Sunday, November 17, 2013

People v. Cash case brief

People v. Cash case brief summary
351 N.W.2d 822 (1984)

Defendant appealed his conviction from the trial court (Michigan), for third-degree criminal sexual conduct, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.520d(1)(a) (Mich. Stat. Ann. § 28.788(4)(1)(a)), in the sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl.

On appeal, defendant contended that his reasonable mistake of fact as to the complainant's age was a defense to the statutory rape charge.


  • The court disagreed on the grounds that the legislature in enacting the criminal sexual conduct code intended to omit the defense of a reasonable mistake of age from its definition of third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a 13- to 16-year-old. 
  • Moreover, the mistake-of-age defense, at least with regard to statutory rape crimes, was not constitutionally mandated. 
  • Defendant further contended that 
  • (1) the trial court abused its discretion in not permitting cross-examination of the complainant or her mother regarding the complainant's lifestyle; and 
  • (2) the prosecution's argument and introduction of evidence concerning a forcible rape denied defendant a fair trial. 
  • The court disagreed. 
  • The evidence regarding complainant's lifestyle was irrelevant to impeach her credibility or to show her bias toward defendant. 
  • The court also found no error requiring reversal in the prosecutor's brief references to evidence of forcible rape in his argument to the jury and on direct examination of the complainant and the examining physician.

The court affirmed defendant's conviction.

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