PolitickerNJ Wire Feed
(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. to create a rape shield law for civil cases was released today by the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
The rape shield statute in criminal prosecutions provides that evidence of the victim's previous sexual conduct isn't admissible except under certain prescribed circumstances.
Diegnan's bill (A-101) would establish similar provisions in civil actions alleging sexual assault or sexual harassment.
"I see no reason for differing rape shield laws for criminal and civil cases," said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). "The same protections provided to victims in criminal cases should also be available in civil cases. It is, quite simply, the right thing to do."
Under the bill, evidence of the victim's previous sexual conduct would not be admitted at trial nor reference made to it in the presence of a jury except under certain circumstances.
A party seeking discovery of information concerning the plaintiff's sexual conduct with persons other than the defendant would be required to establish specific facts showing good cause for that discovery, and that the information sought is relevant to the subject matter of the action and reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
"This information isn't relevant in a criminal case, and nor should it be relevant in a civil case," Diegnan said. "The issue at hand in these trials is not a victim's history, but the assault that took place. That should always be the focus, whether it be a criminal or civil case."
The bill now goes to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.
To read more, please visit the New Jersey General Assembly Democratic Office Web site.
Majority Press Office 609-847-3500
The Star-Ledger will make a "significant announcement" to employees early next month, according to a source.Read More >
'We believe in redemption': Roque heads into 2015 with full backing of the HCDO WEST NEW YORK – When local pain specialist Dr. Felix Roque delivered U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) from discomfort and restored him to the golf course, the congressman in return indulged the political fancies of...
By Jeff Brindle An August 15, 2014 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Chesler reaffirmed the place of political parties in the State’s electoral system. By rejecting arguments that unaffiliated voters should have a right to vote in... Read More >
"I think he was an army general, what was he?" - state Sen. Nick Sacco (D-32)- PolitickerNJ
Press releases are submitted by PolitickerNJ users, not by staff. They do not represent the viewpoint of PolitickerNJ.com.