Friday, February 8, 2013

Why would the prosecutor oppose turning over evidence of sexual assault accuser's past reports of sexual assault?

Judge Louis Menendez of Juneau ordered prosecutors and the Juneau Police Department to turn over any prior reports of sexual assault that may have been made by a 22-year-old woman who is accusing a 60-year-old man of sexual assault. The defendant's attorney asserted the woman has made “similar and possibly false allegations” of sexual assault in the past.

The documents will be subject to an in-camera review by the court, meaning not open to the public or press, and the judge will determine if they are relevant to the case at hand.

If the defense can prove that such accusations have been made in the past and were false, making that testimony admissible at trial, it would allow for the impeachment of the woman’s honesty during cross-examination at trial.

Prosecutors opposed the motion, saying it was overly broad, a fishing expedition for victim-derogatory evidence, and not in possession of the state.

Read the whole story here: