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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Upholding Rape Shield Protections

May 02, 2017

A rape victim’s civil attorney informed NCVLI about a recent decision in Ukwuachu v. State of Texas.  On March 22, 2017, the Texas Court of Appeals concluded that the trial court erred in excluding evidence of the rape victim’s alleged prior sexual history with defendant, a former Baylor football player.  The court reversed the rape conviction and remanded the case for a new trial. On April 21, 2017, NCVLI and co-amici (National Center for Victims of Crime, Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network and Texas Association Against Sexual Assault)  filed an amici curiae brief in support of the State’s petition for discretionary review.  Amici urged the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals – Texas’ highest criminal court – to review the case.  Amici argued that the court of appeals committed reversible error when it ignored well-established standards for reviewing the trial court’s evidentiary ruling and substituted its own judgment concerning the weight of the hearsay evidence in question.  Amici also argued that the appellate decision, if allowed to stand, would erode Texas’ rape shield protections and detrimentally impact future prosecutions of non-stranger rapes.

Click here to read more about the case and view the Press Release.