final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Santa Rosa County. John F.
Simon, Jr., Judge.
Michael Ufferman of Michael Ufferman Law Firm, P.A.,
Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, and Virginia Chester Harris,
Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Jason Traffanstead appeals his judgment and sentence, arguing
that the trial court violated his Sixth Amendment right to
counsel by prohibiting defense counsel from relying on the
information contained in the victim's comprehensive
assessments, which denied him a meaningful opportunity to
present a complete defense. We agree and reverse.
was charged with two counts of sexual battery by a person in
a position of familial or custodial authority and one count
of lewd or lascivious molestation of child over the age of
twelve, but under the age of sixteen. The victim was K.T.,
Traffanstead's adopted son.
to trial, defense counsel sent the State two comprehensive
psychological assessments of K.T. dated before any of the
abuse charged to Traffanstead occurred. Traffanstead obtained
the reports legally as K.T.'s guardian during the
adoption process. The assessments included interviews with
K.T. and his prior foster family, and observations of mental
health professionals. Defense counsel claimed that there were
troubling incidents and findings in the assessments bearing
on K.T.'s bias, credibility, and state of mind. In
pertinent part, K.T.'s assessments made a referral
diagnosis for a mood disorder,
attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder (ADHD), and reactive
attachment disorder (RAD).
receiving the assessments, the State filed a motion for
protective order that would prohibit Traffanstead "from
presenting any evidence or testimony which would violate the
psychotherapist-patient privilege." After hearing, the
trial court granted the State's motion, but allowed
Traffanstead "to file [an] appropriate motion for the
Court to review the documents in camera."
then filed a "Motion to Release Clinical Records"
requesting that the trial court release K.T.'s
assessments so that his defense could use them to prepare for
trial and for cross-examination of K.T. The motion also
stated that defense counsel wanted the assessments reviewed
by an expert who could then testify at trial as to whether
K.T. displayed any symptoms or indicators relating to RAD.
The trial court denied Traffanstead's motion, finding
that K.T.'s assessments were "covered by the
psychotherapist-patient privilege" prohibiting
Traffanstead "from questioning [K.T.] regarding any
matters that are protected by the psychotherapist-patient
privilege . . . ."
reviewing the assessments in camera, the trial court stated
that it was "going to stand by [its] ruling,"
denying Traffanstead the ability to use K.T.'s
assessments at trial. The trial court, however, issued an
order finding that some of the information "may be
relevant to the [case]."
trial, the State's case primarily relied on K.T.'s
testimony that Traffanstead abused him on multiple occasions.
K.T., however, admitted that his first specific allegation of
abuse was not true. The State also presented forensic
evidence that two items linked to Traffanstead's abuse
contained a possible DNA match to K.T. Testimony was also
elicited that crime scene technicians did not change gloves
after each item of evidence was recovered from