Legal Blog

Unlawfully Obtained Evidence Suppressed in GA Child Molestation Case

August 19, 2011

In State v. Madison, the Georgia Court of Appeals upheld the granting of the defendant's Motion to Suppress Evidence.

In this case, the defendant’s motion was to suppress video recordings made by the alleged child molestation victim on the ground that the recordings were not made with the consent of all persons observed therein.  The defendant was charged with three counts of child molestation, two counts of sexual battery, public indecency, and aggravated sexual battery.  He filed a “motion to suppress illegally created video recordings,” in which he asserted that the victim made two video recordings of interactions between herself and the defendant, who is an attorney, in his law office without his consent.  The parties stipulated that the videos were made in a private place and without the defendant’s consent. The trial court entered an order granting the motion to suppress the video recordings because (1) the recorded activity occurred in a private place and (2) the defendant did not consent to being recorded.

The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling and held that OCGA 16-11-62(2) provides that “[i]t shall be unlawful for [a]ny person, through the use of any device, without the consent of all persons observed, to observe, photograph, or record the activities of another which occur in any private place and out of public view.”  The Court noted that nothing in the statute prohibits a person from intercepting a wire, oral, or electronic communication where such person is a party to the communication or one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception.  However, with respect to video recordings, there is not a similar exception.

Many times, a timely filed Motion to Suppress can lead to a dismissal of the case prior to trial.  We have handled hundreds of criminal cases in Georgia involving unlawful searches and, as a result, we have been able to obtain an overwhelming number of dismissals in sex offense cases as well as other serious state and federal criminal cases.

More Posts in Search and Seizure Cases

More Posts