Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds hearsay law

MGN Online
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court says a law allowing hearsay evidence during preliminary hearings is constitutional.

Hearsay is testimony that quotes someone who isn't available to testify. Such testimony was generally barred at preliminary hearings until 2012.

Republicans passed a law that year allowing it during the hearings, saying it would spare crime victims from testifying and eliminate the need for multiple witnesses.

A Walworth County couple facing child abuse charges and a Kenosha man charged with child sexual assault have challenged the law, arguing that allowing hearsay violates their constitutional right to confront their accusers.

The court ruled Wednesday that there's no constitutional right to confrontation during a preliminary hearing. Attorneys for the couple and the Kenosha man didn't immediately return telephone messages.

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