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A Dangerous Defense: "Blackout" in Alcohol Facilitated, Non-Stranger Sexual Assault Cases

Hosted by: End Violence Against Women International

Few cases are more challenging for investigators and prosecutors than non-stranger sexual assaults that involve alcohol use, especially voluntary drinking on the part of the victim prior to the assault. Among other challenges, a recent defense that has been raised successfully nationwide is the possibility of the victim having "blacked out," and consenting to sexual activity, but not remembering doing so. This presentation will go over the basic physical facts about what "blacking out" is, and also contrast them with passing out. It will then cover how investigators and prosecutors can distinguish between the two, and how evidence can be gathered from victims, witnesses and other sources to demonstrate whether one or the other was truly at work. Strategies will be discussed for addressing the defense both during the investigation and at trial so that the chances for justice can be maximized.

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Earlier Event: November 2
Human Trafficking in Indian Country