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Minnesota high court: Video can be used in Krasky trial

WILLMAR -- The Minnesota Supreme Court, in a reversal of an appellate court decision, will allow a videotaped interview with a then-6-year-old girl to be used in the trial of a 34-year-old Lowry man accused of molesting her.

Edward Richard Krasky faces 12 felony counts of criminal sexual conduct in Kandiyohi County District Court. The charges include six first-degree charges and four second-degree charges, plus two second-degree counts of multiple acts of criminal sexual conduct for allegedly molesting the girl and her younger sister. The charges stem from a 2004 investigation by Willmar police.

The statements in the videotaped interview, by a nurse at Midwest Children's Resource Center, "for the primary purpose of assessing and protecting the child's health and welfare were not testimonial, and thus admission of the statements did not violate respondent's right of confrontation," Justice Helen J. Meyer wrote in the opinion issued Aug. 9. The court's decision was 5-2 with Justices Alan Page and Paul H. Anderson dissenting.

The state Supreme Court decision is the latest in three years of court decisions and appeals in the case. While the case is tentatively scheduled for trial from Nov. 13 to 15, County Attorney Boyd Beccue says he will not be surprised if Krasky's attorneys seek to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"These are extremely important issues," Beccue said. The Krasky case is being impacted by the 2004 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Crawford v. Washington. The court ruled that videotaped interviews of testimony by crime victims violate the Sixth Amendment, which states that "the accused shall enjoy the right ... to be confronted with the witnesses against him."

The Krasky case and State v. Bobadilla, which was also a Kandiyohi County case, are two of several key Minnesota cases in the mix with the Crawford decision. One of the key differences between the Krasky case and Crawford is that the Krasky case involves young children, who are often found incompetent to take the stand at trial. Crawford dealt with adult testimony.

Crawford, in the long run, will be seen as significant as the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona decision, Beccue said.

Many years passed before all the legal ramifications of the Miranda case were known, he added. "It will be years before we are finished working through the permutations of the Crawford decision."

According to the complaint, Krasky molested the two girls, then 1 and 2 years old, at his Willmar residence. One of the girls told officers he performed oral sex on her and penetrated her with his penis and finger. The complaint also states that Krasky inappropriately touched the girls while bathing them. In a police interview, he denied having sex with either of the girls. The girls' mother told police she did not say anything about the sexual abuse because she was afraid of Krasky and his anger.