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Rape Alexandria Virginia Lawyer Forcible Sodomy Force Victim Testimony

Rape Alexandria Virginia Lawyer Forcible Sodomy Force Victim Testimony

O’Brian v. Commonwealth
Facts:

The Commonwealth of Virginia challenged a ruling from a panel of the court, which reversed defendant’s conviction for statutory burglary, rape, and two counts of forcible sodomy. The case went before the court for a rehearing en banc.

Rape Alexandria Virginia Lawyer Forcible Sodomy Force Victim Testimony

Rape Alexandria Virginia Lawyer

Issue:
  • Whether intercourse was accomplished with force and against the victim’s will?
Discussions:

At trial, the victim testified that defendant entered her bedroom, assaulted her, raped her, then fell asleep on the victim’s bed. The bloodied victim ran from the house and told her story to a passing motorist, who called the police. The police found defendant asleep on the victim’s bed and arrested him. Defendant appealed, a panel reversed the conviction, and the court granted the Commonwealth a rehearing. At issue were defendant’s out-of-court question to a police officer and an overheard conversation between defendant and the victim, both of which the trial court excluded. The court upheld the trial court’s ruling on the question to the police officer but ruled error in the exclusion of the overheard conversation, which was relevant to prove the nature of the relationship between the victim and defendant. The error, however, was harmless. Because defendant conceded that he had sexual intercourse with the victim, the only issues for the jury to decide were whether the intercourse was accomplished with force and against the victim’s will. Evidence independent of the victim’s testimony proved overwhelmingly that defendant used force to accomplish non-consensual intercourse.

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A Virginia lawyer from our firm will talk with you about your sex crime case in Virginia and advise you about your options. You can count on a lawyer from our firm to try their best to help you obtain the best result possible based on the facts of your case.

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Article written by A Sris
Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

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