State v. Perry:
Defendant Ronald Perry is charged with sexual abuse in the third degree, assault in the second degree, trespass, harassment in the second degree, and resisting arrest. The case has proceeded to trial and a jury is empanelled. Ms. Perry has recanted and is now testifying as an adverse witness. The State seeks to introduce the sexual abuse nurse examiner (SANE), who evaluated Ms. Perry in the emergency room as an expert witness to explain her recantation. At issue here are:
- whether the SANE qualifies as an expert in this case;
- whether to admit evidence of prior bad acts by the defendant;
- whether to admit evidence about the Perry’s past sexual history under rape shield exemptions.
State v. Figueroa:
Defendant Carlos Figueroa is charged with sexual abuse in the first degree for allegations that he coerced his ex-wife into performing oral sex upon him during a visitation exchange. There was no evidence of physical violence in this assault. At issue in this case is:
- whether a statute permitting prior bad acts evidence in sexual abuse cases should apply;
- whether the history of domestic violence can be introduced to show that Ms. Figueroa was too traumatized and intimidated to consent.
State v. Logan:
Defendant Peter Logan comes before the court for sentencing after being convicted of sexual abuse in the second degree, unlawful imprisonment, assault in the first degree, and lesser offenses stemming from a six-hour siege of his family home. Mr. Logan has submitted letters from his eldest son and members of the community attesting to his excellent standing as a parent and mentor. He alleges his wife is unstable and that the injuries he caused her during that six-hour siege were unintentional. The probation report tends to dispute some of the letters and Mr. Logan’s statements against his wife. The court is asked to weigh this information to determine an appropriate disposition and sentence.
People v. Mirchandani:
Defendant Ved Mirchandani is charged with first-degree rape of his wife of 25 years. At trial, the State moves to allow an expert witness to testify about battered women’s responses to their experiences as they relate to consent, to which Defendant objects because the effect of such testimony is to bolster the complaining witness’ credibility. Defendant also petitions to allow an expert to testify about the marital traditions of his culture. At issue are the probative values of the testimony of either expert.