Wednesday, June 11, 2003
HARRISBURG -- The state rape shield law's ban on using a victim's sexual history as evidence extends to an arrest and conviction for prostitution that occurred after the alleged attack, the state Superior Court has ruled.
The nine-judge panel overturned an Allegheny County judge's decision that would have allowed Pittsburgh hotel worker Robert B. Jones to use the woman's prostitution case as evidence in his own pending trial. Jones spent nearly three years in jail waiting for the ruling on the pretrial motion.
A spokesman for the Allegheny County district attorney's office, Mike Manko, declined to comment on the prosecution's successful appeal.
The ruling clarifies the law's reference to "past" sexual history to mean anything that takes place before trial. Previous rulings on the shield law had covered only incidents that occurred prior to the crime.
That puts Pennsylvania law "in line with the trend among other states that have evaluated the same issue," said Villanova Law School Professor Michelle J. Anderson, an expert on rape law.
Jones' attorney, Angela R. Carsia, said she did not believe the ruling would prevent her from proving that the sex was consensual.
"Our defense is that he and she were engaged in sex-for-hire. The agreement (they had) was not met, what she wanted the result to be, so she turned around and cried rape," she said.
Jones, 51, was charged in December 1999 with rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated assault. He has pleaded innocent.
This is... troubling.
If the man is innocent, than the fact that this woman *did* sell herself is important to his defense.
If the man is guilty, then the revelation that she is a prostitute will likely get him an acquital, unless there's incredibly evidence that he's guilty.
Thoughts? Should the alleged victim's criminal record be brought into the case?
I honestly don't know which way to jump on this one...
Edited by Cait, 21 September 2012 - 04:25 PM.