Woman must testify in rape case
Omaha, Nebraska: The Nebraska Supreme Court made the ruling that a Kansas woman can be sent to jail for refusing to testify against the Nebraska man she accused of sexual assault. On May 11, 2012 the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled in a case affirming a previous judge's order, finding an alleged sexual assault victim in contempt for refusing to testify.
The alleged victim, now 25 years old, initially made allegations against Glen Riensche in 2010 to the Lancaster County Attorney's office about him sexually assaulting her when she was around 7 years old and living in Lincoln, Nebraska. Riensche was eventually charged on "suspicion of first-degree sexual assault and sexual assault of a child," which took place between 1992 and 1994, based on a Nebraska State Patrol investigation.
However, after bringing about an investigation and case against Riensche, in March 2011 the victim refused to testify against him or answer any questions at a deposition or at trial. The woman's defense cited state law granting witnesses privilege against testifying, saying to do so "would render her infamous and expose her, and her children, to public ignominy." In a hearing, District Judge Paul D. Merritt, Jr. again requested her testimony, emphasizing the importance of it in the case, and after her refusal sentenced her to be held in contempt of court 90 days in the county jail, or until she agreed to testify.
In an appeal to the Nebraska Supreme Court, it concluded that "public ignominy" could not be asserted by a witness in a criminal case "regardless of the materiality of the testimony" and affirmed the decision of the previous court.
- Article about Nebraska Supreme Court ruling in The Washington Post
- Nebraska court: Woman must testify in rape case
- May 11, 2012 article in Lincoln Journal Star
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Washington Post "Nebraska Supreme Court Rules Woman Must Testify Against Man in Molestation Case or Face Jail" Accessed May 13, 2012
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Lincoln Journal Star "State's High Could Says Victim Can be Compelled to Testify" Accessed May 13, 2012
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Seattle Post Intelligencer "Nebraska Court Rules Woman must Testify in Rape Case" Accessed May 14, 2012