State v. Jones, 231 N.C. App. 433 (Dec. 17, 2013)

In this child sex case, the trial court did not commit plain error by using the word “victim” in the jury instructions. The court distinguished State v. Walston, 229 N.C. App. 141 (2013) (trial court’s use of the term “victim” in jury instructions was prejudicial error), rev’d, 367 N.C. 721 (Dec. 19, 2014). First, in Walston, the trial court denied the defendant’s request to modify the pattern jury instructions to use the term “alleged victim” in place of the term “victim,” and objected repeatedly to the proposed instructions; here, no such request or objection was made. Second, in Walston, the evidence was conflicting as to whether the alleged sexual offenses occurred; here no such conflict existed. Finally, in Walston the trial court committed prejudicial error; here, the defendant did not assert that he suffered any prejudice because of the use of the term “victim.”