Copyright (c) 2008 The College of William and Mary
William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law
NOTE: MAINTAINING THE PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE IN DATE RAPE TRIALS THROUGH THE USE OF LANGUAGE ORDERS: STATE V. SAFI AND THE BANNING OF THE WORD "RAPE"
WILLIAM AND MARY JOURNAL OF WOMEN AND THE LAW
15 Wm. & Mary J. of Women & L. 193
On the morning of October 31, 2004, Bethany ("Tory") Bowen says she was raped. 1 Her ordeal began on October 30, 2004 when she and some friends went to a bar in Lincoln, Nebraska called Brothers. 2 There, Bowen, a student at the University of Nebraska, met Pamir Safi, an Army reservist with whom she shared some drinks. 3 While at the bar, Bowen and Safi kissed, and at one a.m. they left Brothers together. 4 At this point in the night, Bowen's and Safi's stories diverge. Bowen says the next thing she knew it was morning, she was covered in vomit, and Safi was in the process of raping her. 5 When Bowen asked Safi to stop, he did. 6 Bowen has no recollection of meeting Safi. 7 Safi says they had consensual sex. 8 Safi says that to his knowledge Bowen did not vomit in his home, but he admits that she "may have vomited a little in his vehicle." 9
Lancaster County Attorney Gary Lacey's office decided to prosecute Safi. 10 In a pretrial conference, Safi's attorney, Clarence Mock, moved to bar the prosecution from using or eliciting witness testimony containing the words "rape," "sexual assault kit," "victim," and "assailant." 11 The motion was made pursuant to Nebraska Rule of Evidence 403, which blocks admission of relevant evidence if its "probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice." 12 Lancaster County District Judge Jeffre Cheuvront signed the order. ...
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