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Rule 412 Rape Shield Rule Outline

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This is an extract of our Rule 412 Rape Shield Rule document, which we sell as part of our Evidence Outline - Long Outlines collection written by the top tier of University Of Virginia School Of Law students.

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Rule 412 - Rape Shield Rule Most common defense to a rape charge is a "reasonable mistake of consent" defense, since most states require a culpable mental state for the crime of rape. Rule 412. Sex-Offense Cases: The Victim's Sexual Behavior or Predisposition (also applies to sexual harassment cases]
(a) Prohibited Uses. The following evidence is not admissible in a civil or criminal proceeding involving alleged sexual misconduct [not necessary that there be crim charges pending against the accused, or that the misconduct would constitute a criminal offense]
(1) OR

evidence offered to prove that a victim engaged in other sexual behavior;

(2) evidence offered to prove a victim's sexual predisposition [evidence such as that relating to the alleged victim's mode of dress, speech, or life style]


(1) Criminal Cases. criminal case:

The court may admit the following evidence in a


evidence of specific instances of a victim's sexual behavior
[sexual behavior includes sexual intercourse or sexual contact, or something that implies sexual intercourse or contact], if offered to prove that someone other than the defendant was the source of semen, injury, or other physical evidence


evidence of specific instances of a victim's sexual behavior with respect to the person accused of the misconduct, if offered by the defendant to prove consent, or if offered by the prosecutor (prosecutor can introduce evidence of victims sexual behavior with the defendant for any reason)


evidence whose exclusions would violate the defendant's constitutional rights (redundant, this ALWAYS is the case)

(2) Civil Cases. In a civil case, the court may admit evidence offered to prove a victim's sexual behavior or sexual predisposition if its probative value substantially outweighs the danger of harm to any victim and of unfair prejudice to any party. The court may admit evidence of a victim's reputation only if the victim has placed it in controversy. Policy Reasons Behind the Rule: Rule aims to safeguard the lleged victim against invasion of proivacy, potential embarrassment, and sexual stereotyping that is associated with public disclosure of intimate sexual details and the infusion of sexual innuendo into the fact finding process. BY affording such protection, the rule encourages victims of sexual misconduct to institute and to participate in legal proceedings against the offenders. Old View on Rape Shied Laws Abbot: Past sexual activity raises an inference of propensity to consent (more likely rape "victim" actually consented)

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