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Sodomy Virginia Rape Criminal Stepdaughter Lawyers King William County

Sodomy Virginia Rape Criminal Stepdaughter Lawyers King William County

Christopher v. Commonwealth
Facts:

Defendant challenged a judgment from the Circuit Court of King Willam County (Virginia), which overruled defendant’s motion in limine to exclude evidence of his unrelated, prior criminal activities, denied defendant’s motion for new trial, and convicted defendant for rape and sodomy of his stepdaughter.

Sodomy Virginia Rape Criminal Stepdaughter Lawyers King William County

Sodomy Virginia Rape Criminal Stepdaughter Lawyers

Issue:
  • Whether the victim’s knowledge of defendant’s past criminal history was relevant?
Discussions:

Prior to a bench trial on charges of acts of rape and sodomy, defense counsel filed a motion in limine to prohibit references to defendant’s past criminal history and to his involvement with organized crime, and the trial court ruled that the motion was somewhat moot. At trial, the victim testified that she had forcible sex with defendant, who threatened to kill her family, and that she had believed the threat because he was “affiliated with the mob.” The trial court allowed the prosecutor to cross-examine a detective, the victim’s mother, and defendant’s former employer on defendant’s criminal history and/or his involvement with the Mafia. Defendant was convicted for rape and sodomy. On appeal, the court reversed the judgment, remanded, and held that: (1) the victim’s knowledge of defendant’s past criminal history was relevant because it was probative of an element of the crimes of rape and sodomy, both of which required proof that the acts occurred “by force, threat or intimidation;” but (2) the testimonies of the remaining witnesses on defendant’s past criminal activities or involvement with the Mafia were not relevant to any element or issue of 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.

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax County, Prince William, Richmond, Virginia Beach, Fredericksburg & Lynchburg.

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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