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§ 3-319. Rape and sexual offense--Admissibility of evidence

West's Annotated Code of MarylandCriminal Law

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Criminal Law (Refs & Annos)
Title 3. Other Crimes Against the Person
Subtitle 3. Sexual Crimes (Refs & Annos)
MD Code, Criminal Law, § 3-319
Formerly cited as MD CODE Art. 27, § 461A
§ 3-319. Rape and sexual offense--Admissibility of evidence
Reputation and opinion evidence inadmissible
(a) Evidence relating to a victim's reputation for chastity or abstinence and opinion evidence relating to a victim's chastity or abstinence may not be admitted in a prosecution for:
(1) a crime specified under this subtitle or a lesser included crime;
(2) the sexual abuse of a minor under § 3-602 of this title or a lesser included crime; or
(3) the sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult under § 3-604 of this title or a lesser included crime.
Specific instance evidence admissibility requirements
(b) Evidence of a specific instance of a victim's prior sexual conduct may be admitted in a prosecution described in subsection (a) of this section only if the judge finds that:
(1) the evidence is relevant;
(2) the evidence is material to a fact in issue in the case;
(3) the inflammatory or prejudicial nature of the evidence does not outweigh its probative value; and
(4) the evidence:
(i) is of the victim's past sexual conduct with the defendant;
(ii) is of a specific instance of sexual activity showing the source or origin of semen, pregnancy, disease, or trauma;
(iii) supports a claim that the victim has an ulterior motive to accuse the defendant of the crime; or
(iv) is offered for impeachment after the prosecutor has put the victim's prior sexual conduct in issue.
Closed hearing
(c)(1) Evidence described in subsection (a) or (b) of this section may not be referred to in a statement to a jury or introduced in a trial unless the court has first held a closed hearing and determined that the evidence is admissible.
(2) The court may reconsider a ruling excluding the evidence and hold an additional closed hearing if new information is discovered during the course of the trial that may make the evidence admissible.

Credits

Added as Criminal Law § 3-317 by Acts 2002, c. 26, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 2002. Renumbered as Criminal Law § 3-318 by Acts 2002, c. 266, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2002. Renumbered as Criminal Law § 3-319 by Acts 2002, c. 278, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2002. Amended by Acts 2003, c. 89, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2003.
Formerly Art. 27, § 461A.

Editors' Notes

LEGISLATIVE NOTES
Revisor's Note (Acts 2002, c. 26):
This section is new language derived without substantive change from former Art. 27, § 461A.
In subsection (a) of this section, the former reference to “commission” of a crime is deleted as implicit in the references to specific crimes.
In subsection (b) of this section, the reference to “in a prosecution for rape, a sexual offense in the first or second degree, attempted rape, or an attempted sexual offense in the first or second degree” is added for clarity.
In subsection (c)(1) and (2) of this section, the references to a “closed” hearing are substituted for the former archaic references to an “in camera” hearing.
In subsection (c)(2) of this section, the reference to “reconsider[ing] a ruling excluding evidence and hold[ing] an additional closed hearing” is substituted for the former reference to “order[ing] an in camera hearing” for clarity and accuracy.
The Criminal Law Article Review Committee notes, for the consideration of the General Assembly, that in subsection (b)(2) of this section, the separate requirement for “material” evidence may be obsolete in light of the requirement for “relevant” evidence. See, e.g., Md. Rule 5-401.
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
2002 Legislation
Acts 2002, c. 266, § 1, renumbered Criminal Law §§ 3-313 through 3-321, as added by Acts 2002, c. 26, § 2, to be Criminal Law §§ 3-314 through 3-322, respectively. Acts 2002, c. 278, § 1, renumbered Criminal Law §§ 3-314 through 3-321, as added by Acts 2002, c. 26, § 2, to be Criminal Law §§ 3-315 through 3-322, respectively. Criminal Law §§ 3-314 through 3-321, as added by Acts 2002, c. 26, § 2, have been designated as Criminal Law §§ 3-316 through 3-323, respectively.
2003 Legislation
Acts 2003, c. 89, § 1, in subsec. (a), in the introductory paragraph, inserted “or abstinence” in two locations, and deleted “rape, a sexual offense in the first or second degree, attempted rape, or an attempted sexual offense in the first or second degree”; inserted subsecs. (a)(1) through (a)(3); in subsec. (b), in the introductory paragraph, substituted “described in subsection (a) of this section” for “for rape, a sexual offense in the first or second degree, attempted rape, or an attempted sexual offense in the first or second degree”; and in subsec. (c)(1), deleted “under paragraph (2) of this subsection” following “closed hearing”.
Derivation:
Former Art. 27, § 461A, related to evidence of victim's chaste reputation, repealed by Acts 2002, c. 26, § 1.
MD Code, Criminal Law, § 3-319, MD CRIM LAW § 3-319
Current through all legislation from the 2018 Regular Session of the General Assembly
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