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RHODE ISLAND CRIMINAL DEFENSE
A Practice Manual, 4th Edition
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State v. Manning, 973 A.2d 524 (R.I. 2009). In child molestation case, trial judge did not abuse his discretion when he prohibited defendant from cross-examining the minor complainant regarding her prior allegations of molestation against defendant.
State v. Lynch, 854 A.2d 1022 (R.I. 2004). R.I.S.C. affirmed Trial Court’s refusal to allow questioning of complainant concerning her prior accusation against a neighbor that had resulted in a conviction. The conviction had no relevance with respect to credibility of the complainant as the conviction “conclusively establish[ed] the truthfulness of her accusations.”
State v. Botelho, 753 A.2d 343 (R.I. 2000). Trial court properly precluded defense counsel from questioning witness’ prior allegations of sexual abuse against other men where there was insufficient evidence to show the witness had actually alleged the abuse. Witness had denied making such allegations during voir dire and defense counsel was unable to produce evidence corroborating the allegation.
State v. Pettiway, 657 A.2d 161 (R.I. 1995). Trial Court’s denial of cross-examination as to the complainant’s prior allegations against her mother’s previous boyfriends did not mandate a new trial.
State v. Oliveira, 576 A.2d 111 (R.I. 1990). Sexual assault charges involving an eight-year-old complainant were reversed because the trial court refused to allow evidence of the complainant’s accusations against two other men. R.I.S.C. reversed, ruling that the complainant’s allegations against other men were relevant towards her credibility, regardless of whether the allegations were proven false or withdrawn.
State v. McCarthy, 446 A.2d 1034 (R.I. 1982). The complainant’s allegations of rape against another person that were later withdrawn were relevant at trial and should have been admitted. New trial ordered.
State v. Izzi, 348 A.2d 371 (R.I. 1975). Complainant’s prior false allegations of abuse against hospital attendants were fertile areas for impeachment either directly on cross-examination or by independent evidence.
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