The U.S. Supreme Court refused Thursday to hear an appeal by convicted Utah child sex abuser Arden Brett Bullock.
Bullock's defense attorney, Craig Cook, said the high court ruled on his petition in the last hour of the court's 1990 spring session.Cook had hoped rulings handed down Wednesday addressing the admissibility of testimony offered by people who had interviewed alleged child-abuse victims might have helped his case.
"I'm a little shocked," he said. "I thought the case was right on point. I'm not sure what happened."
The justices, in a 5-4 decision, refused Wednesday to reinstate the conviction of an Idaho woman who was convicted on the testimony of a pediatrician who interviewed her child.
The high court ruled that the young girl's statements weren't of such a convincing nature that the trial judge correctly found an exception to hearsay rules.
In that case, the 2-year-old child did not testify at all and the conviction was based almost solely on the pediatrician's testimony. As in the Bullock case, the pediatrician in Idaho did not use notes or a tape recorder but testified from memory.
Unlike the Idaho case, Bullock's children testified in his trial but on videotape.
In a separate opinion, the justices ruled - again by a 5-4 margin - that videotaped testimony is admissible in some instances.
Bullock, a Bountiful architect, was convicted in 1987 of three counts each of sodomy on a child and aggravated sexual assault. Originally charged with 14 felony counts, he is serving terms of 15-years-to-life at Utah State Prison.
Cook said he will now seek a writ of habeas corpus in either state or federal court.