CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, December 24, 2004

Sex Crime Victim's Mental Health Records Sought by Government

File Eric Sarsfield served 10 years for rape before being exonerated by DNA evidence.   His accuser entered therapy after the exoneration, feeling responsible for the miscarriage of justice.  She now supports his federal lawsuit against the City of Marlborough, Massachusetts, saying that the police pressured her to identify him.  In response, the city is seeking the records of her therapy, on the ground that it may show she is an unreliable witness. Said the city's lawyers: "Without the requested communications and records, the Defendants will not be able to effectively refute (her) testimony or determine her credibility. . .The information is vital to the outcome of the case."  A lawyer for Sarsfield stated: "The victim in this case is being punished because she came forward to rectify this miscarriage of justice. It's a sad irony that this is being done by the very people who were sworn to serve and protect her in the first place." [Jack Chin]

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