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Important Rape Shield Case

Today the Ninth Circuit issued an important rape shield case:

Defendant-Appellant Jeff Fowler was convicted of annoying or molesting Charla Lara in violation of California Penal Code § 647.6 following a jury trial in which he was precluded from cross-examining Lara regarding two prior incidents in which she alleged that other men had molested her. We conclude that the proffered cross-examination sufficiently bore upon Lara’s reliability or credibility such that the jury might reasonably have questioned it and, thus, that the crossexamination implicated Fowler’s Sixth Amendment right to confrontation.

Fowler v. Sacramento County (CA9 8.31.05)