December 25, 2005
Kansas Court Erred When Dismissing Domestic Abuse Charge After Victim Recanted Original Statement
The trial court erred when it dismissed a charge in a domestic violence case after the victim recanted her original statement to police, a Kansas Court of Appeals ruled Friday. The court said that it was of statewide interest to ensure that a crime may be prosecuted even when a victim recants his or her original statement, especially where other evidence supports the charge. In this case, the victim was found by police to suffer from a badly swollen face, her eyes were swollen shut, she was barely able to speak and walked slowly. Her shirt was bloodied and she told police her boyfriend had punched her in the face, kicked her, and struck her with a lamp. Police found the boyfriend asleep on a bed. He was arrested and confessed to beating her. However, at trial, the victim recanted what she had previously told police. The Court of Appeals said that rather than dismissing the charge, the trial judge should have let the jury decide the issue. Source: Robert A. Cronkleton, The Kansas City Star, KansasCity.com. For more information, please click here (last visited December 25, 2005, reo).
The opinion of the court in State v. Coppage, 92648 (Kansas Court of Appeals, December 23, 2005) can be found on the web at
http://www.kscourts.org/kscases/ctapp/2005/20051223/92648.htm (last visited December 26, 2005 bgf)
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