Commonwealth v. Rogers

In Commonwealth v. Rogers, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether a criminal defendant is permitted to introduce evidence of his alleged victims’ prior prostitution convictions to bolster his consent defense to rape charges. The case revolved around the Rape Shield Law, which generally precludes evidence regarding prior sexual conduct of a victim of sexual assault. As a threshold issue, the Court ruled that “past” sexual conduct means sexual behavior occurring anytime before trial, not just prior to the alleged crime. As to the main issue, the Supreme Court held that the evidence at trial of prompt complaint to police and visible injuries to the victims rendered the proposed evidence irrelevant and properly excluded by the Rape Shield Law. The Court also ruled that a weight-of-the-evidence claim was properly preserved in the 1925(b) statement, so the Court remanded for the Superior Court to consider that issue only.

Rogers-1-1

Rogers-2-1