Baltimore City Council
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File #: 16-0295R    Version: 0 Name: Request for State Action - Admission of Prior Evidence in Sexual Assault Prosecutions
Type: City Council Resolution Status: Adopted
File created: 3/7/2016 In control: City Council
On agenda: Final action: 3/7/2016
Enactment #:
Title: Request for State Action - Admission of Prior Evidence in Sexual Assault Prosecutions FOR the purpose of calling on the General Assembly to enact, and the Governor to sign, HB 218/SB235, or similar legislation, to adopt a new evidentiary standard in sexual assault cases that would allow for the introduction of relevant prior conduct evidence against perpetrators, just as current law allows for the introduction of some prior conduct evidence against victims.
Sponsors: Mary Pat Clarke, Bill Henry, President Young, Brandon M. Scott, Eric T. Costello, Sharon Green Middleton, Carl Stokes, James B. Kraft, Helen L. Holton, Edward Reisinger, Robert Curran, Nick Mosby, Warren Branch, William "Pete" Welch, Rochelle Spector
Indexes: Request for State Action, Sexual Assault Prosecutions
Attachments: 1. 16-0295R~1st Reader
* WARNING: THIS IS AN UNOFFICIAL, INTRODUCTORY COPY OF THE BILL.
THE OFFICIAL COPY CONSIDERED BY THE CITY COUNCIL IS THE FIRST READER COPY.
INTRODUCTORY*

CITY OF BALTIMORE
COUNCIL BILL R
(Resolution)

Introduced by: Councilmember Clarke



A RESOLUTION ENTITLED

A COUNCIL RESOLUTION concerning
title
Request for State Action - Admission of Prior Evidence in Sexual Assault Prosecutions
FOR the purpose of calling on the General Assembly to enact, and the Governor to sign, HB 218/SB235, or similar legislation, to adopt a new evidentiary standard in sexual assault cases that would allow for the introduction of relevant prior conduct evidence against perpetrators, just as current law allows for the introduction of some prior conduct evidence against victims.
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Recitals

Sexual assault cases involve some of our society?s most heinous crimes, and are often among the most difficult to successfully prosecute. This is especially true when a case turns on a question of whether an accuser?s version of what happened is more creditable than the story told by the accused.

The special features of sexual assault cases, where the accused and accuser may be the only witnesses and physical evidence is often not conclusive as to whether or not the contact was consensual, require a different balancing of the factors affecting the admissibility of evidence that could bear on the all-important credibility question than is called for in a simple assault case. Recognizing this, Maryland criminal law has special evidentiary rules relating to admissibility of sexual conduct evidence against the alleged victim of a sexual assault that take these s...

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