California Court of Appeals, Second District, Sixth Division
FOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION[*]]
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. VA136073, Raul A.
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
J. Haggerty, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for
Defendant and Appellant.
Becerra, Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Chief Assistant
Attorney General, Lance E. Winters, Assistant Attorney
General, Zee Rodriguez and Corey J. Robins, Deputy Attorneys
General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.
by Perren, J., with Yegan, Acting P. J., and Tangeman, J.,
Cal.Rptr.3d 869] PERREN, J.
Fortin was charged with molesting two young girls. Through
use of the " Abel Assessment for sexual interest"
(Abel test), he
sought to prove that he does not have a sexual interest in
children. He was rebuffed. The prosecution, however, was
permitted to introduce evidence of the child sexual abuse
accommodation syndrome (CSAAS) to explain why child victims
of sexual abuse may delay in making a report. Fortin was
convicted of child molestation (Pen. Code, § § 288,
288.7)  and false imprisonment by violence
(§ § 236, 237). As we shall explain, the trial
court did not err in either ruling.
Abel test results were properly excluded in the guilt phase
of this criminal prosecution for want of acceptance by the
relevant scientific community. Appellant's objection to
the CSAAS was properly overruled once the victims'
credibility was placed in issue, and its use was
circumscribed by a limiting instruction. We affirm the
convictions. We reverse the sentence and remand to the trial
court to make a satisfactory record of the basis for its
exercise of its discretion to order consecutive sentences.
(§ § 667.61, 669.)
About the Molestations
and his family lived in an apartment house in Bell Gardens.
Residing in the same building were Kimberly Doe and Vanessa
Roe, both born in 1999 and close in age to Fortin's two
daughters. The four children were friends and frequently met
in Fortin's apartment, over a two-year period. Fortin sat
in the living room as the children played or watched
television, and was friendly with them.
testified that when she was around seven years old, Fortin
suggested that they " play doctor" while his wife
was out shopping. He pretended to be a doctor and had the
girls enter a bedroom to see him, one at a time. When Vanessa
entered the bedroom, Fortin locked the door, pushed her onto
the bed, lifted her shirt, and licked her stomach. Vanessa
pushed him away and left the room. She was scared and did not
know how to tell her mother what happened. Vanessa continued
to visit Fortin's apartment to see his daughters, but was
cautious around him.
Vanessa was still around seven years old, Fortin scooted over
to sit next to her on the sofa during a visit. His wife was
in the kitchen. Fortin placed a throw pillow over
Vanessa's lap, then put his hand inside of her pants and
digitally penetrated her. She removed his hand; he tried to
touch her again but she prevented him. Vanessa was very
scared but did not tell her parents about the incident, out
of concern that they would see her in a different light.
complimented Vanessa but also said inappropriate things on
occasion, including, " I want to make love to you."
He did not try to touch her again. Vanessa remained friends
with Fortin's daughters until he and his family moved
away. Vanessa's mother noticed that Vanessa " was a
bit scared" when she went to play with Fortin's
daughters, but when asked, Vanessa said everything was okay.
testified that when she visited Fortin's apartment at age
six or seven, he approached her three or four times and said
" dirty words" in her ear, meaning sexual talk. He
told her that she " was old enough" and simulated
fellatio. While his [218 Cal.Rptr.3d 870] daughters were in
the kitchen, he leaned over Kimberly as she played with
dolls, put his hands on her shoulders then slowly slid them
down her chest and squeezed her breasts. He touched her
breasts, over her clothing, on more than one occasion.
Fortin touched her breasts, Kimberly did not feel comfortable
with him. At age seven, she went to visit Fortin's
daughters. When she saw her friends depart to go shopping,
Kimberly began to pick up her dolls to leave. Fortin grabbed
her arm forcefully, pulled her into his bedroom, and closed
the door. No one else was home. He removed her shorts. When
she tried to stop him, he pushed her and would not allow her
to leave. Fortin unbuckled his belt, unzipped his pants, and
told her to put his penis in her mouth. She said, "
no." He pulled her onto the floor and forced his penis
into her mouth by grasping her shoulders and jerking her head
onto him. Kimberly was crying and tried to escape. Fortin
warned her not to tell her ...