State v. McLaughlin, 246 N.C. App. 306 (Mar. 15, 2016)

In this child sexual assault case, no confrontation clause violation occurred where the victim’s statements were made for the primary purpose of obtaining a medical diagnosis. After the victim revealed the sexual conduct to his mother, he was taken for an appointment at a Children’s Advocacy Center where a registered nurse conducted an interview, which was videotaped. During the interview, the victim recounted, among other things, details of the sexual abuse. A medical doctor then conducted a physical exam. A DVD of the victim’s interview with the nurse was admitted at trial. The court held that the victim’s statements to the nurse were nontestimonial, concluding that the primary purpose of the interview was to safeguard the mental and physical health of the child, not to create a substitute for in-court testimony. Citing Clark, the court rejected the defendant’s argument that state law requiring all North Carolinians to report suspected child abuse transformed the interview into a testimonial one.