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Hastings Law Journal

Abstract

The Indiana Supreme Court recently held that because the alleged victim of a traumatic rape was observed dancing and drinking the night after the rape, it was not likely that she in fact was raped. This Note examines the literature and judicial decisions regarding the phenomenon of "rape trauma syndrome" in an effort to assess whether the Indiana decision was correct in its application of novel scientific evidence and whether it is appropriate for either the prosecution or defense to use expert testimony regarding the victim's post-rape mental state to prove or deny consent. The author suggests that the public policies furthered by the promulgation of uniform state and federal "rape shield" statutes mandate that the victim be shielded not only from inquiries regarding her pre-rape sexual conduct, but also from interrogation regarding her post-rape behavior.

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