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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Fighting to Protect Sexual Assault Victims from a Pro Se Defendant

January 06, 2013

Just this week NCVLI joined longtime partner Arizona Voice for Crime Victims (ACVC) in a case before the Arizona Court of Appeals in which a self-represented defendant was granted permission by the trial court to personally cross-examine three women that he raped.  The victims in the case include two witnesses who were victims of prior rapes for which defendant was convicted and the victim in the current prosecution.  Each woman has expressed fear at being examined by the rapist, and each is reluctant to participate if he once again has power over them. 

Fortunately, the Arizona prosecution team is seeking appellate review on behalf of the victims. Together, NCVLI and AVCV submitted an amici curiae brief in support of the state seeking to ensure that the victims’ fundamental right to access the courts as well as their rights to be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity and to be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse throughout the criminal justice process are fully respected.

We will keep you posted!