If a person tellsa friend about something that happened and the friendthen notifies thepolice, if the frienddid not see what happened directlyis their testimony allowed?

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If a person tellsa friend about something that happened and the friendthen notifies thepolice, if the frienddid not see what happened directlyis their testimony allowed?

A girl tells her friend that she was raped. Now after 2 months have gone y they want to use the friend’s testimony in court. Isn’t it like third-party information?

Asked on November 15, 2010 under Criminal Law, Kentucky

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Hearsay is an out of court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted.  Hearsay is inadmissible unless it falls within an exception to the Hearsay Rule. 

If the girl made the statement to her friend immediately or shortly after the rape occurred, it would be admissible and would fall within an exception to the Hearsay Rule.  If a substantial amount of time elapsed before the girl made the statement to her friend, the statement would be inadmissible as hearsay.  There are several exceptions to the Hearsay Rule which would be inapplicable in this case.  The court might consider the overall trustworthiness of the statement and how necessary it is to prove the case which is a general exception to hearsay; however, in the case you described that might not be applicable without additional evidence.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The phrase and situation that I think that you are speaking about is called "hearsay", which is an objection to testimony at trial or in other legal proceedings to a statement that is made by someone other than the witness that is testifying.  There are many exceptions to the hearsay rule and this situation may indeed come under one of the exceptions.: excited utterance, etc.  Objections will always be made by the defense attorney during the trial. One would really have to know more of the circumstances surrounding the statement made to the friend.  If you want to get advice on the matter then I would speak with an attorney in your area.  Good luck to you.


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