I want to talk to you today about an evidentiary rule in sexual assault cases. It’s called Narrative. I’ll give you an example and then explain it. So let’s say for example, that a complainant victim is sexually assaulted, they’re raped. The accused leaves the building where they are or their bedroom. They then the next day, go and tell their boyfriend that they were sexually assaulted or even that night and then they tell their friend that as well. And then they go to the police. Okay. And in their statement to the police, they give all sorts of details of what they’re told in the bedroom. Now in court, the crown will be able to lead a little bit of this narrative. In other words they’d be allowed to say look, and I told my boyfriend right away. I was mostly distraught. I then told my friend the next day, then I went to the police and told my version of events, but they’re not allowed to get into details with this. So what’s the use of this evidence? It just shows the context of the development after the alleged sexual assault how it came to the attention of the police. So the jury or judge can understand the unfolding of events of how it came to the attention of the police. But you see the jury or the judge has to say to the jury the fact that she repeated that she was raped doesn’t mean she was raped. I mean, a judge will say to the jury once a lie always a lie or what’s the truth, always truth but you can’t use it. Just because she told her boyfriend she was raped doesn’t’ mean she was raped and it’s only used for the limited purpose of how it came to the attention to police so we can understand the flow of events. So it’s a difficult concept to grasp in a way for jury and they we really have to bring it home judges know this intimately in judge alone trial but we have to bring it home intimately and explain it to the jury. You just because she’s again, just because a person cried rape doesn’t mean she was raped. Maybe she was maybe she wasn’t. It’s for a very limited use. There’s another form of narrative where which is another difficult concept, where a sexual assault victim will go immediately and in being terrible demeanor in tears, because let’s say it’s a truthful victim and say she was raped by someone that evidence can be used in less of a limited way. It may be consistent with credibility and that’s a very difficult concept. You have to dance around that I won’t get into all the details of that. But that goes a little bit beyond mere narrative. And yes, that can be used to maybe show she’s consistent or credible with the allegation. So there’s two uses of narrative. One is very limited, the other goes a little bit further towards the person’s credibility showing the making credible or reliable. And because let’s face it, if someone’s sexually assaulted, they may be in tears after. By the way you might want to watch for a rape myth and stereotype video tape that’s another whole different kettle of fish as well on the similar topic about what rape myths and stereotypes are, that’s another video that I did that you’ll find out on the YouTube channel if you’re a subscriber. So yes, I just wanted Yeah, that’s a wrap up on that particular topic. And I just want to mention that we have offices across the province, we’re in Windsor. We’re in London, we’re in Kitchener, and we’re in Toronto and if you’re charged with sexual assault or any type of crime and give our Toronto sexual assault lawyers in a call, for example, we’ll help you get the legal advice you need.
By Published On: July 20, 2023Last Updated: September 28, 2023Categories: Sexual Assault, Video

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