This is a motion by the district attorney in conjunction with the rape-sodomy-sexual abuse trial initiated against a man.
The complainant seek to introduce in their testimony from the victim and her employer that one month before the alleged abuse took place, the man accosted the victim, sexually touched her and made a rude proposal and that the victim took certain actions to hinder the man’s access to the store and to herself.
They also seek authorization to allow another testimony that not only did the victim orally reject the man’s advances but also that she told her employer to contact the man’s employer for the purpose of requesting that the man make deliveries at times other than during the hours in which the victim worked.
The complainant further seek authorization to permit testimony to the effect that two weeks before the charges arose, the victim asked a customer to remain in the store when the man appeared. The victim also allegedly told her husband and another friend about the man’s words and acts, and contends that another friend told her that man attempted to kiss her.
The district attorney requests a ruling permitting the said testimony, claiming that it is relevant and non-prejudicial and that it reflects the victim’s state of mind on the issues of consent, forcible compulsion, fear and her relationship with the man.
Subsequently, the district attorney offered series of cases in support of their request to introduce the state of mind testimony. The said cases deal with the issue of forcible compulsion in rape cases and demonstrate that the courts have permitted to introduce proof that the man had committed past acts of sexual violence and that the victim’s knowledge reflected on her state of mind and the issues of forcible compulsion and consent.
Sources revealed that the courts have permitted evidence of prior assaults as relevant to explain the conduct of a victim and to support the testimony of a forcible rape, but, as discovered in previous related case, proper instructions must be given that the evidence was received for that limited purpose.
Further, evidence of previous incidents in which a man sexually molestation a victim had been properly admitted into evidence to show the victim’s ongoing fear and in support of the element of forcible compulsion. Moreover, it is well established that the evidence otherwise relevant to prove some material fact is not necessarily rendered inadmissible even though it reveals that a man has committed another crime. However, the court must balance the probative value of the said evidence against its potential prejudice to the man.
Based on records, the cases presented are not dispositive of the matter however, because the testimony sought to be introduced does not reach the level of intimidation contained in those examples offered in support. The fact that the man allegedly touched the victim’s buttock and made a rude proposal, does not show that he is a violent person and does not measure up to the type of acts portrayed in the offered cases as being the basis for a justly held concept paralleling the requisite forcible compulsion. Rather, the man’s acts establish what might be referred to as a passionate design. But, significant on the issue of consent, is the victim’s reaction of manifest fear confirmed by her acts to keep the man away.
Another line of cases contributes further to the analysis at hand. Several of the cases involve homicides. In the relevant portions of the cases, the complainant sought to introduce testimony that the deceased told the witness that he intended to meet the man at a certain place relevant to the case and that he, the deceased, told the witness that he was afraid of the man’s action against him. The courts have permitted the first but not the second.
The cases on forcible compulsion conclude that the victim’s knowledge of the man’s past acts of violence weigh on the issues of consent and fear since she has thereby become aware of the danger of physical resistance.
Similarly, the victim’s acts and statements taken in response to the man’s amorous designs, wherein she took steps to avoid being alone with the man, weigh on the issue of consent since they reflect a state of mind of fear of the man.
Sources revealed that other cases permit the introduction of the victim’s statement to a witness that he intended to meet the man at a certain time and place relevant to the charges.
The cases had been involving homicide and the necessity factor weighs heavily in analyzing the basis for the rule, since obviously, the victim is not available to testify. The receipt of the testimony not only serves to show the victim’s intention to meet the man but also, by inference, places the man at the scene of the crime. While the testimony would not go so far as to establish a relationship within its generally understood meaning, it does show intent to be with someone at a time and place crucial to the case.
In the man’s case, the victim’s acts and statements differ from those for which pattern exists for the reception, but a similar theme exists between the two. Subsequently, the victim expressed her state of mind is intent to avoid the man who claims a relationship leading to consensual sex. There the expressed state of mind was to meet with someone who is now accused of homicide.
Previous cases cited and also permit state of mind statements on the part of the complainant which have a bearing on such defenses or issues as suicide, accident and self defense.
The statements tend to contradict the man’s position and would include such statements from the victim.
In the man’s case, the complainant seeks to show the victim’s state of mind to contradict the amorous relationship claimed by the man.
As a result, the victim and other witnesses for the complainant will not be permitted to testify that the victim stated that she was afraid that the man would rape her but they will be permitted to testify on matters which reflect upon the issue of consent, fear and the relationship between the parties.
Therefore, the testimony of the victim and her employer, that one month before the alleged incident, she, the victim, told her employer to keep the man out of the store while she was there, and to tell the man’s employer the same, is admissible under the state of mind concept as is the complainant’s statement to the customer, about two weeks before the alleged rape wherein the complainant requested the customer to remain in the store until the man left.
The state of mind of the victim at those prior times is at issue since the man is contending that they were having sexual intercourse during the said time and since it reflects on the issue of that relationship and consent at the time of the alleged incident.
The statements made by the victim to her husband, the friend and the statement made to her by another friend about the man allegedly trying to kiss her will not be permitted and they are excluded under the reasoning of the law.
Accusations are really difficult to prove, most especially if you’re trying to show that someone is liable for something not good. If you need legal guidance with regard to this matter, you can hire the Nassau County Criminal Lawyer. For your sexual crime related case, the Nassau County Rape Attorney from Stephen Bilkis and Associates is the best choice.