After being thrust into an unfamiliar role in a complex system that is often equally unfamiliar, jurors in sexual assault cases face the daunting task of reaching a just verdict for a crime that is shrouded in misconceptions. In this foreign terrain, prosecutors serve as a trusted guide—pointing out familiar landmarks of personal experience and presenting witnesses and other evidence in a manner that makes them both understandable and relatable. By assisting jurors in forming personal connections to the evidence, the prosecutor can remove obstacles that might otherwise block the jury’s path to a just finding of guilt.
This presentation will discuss ways to focus the jury’s attention on the evidence in a manner that accurately conveys the reality of sexual assault and assists jurors in rendering a fair and just verdict—beginning with jury selection and continuing through opening statement, presentation of evidence, and summation.
Who Should View
Allied justice system professionals including but not limited to prosecutors, law enforcement officers, community-based service providers, medical and mental health practitioners, probation and parole officers, judges, etc. are encouraged to view this webinar recording.
This one-hour webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for one (1.0) hour of continuing legal education credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.
Sexual abuse in confinement has persistently presented tremendous challenges to investigators and prosecutors because of internal and external barriers to reporting, including the behaviors, actions, and decision-making power of first responders that may result in the failure to make an official report to law enforcement. Additional challenges include issues related to evidence collection and retention, identification of witnesses, and multi-level biases against inmates. This resource provides an overview of the Prison Rape Elimination Act and national standards related to a victim-centered, offender-focused investigation and prosecution of a sexual abuse in confinement. The issue discusses detailed strategy for prosecuting these cases, including investigation, pretrial, jury selection, trial testimony and sentencing.