☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 491

< > Effective - 17 Mar 1986, see footnote bottom

  491.015.  Prosecuting witness in certain cases not to be interrogated as to prior sexual conduct. — 1.  In prosecutions under chapter 566 or prosecutions related to sexual conduct under chapter 568, opinion and reputation evidence of the complaining witness' prior sexual conduct is inadmissible; evidence of specific instances of the complaining witness' prior sexual conduct or the absence of such instances or conduct is inadmissible, except where such specific instances are:

  (1)  Evidence of the sexual conduct of the complaining witness with the defendant to prove consent where consent is a defense to the alleged crime and the evidence is reasonably contemporaneous with the date of the alleged crime; or

  (2)  Evidence of specific instances of sexual activity showing alternative source or origin of semen, pregnancy or disease;

  (3)  Evidence of immediate surrounding circumstances of the alleged crime; or

  (4)  Evidence relating to the previous chastity of the complaining witness in cases, where, by statute, previously chaste character is required to be proved by the prosecution.

  2.  Evidence of the sexual conduct of the complaining witness offered under this section is admissible to the extent that the court finds the evidence relevant to a material fact or issue.

  3.  If the defendant proposes to offer evidence of the sexual conduct of the complaining witness under this section, he shall file with the court a written motion accompanied by an offer of proof or make an offer of proof on the record outside the hearing of the jury.  The court shall hold an in camera hearing to determine the sufficiency of the offer of proof and may at that hearing hear evidence if the court deems it necessary to determine the sufficiency of the offer of proof.  If the court finds any of the evidence offered admissible under this section the court shall make an order stating the scope of the evidence which may be introduced.  Objections to any decision of the court under this section may be made by either the prosecution or the defendant in the manner provided by law.  The in camera hearing shall be recorded and the court shall set forth its reasons for its ruling.  The record of the in camera hearing shall be sealed for delivery to the parties and to the appellate court in the event of an appeal or other post trial proceeding.


(L. 1977 H.B. 502 § 1, A.L. 1986 S.B. 450)

Effective 3-17-86

(1982) Rape shield law creates only a presumption that evidence of a victim's prior sexual conduct is irrelevant; in limited circumstances such conduct may be relevant if proper procedural steps are followed. State v. Brown (Mo. banc), 636 S.W.2d 929.

(1987) For purposes of subdivision (1) of subsection 1 of this section, two years has been held not to be "reasonably contemporaneous", even in circumstances where the element of consent is extraordinary. State v. Foulk, 725 S.W.2d 56 (Mo.App.E.D.)

(1993) Rape shield statute is intended to protect complaining witness from questions regarding prior sexual conduct and does not prevent defendant from cross examining witness concerning prior sexual abuse complaint to establish motive for witness to fabricate present complaint.  State v. Lampley, 859 S.W.2d 909 (Mo. App. E.D.).

---- end of effective  17 Mar 1986 ----

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