Brief Fact Summary. Darrell Ricketts, Defendant, was convicted of raping the five-year old daughter of the woman he was dating. The victim was able to testify at trial that the rape occurred using dolls and drawings.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Witnesses are presumed competent to testify.
The Court held that the six-year-old child is presumed competent to testify once the trial judge is satisfied by voir dire that the child understood her obligation to tell the truth and the difference between truth and falsehood.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Did the trial court commit error by allowing the victim to testify without the required foundation to determine her competency?
Held. Justice Moore issued the opinion for the Delaware Supreme Court in holding that the trial court did not commit reversible error.
Discussion. The Court notes that the presumption that witnesses are presumed competent to testify is not different when a child witness is involved. The victim demonstrated that she knew the difference between the truth and lie and she testified that she promised to tell the truth. Thus, this was sufficient to establish competency to testify.