Does the accuser have to take the stand in trial with the accused

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Does the accuser have to take the stand in trial with the accused

If someone is accused of rape does the
accuser have to take the stand in trial

Asked on September 29, 2016 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In most cases, yes: rape is nonconsensual sexual contact, so the accuser would generally have to testify it was nonconsenual. There are exceptions, though:
1) If there were other witnesses to the attack, who can testify it was clearly an attack or nonconsensual.
2) If there is strong forensic evidence (e.g. a pattern of abrasions or bruising) which effectively establishes the use of force and that it was nonconsensual.
3) If another attacker or accomplice in a group attack testifies it was nonconsensual.
4) If the accused had confessed to the crime.
5) Etc.
So normally, the accuser takes the stand to prove the prosecutor's case, but there are times that it could be proven without her or him. 


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