Because sexual abuse may often involve only the two people who know what really happened, numerous legal issues will be at the heart of formal judicial proceedings. Credibility and clarity are paramount. Society, the justice system, and attorneys rightly view a nonconsensual sexual assault as a serious criminal offense. Proving the offense in court can involve proper application of case law and Federal Rules of Evidence. In a recent case, United States v. Parson, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 218968 (Case No. 21-CR-0112-CVE; November 12, 2021), Fed. R. Evid. 403 and Fed. R. Evid. 703 were in the spotlight.

The specific language of each Rule reads as follows:

  • Rule 403. Excluding Relevant Evidence for Prejudice, Confusion, Waste of Time, or Other Reasons