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Rape Virginia Recent Complaint Corroborative Evidence Lawyers Lynchburg City

Rape Virginia Recent Complaint Corroborative Evidence Lawyers Lynchburg City

Hugh v. Commonwealth
Facts:

Defendant appealed a conviction entered in the Circuit Court of the City of Lynchburg (Virginia) for raping a minor child in violation of Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-61. Defendant claimed that the victim’s complaint of rape was not admissible under Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-268.2.

Rape Virginia Recent Complaint Corroborative Evidence Lawyers Lynchburg City

Rape Virginia Recent Complaint Corroborative Evidence Lawyers

Issue:
  • Whether the trial court had abused its discretion in admitting the evidence?
Discussion:

The trial court admitted the victim’s complaint of rape under the recent complaint exception as codified in Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-268.2 (1993), even though some 10 months had passed since the alleged rape. The trial court instructed the jury that such evidence was purely corroborative and not independent evidence of rape itself. The court affirmed the conviction. The court reasoned that § 19.2-268.2 admitted evidence of recent complaints of rape as corroborative evidence. Addressing the timeliness of the complaint, the court held that admission of the evidence was within the trial court’s discretion, and timeliness was for the trier of fact to consider in weighing the evidence, and the victim’s credibility. The court determined that the trial court had not abused its discretion in admitting the evidence because of the reasons for the delay. The court found that the victim’s fear of not being believed, fear that her father would have hurt defendant and gone to jail himself, and the victim’s belief that she was at fault for the rape were consistent with the circumstances surrounding the rape, and provided justified reasons for the delay. The court affirmed defendant’s conviction for raping a minor child because under the recent complaint rule the victim’s complaint of rape was admissible when she gave valid reasons for having delayed her rape complaint, and it was only admitted as corroborative evidence of the rape

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

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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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