Appeals court bars diary as evidence in abuse case

April 9, 2008 11:20:53 AM PDT
Diary entries and poetry are not admissible in a civil lawsuit filed in Somerset County by a teenager who claims she was sexually abused by her uncle.

An appeals court says the girl's writings are inflammatory. The judges say a new trial should be held because the diary entries about John Gelpke were inadmissible hearsay and should not have been read in court.

The girl sued Gelpke, alleging he abused her between the ages of three and eight, and she won $750,000 in compensatory damages.

The appeals court later overturned the decision, saying her testimony relied on "repressed memory."

The Supreme Court reversed that decision and sent it back to the appeals court to decide.