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Ayer v. Coursey

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-05-2012
Case #: A140104
Duncan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Haselton, C.J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A140104.pdf

Evidence: Under OEC 412(2)(b)(B), evidence of a victim's past sexual behavior is admissible if it is submitted to "rebut or explain scientific or medical evidence offered by the state."

Ayer appealed a post-conviction court's judgment denying him relief from his convictions for various sexual acts. Ayer argued his trial counsel was inadequate under Article I, section 11, of the Oregon Constitution and ineffective under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution in failing to exercise professional skill and judgment. The State moved in limine to dismiss evidence or mention of the victim’s past sexual acts with other people besides Ayer under OEC 412. The trial counsel argued the evidence was admissible because victim’s prior allegations of abuse were false. Ayer contended his trial counsel should have argued the evidence was admissible under OEC 412(2)(b)(B) because it "rebut[ted] or explain[ed] scientific or medical evidence offered by the state." Furthermore, Ayer argued there was no way for his trial counsel to prove the allegations were false, and instead arguing the evidence was allowed under OEC 412(2)(b)(B) would have allowed trial counsel to introduce evidence that victim was abused by someone other than Ayer. The Court of Appeals agreed with Ayer and remanded the issue to the post-conviction court decide whether trial counsel's deficient performance prejudiced him. Reversed and remanded.