State v. Davis

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 03-11-2015
  • Case #: A150000
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Oretga, P.J. for the Court; DeVore, J.; & De Muniz, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

OEC 412 is intended to protect victims of sexual abuse from having “degrading or embarrassing disclosure of intimate details about [their] private lives” and the prejudicial effect of such details will be weighed against the probative value of the proffered evidence.

Defendant appealed a judgment of a conviction for first degree rape contending that the trial court erred in denying his motion to allow certain evidence in at trial. Defendant argued that the evidence to be proffered did not fall under OEC 412 because it was not offered to show a pattern of the victim's sexual behavior, but a pattern of her failing to remember her sexual behavior after drinking alcohol. The trial court agreed with the State that the evidence offered was “classic rape shield evidence” and could not be brought in as character evidence because showing that the victim may have had sexual encounters with other men while intoxicated does not indicate that she consented to having a sexual encounter with Defendant. Moreover, Defendant argued that it is constitutionally required that he be allowed to bring in the evidence and that the evidence's probative value does not outweigh unfair prejudice to the victim. While the Court agreed that Defendant has a constitutional right to confront the victim, the Court also agreed with the State that the prejudicial effect of the evidence outweighs the probative value. Affirmed.

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