While you cannot offer a defendant’s prior bad acts as propensity evidence, these acts may be offered for alternative reasons.  For instance, prior bad acts can help jurors understand the nature of the relationship in a domestic violence case.  Similarly, prior incidents of sexual assault may show a common course of conduct to persuade a jury that the defendant committed the charged sexual assault.

During this 30 minute webinar, Carrie Newton from MDAA’s Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit will provide an overview of prior bad acts and review the permissible uses of prior bad acts discussed in Commonwealth v. Helfant, 398 Mass. 214 (1986). She will then examine how these acts can be used for discreet, but important, purposes in domestic violence and sexual assault prosecutions. 

 

To View this Previously Recorded Webinar Go To: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/576357886