Jury Instructions For Sex Cases
Michigan has a special Criminal Jury Instruction (the law that is read to a jury) for Criminal Sexual Conduct charges. This instruction is read at every jury trial involving Criminal Sexual Conduct accusations, regardless of what degree.
- CJI 20.25: To prove a Sexual Assault charge, it is not necessary that there be evidence other than the testimony of [name accuser], if that testimony proves guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. (i.e. Testimony of the accuser Need Not Be Corroborated)
This instruction is a very powerful tool for the state. The state benefits from this instruction because it limits the amount of evidence needed by the state when charging Criminal Sexual Conduct charges. Typically, for most crimes, there is some type of additional evidence, other than just the accuser’s accusation, to assist the state in moving forward with their case. However, in Michigan, when it comes to Sexual Assault cases, additonal evidence, other than what the accuser alleges, is NOT required.
This instruction makes the stakes for Criminal Sexual Conduct cases extremely high. Because of this instruction, anyone can go to the police station, make a police report and claim something happened. Based on one person’s accusation/s the state can charge the accused and proceed all the way to trial based only on the accuser’s accusations alone.
Blank Law, PC is asked about this phenomenon constantly. It is hard to believe that charges that may change your life forever can be based on just the accuser’s words alone. Unfortunately, it happens all the time. The climate in the world is zero tolerance for Sex Crimes. Once someone claims they were raped/sexually assaulted, you, as the accused, automatically become public enemy number one. That is why, in this fight for your life, you need the years of knowledge and the skill set possessed by Blank Law, PC fighting for you in your corner.