State v. Martinez, ___ N.C. App. ___, 801 S.E.2d 356 (May. 16, 2017)

In this child sexual assault case, the State’s medical expert did not impermissibly testify that the victim had been abused. Case law holds that in the absence of physical evidence to support a diagnosis of sexual abuse, expert testimony that sexual abuse has in fact occurred is not admissible because it is an impermissible opinion regarding the victim’s credibility. Here however the expert’s statement, considered in context, does not amount to an assertion that the child was in fact abused. Rather, the expert was speaking of a hypothetical victim when she made the statement in question. In fact, she testified that the victim’s medical exam was normal and that she could not determine from the exam whether or not the child had been sexually abused.