Without Prejudice?: 6th Circuit Deems Rape Shield Evidence Minimally Prejudicial To Victim, Reverses Conviction

The district court excluded the 2007 acts because those encounters occurred at a different place than the indicted offenses. Although there is certainly a difference between private sexual acts and those that take place in public, that does not eliminate, or even substantially reduce, the probative value of such acts in this case. This is especially true given Anderson’s claim that his encounters with S.M. took place in atypical locations, such as the Medicine Lodge and a garage, in order to keep the activity hidden from her husband. Further, the prejudicial impact of this testimony was minimal, and any prejudice to S.M. was substantially outweighed by the probative value of this evidence to Anderson’s defense of consent. Accordingly, we find that the district court abused its discretion in excluding this evidence. United States v. Anderson, 2012 WL 913709 (6th Cir. 2012) (emphasis added).

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