True Lies: The Constitutional and Evidentiary Bases for Admitting Prior False Accusation Evidence in Sexual Assault Prosecutions


The admission of false accusation evidence in sexual assault prosecutions has been ruled on inconsistently by courts nationally. This article identifies the constitutional bases for admitting false accusation evidence as both impeachment and substantive (non-character) proof, and re-focuses Confrontation Clause analysis post-Crawford on the scope of the cross-examination right; offers a definition for what constitutes a false accusation and the level of proof requisite to its admission; and addresses social and policy concerns attendant to its presentation.


Constitutional Law | Criminal Law | Criminal Procedure | Evidence | Sexuality and the Law

Date of this Version

August 2005