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Rape Lynchburg Virginia Lawyer Sodomy Evidence Intention Force

Rape Lynchburg Virginia Lawyer Sodomy Evidence Intention Force

Dennis v. Commonwealth
Facts:

A jury in the Circuit Court of Lynchburg City (Virginia) convicted defendant of sodomy and rape and sentenced him to a total of 20 years. The court of appeals reversed. The Commonwealth filed a petition for a rehearing en banc which was granted.

Rape Lynchburg Virginia Lawyer Sodomy Evidence Intention Force

Rape Lynchburg Virginia Lawyer

Issue:
  • Whether the trial court erred in admitting evidence of similar crimes to show defendant’s intent to rape the victim?
Discussions:

Defendant contended that the trial court erred in admitting evidence of similar crimes to show his intent to rape the victim because his intent was not an element of the crime charged. The appellate court held that the evidence of prior crimes was inadmissible because intent was not an element of the offense charged; rape required a showing that the defendant engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim against her will, by force, threat, or intimidation. The Commonwealth argued that even if the trial court erred, such error was harmless. The appellate court disagreed, noting that the testimony of two women with whom defendant had acted in a similar manner was highly prejudicial and encouraged the inference that because defendant committed similar crimes in the past, he likely committed the crimes charged.

The SRIS Law Group Virginia lawyers will do their best to help you with your sex crime case. Contact a Virginia lawyer from our firm to discuss your sex crime case.

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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