Skip to main content
September 23, 2013

MSC grants leave to decide whether Michigan’s Rape Shield statute prohibits evidence of a child’s prior sexual abuse.

In People v. Shaver, the defendant was convicted of sexually abusing his cousin’s two children.  At his trial he tried to introduce evidence that the children’s father had recently been convicted of criminal sexual conduct against at least one of the children.  The trial court did not allow the evidence.  After twice remanding the case for evidentiary hearings, the Michigan Court of Appeals ultimately upheld Shaver’s convictions.  The Michigan Supreme Court granted Shaver’s application for leave to appeal and asked the parties to brief three issues:

(1) whether evidence of a child’s prior sexual abuse is barred by the rape-shield statute, MCL 750.520j;

(2) if so, whether evidence of prior sexual abuse was nevertheless admissible in this instance to preserve the defendant’s right of confrontation and to present a defense; and

(3) whether any error in excluding evidence of prior sexual abuse was harmless. The court also invited amicus briefing from several organizations, including the Criminal Law Section of the Michigan Bar, the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, and the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan.

NOTICE. Although we would like to hear from you, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Also, we cannot treat unsolicited information as confidential. Accordingly, please do not send us any information about any matter that may involve you until you receive a written statement from us that we represent you.

By clicking the ‘ACCEPT’ button, you agree that we may review any information you transmit to us. You recognize that our review of your information, even if you submitted it in a good faith effort to retain us, and even if you consider it confidential, does not preclude us from representing another client directly adverse to you, even in a matter where that information could and will be used against you.

Please click the ‘ACCEPT’ button if you understand and accept the foregoing statement and wish to proceed.

ACCEPTCANCEL

Text

+ -

Reset