Uncertainties of child witness

In People v. Crisostomo (G.R. No. 196435, January 29, 2014), the Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeals that “AAA’s” “uncertainty” on whether it was a match, rod or a cigarette stick that was inserted into her private parts, did not lessen her credibility. Such “uncertainty” is inconsequential and does not diminish the fact that an instrument or object was inserted into her private parts. This is the essence of rape by sexual assault.The gravamen of the crime of rape by sexual assault is the insertion of the penis into another person’s mouth or anal orifice, or any instrument or object, into another person’s genital or anal orifice.[1] In any event, inconsistencies in a rape victim’s testimony do not impair her credibility, especially if the inconsistencies refer to trivial matters that do not alter the essential fact of the commission of rape.[2] It was also held in People v. Piosang[3] that –
“[t]estimonies of child-victims are normally given full weight and credit, since when a girl, particularly if she is a minor, says that she has been raped, she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape has in fact been committed. When the offended party is of tender age and immature, courts are inclined to give credit to her account of what transpired, considering not only her relative vulnerability but also the shame to which she would be exposed if the matter to which she testified is not true. Youth and immaturity are generally badges of truth and sincerity. Considering her tender age, AAA could not have invented a horrible story. x x x ”

[1] Pielago v. People, G.R. No. 202020, March 13, 2013.

[2] People v. Zafra, G.R. No. 197363, June 26, 2013.

[3] G.R. No. 200329, June 5, 2013.

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