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Evidence Of Other Man’s Semen Admissible In Sexual Assault Case

Evidence Of Other Man’s Semen Admissible In Sexual Assault Case

Bobby Perry was found guilty of second-degree sexual assault (N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(c)(1)) and third-degree aggravated assault (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(7)). He was sentenced to 8 years with an 85% parole ineligibility period under the No Early Release Act (N.E.R.A., N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2(a)) for the aggravated sexual assault and 4 years imprisonment for the aggravated assault. Additionally, Megan’s Law (N.J.S.A. 2C:7-1 to -23) was applicable and Perry was sentenced to parole supervision for life. Perry and the victim were drinking together at his residence when he became angry with her and punched her in the mouth and told her to “sit on him”. One of the Defendant’s roommates returned from a party and he let the victim go. The victim said nothing while the roommate was in the room for some time. After the roommate left the room, the Defendant took the victim downstairs and tried to anally penetrate her, which she resisted, then performed oral sex on her before again trying to orally penetrate her. After this activity, the two returned to a room in the house and sat silently looking at her for some time. The Defendant then asked the victim what she was going to say happened to her face and she agreed to say that someone else had injured her. The victim later went to Maplewood Police Department, accompanied by her ex-boyfriend Mr. Wilkins, and Sergeant Guglielmo, upon seeing her injuries, called for an ambulance. At the hospital, Detective Fuentes of the Union Township Police Department met with the victim to give a statement. On the way to the police station, the victim showed Detective Fuentes where the attack occurred and identified Perry in a photo array. Officers appeared at the residence with a warrant and used a UV light to search for signs of bodily fluids or evidence of clean-up efforts but found nothing in the basement or bathroom and on a later date, the porch where only a small amount of blood was found on the back of a chair. The blood was later matched to the victim and semen was found in her clothing, however, no DNA found matched the Defendant. The Union County Superior Court Judge hearing State v. Perry denied Defendant’s application to admit DNA evidence of another man’s semen under the Rape Shield Law (N.J.S.A. 2C:14-7) finding that the presence of another man’s semen had no bearing on whether consent was given to the Defendant and found the probative value of the evidence was outweighed by the prejudice referencing State v. Ryan, 157 N.J. Super. 121 (App. Div. 1978). Perry appealed on the basis that the evidence of other semen could indicate the possibility that the victim claimed she was raped to appease Wilkins, with whom she was in an on again, off again relationship. The Rape Shield Law was intended to protect the privacy of the victim while also ensuring defendants receive a fair trial. State v. Garron, 177 N.J. 147 (2003) State v. Budis, 125 N.J. 519 (1991) explained that the Rape Shield Law permits prior sexual history to prove another individual is the source of the semen or to negate force. The NJ Appellate Division determined the evidence of another man’s semen in the victims clothes was necessary to put on a full defense as required under State v. Cotto, 182 N.J. 316 (2005). The probative value of the evidence, presented for the limited purpose of proving the victim was assaulted by Wilkins and lied to the police about who assaulted her, outweighed the potential prejudice. The appellate division reversed Perry’s conviction and remanded the matter with the instruction that, should the evidence of another’s semen be again proffered in the case, the trial court conduct a N.J.R.E. 104 hearing to determine admissibility of the evidence. If you have been charged with a sex crime you face severe consequences including prison, societal scorn and inclusion on the sex offender registry and possible involuntary civil commitment. It is critical you obtain experienced defense counsel to immediately begin to review the prosecution’s, evidence, speak with witnesses, explore alibis you may have and build a defense. For more information about sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, endangering the welfare of a minor and other sex crimes visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.

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