Washington Law Review


Evelyn Sroufe


Although R.C.W. § 9.79.150 deals with many sex crimes, this note is limited to its application in forcible rape cases. Part I examines various exclusionary rules of evidence in order to develop a framework for analysis of Washington's new law. Part II discusses the relevance of the victim's sexual history to her credibility as a witness; it concludes that the complete exclusion of past sexual history to attack credibility may be unconstitutional under the United States Supreme Court holding in Davis v. Alaska. On the other hand, Part III suggests that R.C.W. § 9.79.150 should be redrafted to limit further the use of sexual history to prove consent. Conceding that a past sexual encounter between the victim and the defendant may be sufficiently probative of consent to overcome the prejudicial effects of the evidence, Part III argues that this is not the case when past behavior with others is offered to prove consent to the defendant. The note concludes that past sexual conduct with third parties may be constitutionally excluded on the issue of consent.

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