TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The Florida Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a Chicago tourist serving a life sentence for allegedly putting his mouth on an 11-year-old girl's genitals.
The alleged rape occurred in an Orlando hotel room in 2002.
The justices Thursday ruled 45-year-old Sergio Corona's right to confront his accuser was violated because the girl and a witness refused to testify.
Corona was convicted, instead, on hearsay testimony about what the girl and witness told police. Corona also disputed testimony that he had confessed.
The high ruled 6-1 that none of the second-hand testimony including the purported confession should have been allowed.
Chief Justice Charles Canady dissented. He said Corona's appeal should have been rejected because his lawyer failed to restate a prior objection to the hearsay at trial.