State v. Cassidy Case Brief

Summary of State v. Cassidy, Appellate Court of Connecticut, 1985

Facts: Victim claimed that she was raped by D. D claims that he had consensual sex with V and then all of a sudden, V became hysterical and started talking about her husband who died in Vietnam. D tried to introduce testimony of another man who claimed that V had sex with him also and then she became crazy and started talking about her dead husband. The trial court excluded this evidence under the rape shield statute.

Issue: Was the testimony of D’s witness admissible?

Holding: No

Rationale: D argues that the evidence of V’s prior sexual conduct was so relevant and material to a critical issue in the case that excluding it would violate his constitutional rights. In this case, unless the proffered testimony was to show that the victim previously made a false claim of sexual assault following the claimed similar, consensual sexual conduct, the evidence should be excluded. One cannot logically infer that the victim acted in the manner described by the D simply because of somewhat similar incident one year beforehand. Also, evidence of just one sexual encounter is not enough to prove pattern. Therefore, this evidence was not so relevant to D’s case that its exclusion violated D’s constitutional rights.

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