Supreme Court of California

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People v. Fontana, S170528

Judgment of the court of appeal reversing defendant's sex offense related conviction is reversed as, although the trial court erred in failing to conduct a hearing under Evidence Code section 782 to investigate whether the victim's prior sexual activity could have provided an alternative explanation for her oral and vaginal injuries, and even assuming the hearing would have established the existence and relevance of sexual conduct by the victim earlier that day, the exclusion of such evidence was harmless under any standard. Furthermore, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding evidence of the victim's sexual conduct earlier that day, to the extent it was offered to corroborate defendant's testimony.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 06/21/2010
  • Published 06/21/2010

Judges

  • BAXTER, J.

Court

  • Supreme Court of California

Counsel

  • For Appellees:
  • Alan A. Dressler for Defendant and Appellant., Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Attorney General, Dane R. Gillette, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Gerald A. Engler, Assistant Attorney General, Rene A. Chacon, Laurence K. Sullivan and Jeremy Friedlander, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent., K & L Gates, Jeffrey L. Bornstein, Holly Hogan, Alice Y. Ahn and Megan F. Cesare-Eastman for Bay Area Women Against Rape, San Francisco Women Against Rape, Community Violence Solutions, Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic and National Crime Victim Law Institute as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiff and Respondent.