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True Lies: The Constitutional and Evidentiary Bases for Admitting Prior False Accusation Evidence in Sexual Assault Prosecutions

50 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2009  

Jules Epstein

Widener University - Widener University School of Law

Date Written: January 1, 2006

Abstract

The admission of false accusation evidence in sexual assault prosecutions has been ruled on inconsistently by courts nationally. This article identifies the constitutional bases for admitting false accusation evidence as both impeachment and substantive (non-character) proof, and re-focuses Confrontation Clause analysis post-Crawford on the scope of the cross-examination right; offers a definition for what constitutes a false accusation and the level of proof requisite to its admission; and addresses social and policy concerns attendant to its presentation.

Keywords: false accusation, evidence, sexual assault, criminal law, cross-examination, confrontation clause

JEL Classification: K42

Suggested Citation

Epstein, Jules, True Lies: The Constitutional and Evidentiary Bases for Admitting Prior False Accusation Evidence in Sexual Assault Prosecutions (January 1, 2006). Quinnipiac Law Review, Vol. 24, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1368355

Jules Epstein (Contact Author)

Widener University - Widener University School of Law ( email )

4601 Concord Pike
P.O. Box 7286
Wilmington, DE 19803-0474
United States

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