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National Crime Victim Law Institute

NCVLI Joins Amicus Brief to Uphold Rape Shield Law

June 09, 2020

On June 9, 2020, NCVLI, along with 25 additional nonprofit organizations, participated as co-amici in the case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vs. Eric Rogers. Led by the Women’s Law Project and AEquitas, these organizations joined in to ensure Pennsylvania’s Rape Shield Law protects all victims’ prior sexual history, specifically that it does not permit the introduction of evidence of a complainant’s criminal record for prostitution-related offenses.

Amici argued that a victim’s sexual history is irrelevant to proving consent and that permitting evidence of a victim’s prior prostitution arrests and convictions would reinforce gender and racial biases.

The organizations participating as co-amici in this effort are the American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, California Women’s Law Center, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, End Violence Against Women International, Equal Rights Advocates, Feminist Majority Foundation, Freedom Network USA, Gender Equality Law Center, Harvard Law School Gender Violence Program, Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE Institute) and Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, Legal Momentum, National Crime Victim Law Institute, National Crittenton, National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Organization for Women Foundation, National Women’s Law Center, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, Pennsylvania NOW, Philadelphia NOW, Southwest Women’s Law Center, WOAR-Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence, Women Against Abuse Legal Center, Women’s Law Center of Maryland, Inc., Women’s Law Project, and World Without Exploitation.

Read the Amicus Brief here.