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Evidence Of Pregnancy And Virginity Admissible In Rape Case

The Michigan Supreme Court building.
Reginald Hardwick
Michigan Supreme Court

Evidence of a young girl’s virginity and subsequent pregnancy and abortion can be used in a Wayne County sexual assault case.  

Michigan’s Rape Shield law says alleged victims’ sexual activity cannot be used against them.  But the state Supreme Court says those factors can be admitted as evidence in spite of that law in a case where a man was charged with having sex with a 14-year-old girl. She became pregnant and had an abortion. The defense says the prosecution should not have been able to admit evidence of the pregnancy or abortion because of the state Rape Shield Statute.      

But the Michigan Supreme Court said the evidence can come in under the state’s rules of evidence.  

Bill Vailliencourt is the vice president of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan.

“Primarily the opinion provides a guide for lower courts in how to read and apply the Rape Shield Statute in future cases.” says Vailliencourt.  

Justice Richard Bernstein agreed with part of the decision. But he said the abortion evidence should be barred by the Michigan Rules of Evidence.     

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County.
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