Posts tagged "1015915"

Commonwealth v. Jones (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-159-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   SJC-11775   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  CLAUZELL JONES.     Worcester.     March 2, 2015. – September 21, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Rape.  Rape-Shield Statute.  Deoxyribonucleic Acid.  Constitutional Law, Confrontation of witnesses, Public trial.  Evidence, Expert opinion, Scientific test, Hearsay, Chain of custody, Sexual conduct.  Witness, Expert.  Practice, Criminal, Confrontation of witnesses, Public trial, Instructions to jury.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on March 17, 2009.   The cases were tried before David Ricciardone, J., and a motion for a new trial, filed on July 5, 2013, was heard by him.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Kathleen M. O’Connell for the defendant. Ellyn H. Lazar-Moore, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth. Brad A. Compston, for Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     LENK, J.  The defendant was indicted on charges of rape, in violation of G. L. c. 265, § 22 (b), and furnishing alcohol to a minor, in violation of G. L. c. 138, § 34.  At trial, the defendant testified both that his sexual contact with the victim did not involve penetration and that it was consensual.  To establish the element of penetration necessary to sustain a conviction of rape, the Commonwealth offered, in addition to the victim’s testimony, results of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing that purportedly identified the defendant’s saliva on “intimate” swabs taken from the victim’s vagina.  To prove that the sexual contact was nonconsensual, the Commonwealth offered, among other evidence, testimony concerning the victim’s conduct shortly after the alleged rape occurred.  The defendant was convicted by a Superior Court jury in May, 2011, on both indictments. On appeal, the defendant argues that the judge erred in allowing the Commonwealth to introduce, through the testimony of an expert witness who was not present when the victim’s “rape kit” examination was performed, evidence concerning how the various swabs that the expert tested were collected.  The defendant further contends that the judge violated his right to a public trial by holding, pursuant to G. L. c. 233, § 21B (rape shield law), an in camera hearing to determine the admissibility of evidence relating to the victim’s prior sexual contact with the individual to whom the victim first reported the alleged rape (first complaint witness).  Finally, the defendant challenges […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 21, 2015 at 2:48 pm

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