In 2000, 38-year-old Phillip Scott Coulter was charged with sexually molesting his 12-year-old daughter in Kingfisher County, Oklahoma.
Coulter went on trial in December 2000 and his daughter testified that he had performed oral sex on her on two occasions, and had ordered her to strip naked and he had laid down on top of her.
Coulter’s attorney sought to cross-examine the girl about information he had developed that the girl had actually been molested by older half-brothers, but the trial judge refused to allow such questioning.
Coulter denied that he had molested the girl, although he admitted that on one occasion, he had asked the girl to remove her clothes and to point at various parts of her body so that he could teach her the correct names of the body parts.
On December 7, 2000, a jury convicted Coulter of three counts of lewd molestation. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
In June 2002, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial. The court held that the defense should have been allowed to question the girl about the allegations that she had been molested by her older half-brothers because it “bore directly on her credibility and was relevant to show motive or a propensity to lie.”
After the case was remanded back to Kingfisher County, the prosecution dismissed the charges and Coulter was released.
– Maurice Possley