn’t filed responses to any of Calendine’s motions.

 

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