Mar 2019

The odds against citizens accused of sex crimes just got worse.


The odds against citizens accused of sex crimes just got worse (again). Beginning March 17, 2019, amended MCL 768.27b (see 2018 PA 372), allows prosecutors other to admit “other acts” evidence of prior sexual assault “for any purpose for which it is relevant.”

“Other acts evidence” of prior sexual assaults have always been admissible under Michigan Rule of Evidence 404(B) (MRE 404(b)). However, 404(B) requires a proper purpose, and prohibits the admission of “other acts” to prove propensity or character. 768.27B eliminates that requirement, and does not limit the use of the evidence to prove propensity or character. 

There are basically two limitations on the new statute. One is Michigan rule of evidence 403, which holds that the evidence is inadmissible if it “substantially more prejudicial than probative,” or leads to issues like needless delay or a confusion to the jury.

The other is the statute itself (768.27B) limits admissibility of “other acts” to only those that occurred in the past ten years prior to the charged offense.  See 2018 PA 372.  However, the 10-year restriction can be overcome if the prosecutor is able to establish any of the following:

  • The prior sexual assault had been reported to law enforcement within 5 years of its occurrence.
  • A sexual assault evidence kit was collected.
  • Evidence from the assault was tested and resulted in a DNA profile associated with the defendant.
  • It is in the interests of justice to admit the evidence.

See MCL 768.27b(4).

Once again, the rights of citizens accused of sexual assaults continue to be destroyed and removed. This only emphasizes even more the need to hire a specialist in sex crimes if this allegation is made against you. At Satawa Law, we simply win these cases. Satawa Law PLLC . Defending your rights, protecting your future.

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