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Rape Stafford Virginia Lawyer Prior Conduct Excluded

Rape Stafford Virginia Lawyer Prior Conduct Excluded

Young v. Commonwealth
Facts:

Defendant challenged an order of the Circuit Court of Stafford County (Virginia), which convicted him for rape, asserting that it was error for the trial court to exclude evidence of the victim’s prior conduct under the rape shield provision of Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-67.7.

Rape Stafford Virginia Lawyer Prior Conduct Excluded

Rape Stafford Virginia Lawyer

Issue:
  • Whether the trial court erred in excluding the evidence of the victim’s prior conduct?
Discussion:

At his rape trial, defendant was not allowed to introduce evidence of the victim’s prior sexual conduct pursuant to the rape shield provision of Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-67.7. He was convicted of forcible rape and forcible sodomy. On appeal the court reversed and remanded. The court held that it was reversible error for the trial court to exclude the evidence of the victim’s prior conduct which was relevant to show the victim’s motive to fabricate a charge against defendant and which showed a pattern of behavior directly related to the conduct charged. The court found a sufficient nexus between the victim’s prior efforts to extort money by threats, after acts of prostitution, and defendant’s version of her conduct, to make the evidence relevant and probative of a motive to fabricate. The court reversed the rape conviction and remanded for a new trial.

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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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