State v. Cassidy 3 Conn.App 374, 489 A.2d 386 (1985)
Cassidy was accused of date rape.
The victim claimed that she willingly went home with him
but then told him to stop.
He claimed that she didn't.
She had slept with Cassidy twice before.
At trial, Cassidy attempted to introduce evidence of the
victim's prior sexual conduct.
Cassidy had a witness prepared to testify that the victim
had engaged in almost identical behavior with him a year before.
Cassidy argued that showed a pattern or prior conduct by
The victim argued that the evidence was too prejudicial.
She also denied engaging in that behavior.
The Trial Judge allowed Cassidy to introduce evidence of
previous encounters between the victim and Cassidy, but not evidence of
the victim's encounters with others.
The Trial Judge looked to Connecticut State law, which said that evidence of a victim's prior sexual conduct is inadmissible unless
the Trial Court concludes that it fits into an exception.
In this case Cassidy argued that it met the exception
that permits evidence to be admitted if it is "so relevant and
material to a critical issue that excluding it would violate the
defendant's constitutional rights."
The Trial Court found Cassidy guilty of sexual assault.
The Appellate Court affirmed.
The Appellate Court found that unless the testimony was
that the victim had made a false claim of sexual assault following the
similar encounter, then the evidence should be excluded.
The victim's behavior with another man had no bearing on
what happened between her and Cassidy.
If she had made a false claim after that previous
encounter, the evidence would be admissible in order to impeach her
Cassidy argued that he was trying to establish a pattern
of conduct, but the Court found that one previous instance did not
establish a pattern.
The Court noted that maybe if Cassidy had a number of
men all testify to victim's identical behavior in a number of
encounters, that would be sufficient to establish a pattern of conduct.