Johnson v. Commonwealth (P)

Admitting hearsay evidence in a probation revocation proceeding didn’t violate the defendant’s right to confront witnesses against him under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The circuit court revoked probation based in part on his contact with underage females, violating a condition of probation, without giving the defendant an opportunity to cross-examine the girls.

Screenshots of text messages corroborated the girls’ allegation that a man interacted with them after learning they were minors and their identification of the defendant as the man who approached them. Other evidence established that the defendant and the girls lived in the same area, that the girls’ statements to a detective were consistent with statements in the text messages, and that the man who approached them shared the same age, place of employment, and physical appearance as the defendant. As a whole, this evidence establishes the reliability of the girls’ assertion that the man who approached them was the defendant.

Affirmed.

Johnson v. Commonwealth (P), No. 170963, Oct. 18, 2018. SCV (Lemons) from CAV.



Categories: Opinions, Published, Supreme Court of Virginia

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