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Arizona Supreme Court agrees with Appeals ruling on expert testimony

PHOENIX -- An Arizona Supreme Court ruling said an expert witness testifying about general principles and practices doesn't have to be familiar with an individual criminal defendant's case.

A man convicted in a Pima County child-molestation case tried unsuccessfully to keep the prosecution from presenting testimony from an expert witness on child victims of sexual abuse.

The defense argued that the expert's lack of knowledge or information about the case against the defendant meant the expert couldn't reasonably apply general principles and methods.

The Court of Appeals upheld the trial judge's decision to allow the testimony. The Court of Appeals ruling said the expert's testimony could help jurors weigh the testimony of an alleged child victim.

The Supreme Court's ruling Thursday agrees, saying general testimony to educate judges or jurors is allowed.

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