Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Jan. 25, 2022

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State appeals court orders Vancouver man’s rape conviction be vacated

It finds trial court erred in allowing hearsay statements

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
Published:

The Washington Court of Appeals ordered a Vancouver man’s rape conviction be vacated after finding the trial court erred in allowing hearsay statements from a sexual assault nurse and a police officer.

Nikolay I. Kalachik, now 35, has been serving a nearly 11-year sentence for the 2018 rape of a woman. He was arrested April 20 of that year and later found guilty by a Clark County Superior Court jury of first- and second-degree rape. The latter charge was vacated at sentencing.

In his appeal, Kalachik argued that the Superior Court violated his state and federal constitutional rights and abused its discretion when it allowed the jury to consider his accuser’s statements to a police officer and a sexual assault nurse examiner. His accuser did not testify.

The appeals court agreed that the lower court applied the wrong legal standard for the medical treatment hearsay exception, and it found the nurse’s statements to be inadmissible. It also found that the accuser’s statements through the officer violated Kalachik’s constitutional right to confront his accuser.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Aaron Bartlett said the prosecution could seek a motion for reconsideration, petition for review by the state Supreme Court or retry the case. A decision on how to proceed has not yet been reached, he said.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Kalachik drove the victim to the area of Northwest Lower River Road and Erwin O. Rieger Memorial Highway, then raped her.

He eventually dropped her off in the area of East Fourth Plain Boulevard and F Street. She walked to the Clark County Courthouse and reported the incident to security and police.

A pre-sentence investigation report filed in the rape case said Kalachik denied he forced the victim to have sex.

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