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    Victim's Rights - Forced to testify?

    Jurisdiction / State: Colorado

    My boyfriend assaulted me. I do not want to testify. Not because I don't want to testify against him, but because I was nude, had been drinking, was on medication for PTSD for an accident and, after watching a recent rape trial in Aspen, I know they will use all of this to tear me apart on the stand. I've asked them to make a plea, my boyfriend sought all kinds of treatment (none of which he can get since he's in jail), but they don't care.

    He doesn't remember the incident, and I only remember it in pieces. At this point, I'm wondering if I remember any of it correctly. The thought of testifying is ruining my life. I've been served a subpoena in spite of the fact I have begged the DA to go forward with out me, and to make the case without me.



    When they start ripping into me on the stand, can I ask the relevance? Can I refuse to answer? What are my rights? The trial will be all about me, and nothing about him will even be brought up. Can someone please tell me what I can and cannot do? They are not allowed to bring up any of his past transgressions and don't need to say a word about him, but if I don't put myself out there I can go to jail.

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    Yes you can go to jail, you are likely going to have to testify. But you are assuming a whole lot and making it worse than it really is. You aren't in a high profile rape case. You are in a minor assault case. Furthermore the girl in that rape case didn't get "ripped into" there is a rape shield law in your state and they couldn't.

    Stop imagining what it will be like and just relax. Your anticipation is worse than the reality. I'll look to see what testimony privileges there are in Colorado. But you are really making this worse than it will be. I have a feeling this has more to do with helping the boyfriend than what's going to happen to you on the stand.

    The judge is going to be very protective of you on the stand. So if you are worried about that just know that this isn't tv or the movies. Rape and assault victims are treated with kid gloves on the stand. I'll check the law and get back to you. If you are trying to protect your bf, don't.

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    No, I'm not trying to protect him. I do care what happens to him, and it would be my wish for mandated treatment over a long period of incarceration, but that is not what this is about. Until that rape case, I didn't feel like this. I don't know how much you know about that high profile rape case, but my victim's advocate even wrote an editorial for the paper about how badly she was being treated in the case. Its not my imagination. And I know what my boyfriend is going to try to say in his defense, and I know the attorney is going to run with it. Its not true, but its his word versus mine and he's not caring like I am. He'll fight dirty. I don't fight dirty, just truthfully. And I'm scared to death.

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    Some people's definition of being treated badly differs from others. I am not here to discuss the Kobe Brant case, I personally believe she was the guilty party and therefore wasn't treated badly enough. (I would like to see her in jail if her story was as bad as I have read).

    That being said, it didn't kill her. You can torture yourself if you think it will make you feel better, or you can try to relax because you are going to testify. If you fail to appear you will be in contempt of court. If you refuse to answer you will be in contempt of court. The judge will protect you. Make your fears known to the DA in writing and they will go out of their way to protect you on the stand.

    I've done rape cases before, and physical assaults with gruesome details. Any lawyer that really asks inappropriate questions will not like the Judge's reaction. You can trust me on that, or you can argue with me and be worried.

    Let everyone know you are afraid to testify and show up. Good luck, trust me, it won't be as bad as you are making it now.

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    The Kobe Bryant case was years ago. This has nothing to do with the Kobe Bryant case. I am talking about an actual rape case in ASPEN Colorado, not Vail. This case was a hung jury, in the same town with the same judge and the same DA. Defense attorney's just changed. This was a real girl and my boyfriend has been living with this rapist for the last 6 months in the county jail. This is the same place where Charlie Sheen is being tried, same town, same crew. I'm sorry you're upset about the Kobe Bryant case, but I'm talking about a real situation with real people, not celebrities. I'm sorry if you're offended, but I believe my fear of this particular courtroom is real.

    In the retrial of the rapist, the defense filed motions to ban the victim, victim's advocate and a local reporter from the courtroom. Its like a circus in Aspen. Meanwhile, the accused are forced to have 24-hour cereal and ice cream stations, rent movies and pizza and watch tv all day.
    Last edited by Modwild; 05-20-2010 at 11:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Modwild View Post

    When they start ripping into me on the stand, can I ask the relevance? Can I refuse to answer? What are my rights? The trial will be all about me, and nothing about him will even be brought up. Can someone please tell me what I can and cannot do? They are not allowed to bring up any of his past transgressions and don't need to say a word about him, but if I don't put myself out there I can go to jail.
    You have no legal standing to object to anything as a witness.

    The relevance of a particular question will be objected to by the attorneys in the case (defense and prosecution).

    You have the rights of every person in this country.

    Just testify to best of your recollection.

    If you don't remember something, simply say"I do not recollect or recall that."

    You need only tell the truth.

    Do not guess, suppose, or fill in the blanks.

    You did nothing illegal.

    You aren't going to prison.

    Otherwise, you'd be on trial.

    Just tell the truth and let the chips fall where they fall.

    If you don't know or remember, say so.

    If you're asked what someone was wearing and all you recall is that it was blue, say so.

    The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.

    That's what you'll swear to, and that is all you have to do!

    If you get cute or try anything else, you'll get a perjury charge or an obstruction of justice beef.

    The only person here that can get hurt, is you.

    Just tell the truth the best you can recollect.

    If you only recall a part of what you're asked about, say, "I only remember what happened up until the screaming, then I blacked out. When I came through, the police were there."

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