Sexual violence cases often present evidentiary questions and issues that are not in easily understood without the assistance of someone with specialized knowledge, training, and/or experience. This can involve challenges to understanding the presence or absence of medical evidence, the impact of toxicology on the human body, as well as the effects of trauma and the range of individual responses to sexual violence. Experienced professionals can provide judges and juries with the necessary context to ensure that they are making informed decisions based on the evidence and prevent misconceptions from negatively impacting the outcome of a case. The presenter will summarize the law related to the introduction of expert testimony and highlight the importance of deciding if and when to introduce expert testimony in a case.
Victimization rates in Indian country are high in many parts of the country, particularly for crimes like sexual assault and domestic violence. In non-PL 280 jurisdictions, the federal government has concurrent jurisdiction with the tribe for many of these offenses. And, even in PL 280 states, the federal government may have jurisdiction to prosecute some intimate partner violence crimes occurring on the reservation. In each of these situations, it is likely that tribal personnel will be the first responders to the crime scene or to meet with the victim. This webinar will address how the federal government and tribal governments can work collaboratively to investigate and prosecute domestic violence and sexual assault offenses. We will cover the elements needed to prove the most commonly charged assault crimes in Indian country, special federal evidentiary rules that apply in sexual assault cases, and laws in the federal system that protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.