Thomas Ingram of Farragut was convicted of third-degree sexual abuse, assault and lascivious acts with a child after being originally charged with several counts involving the sexual abuse of his then 12-year-old stepdaughter in 2014.
Ingram appealed, arguing the girl’s diary entries that detailed the abuse should not have been used as evidence in his trial. He also said his lawyer was ineffective for not objecting to the prosecution’s use of an expert witness to vouch for the information in the diary.
The Appeals Court Ruled the use of the girl’s diary was not prejudicial because it showed her dislike of the abuse and desire for the abuse to end, allowing the jury to conclude Ingram sexually abused her by force or against her will.
The court said the testimony of the expert witness may arguably have “walked the thin line between proper expert testimony and vouching for the credibility of the victim” but did not cross the line.
Here’s the ruling: Ingram appeal PDF