Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
Defendant was an NFL player who was convicted of raping a minor between September – December 2009. The defendant was thirty-one years old at the time of the incident, and the victim was fifteen. She knew the defendant because she babysat for his children. The defendant admitted having sexual intercourse with the victim. In his defense, the defendant moved to introduce evidence of the victim’s false claims of sexual relations with other NFL players. He argued that evidence about the victim’s past sexual activities with males of a certain age would show that the defendant could reasonably have believed the victim was over the age of consent. The court excluded evidence of sexual conduct but allowed cross-examination of the victim on the issue of whether she fabricated past sexual relationships. The defendant was convicted and on appeal argued that the court erred in excluding evidence regarding the victim's past sexual activities with other males on the grounds that it would have explained his mistaken perception of the victim's age. The court disagreed, reasoning as follows:
Under Texas law, it is unlawful to have sexual conduct with a minor when the offender "knows the minor is thirteen years of age or older but less than sixteen years of age, or the offender is reckless in that regard." Evidence of the victim having sex with other males would not have affected the prosecution's proof that the defendant knew, or was “reckless” with regard to knowledge that the victim was under the age of consent. Thus, the state’s interest in protecting the victim’s sexual privacy outweighed the probative value of the evidence.
Submitted By: Sheba Varughese -- Law Student