Criminal Sexual Conduct: Cross Examining the Complainant With Mental Health Issues

Randall Levine

Often times complaining witnesses in Criminal Sexual Conduct cases make false accusations due to mental illness. Mental illness is commonplace in our society. People who suffer from Bipolar Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder are capable of making false accusations of Criminal Sexual Conduct against another person.

The prosecution will normally resist any effort by a defendant to cross-examine a complaining witness concerning their mental health. This is especially true with regard to a defense attempt to obtain medical records of a complainant’s mental health treatment.

Persons accused of Criminal Sexual Conduct have a 6th Amendment right to confront their accuser. On the other hand, a complainant in a Criminal Sexual Conduct case has the right to privacy in their medical records. A defendant’s 6th Amendment right to confrontation can overcome the right to privacy in certain circumstances. Experienced defense counsel can request a Stanaway hearing in the State of Michigan and successfully obtain the medical records of a complainant under certain circumstances.

If the court orders the records to be produced and the complainant is unwilling to produce them, the court must dismiss the case. If the records are produced for the judge’s review and are relevant to the defense theory they must be provided to the defense.

If you have been accused of Criminal Sexual Conduct by a mentally ill person contact experienced counsel. Levine & Levine has over 30 years of experience in defending these types of cases.

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