State v. Cossio (Majority, with Dissenting)Annotate this Case
The circuit court committed a manifest abuse of discretion in ruling that testimony regarding the victim’s prior sexual conduct with a third party would be admissible pursuant to the rape-shield statute, Ark. Code Ann. 16-42-101(c), and Ark. R. Evid. 411(c)(2)(C) where Defendant was charged with raping the victim while she was physically helpless.
Defendant was charged with rape in violation of Ark. Code Ann. 5-14-103(a)(2)(A), which provides that a person commits rape if he engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual activity with another person who is incapable of consent because that person is physically helpless. Before trial, the circuit court ruled that evidence of the victim’s sexual conduct from the day prior to the alleged rape would be admissible at Defendant’s trial as part of the res gestate of the case and to show the relationship between the parties. The Supreme Court reversed on interlocutory appeal, holding that the victim’s sexual conduct was not relevant or admissible under the rape-shield statute to show either the res gestate of the charged offense or the relationship between the parties.