180 Minute Module for Criminal Court Judges

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Faculty Manual

PowerPoint Slides with Suggested Commentary

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Case Study Exercises

State v. Figueroa

Defendant Carlos Figueroa is charged with sexual assault in the first degree for allegations that he coerced his ex-wife into performing oral sex upon him during a visitation exchange. There was no evidence of physical violence in this assault. At issue in this case is:

  1. whether a statute permitting prior bad acts evidence in sexual assault cases should apply;
  2. whether the history of domestic violence can be introduced to show that Ms. Figueroa was too traumatized and intimidated to consent.

State v. Nelson

Defendant Ben Nelson is charged with sexual assaulting his wife. This case study asks:

  1. Would the sexually explicit video and photographs of his wife that Nelson seeks to introduce at trial violate the Rape Shield Law?
  2. With respect to jury selection, should the request of the prosecutor and the defense attorney for expanded voir dire be granted? Should a jury questionnaire be used?
  3. Assuming conviction by a jury of second-degree sexual assault, would the judge order a pre-sentence investigation? What circumstances would support mitigation or aggravation of the guideline sentences? What sentence would the judge impose?

State v. Mirchandani

Defendant Ved Mirchandani is charged with first-degree rape of his wife of 25 years. At trial, the State moves to allow an expert witness to testify about battered women’s responses to their experiences as they relate to consent, to which Defendant objects because the effect of such testimony is to bolster the complaining witness’ credibility. Defendant also petitions to allow an expert to testify about the marital traditions of his culture. At issue are the probative values of the testimony of either expert.

State v. Logan

Defendant Peter Logan comes before the court for sentencing after being convicted of sexual assault in the second degree, unlawful imprisonment, assault in the first degree, and lesser offenses stemming from a six-hour siege of his family home. Mr. Logan has submitted letters from his eldest son and members of the community attesting to his excellent standing as a parent and mentor. He alleges his wife is unstable and that the injuries he caused her during that six-hour siege were unintentional. The probation report tends to dispute some of the letters and Mr. Logan’s statements against his wife. The court is asked to weigh this information to determine an appropriate disposition and sentence.

Survivor Video Clip and Transcript

This four-minute video clip is drawn from the Department of Justice, Office of Victims of Crime DVD Victim Impact: Listen and Learn. The clip is excerpted from an interview with a survivor of nearly lethal domestic violence and intimate partner sexual abuse. She states that the sexual abuse was even more emotionally destructive than the death threats because of the betrayal of trust. The sexual abuse, she states, “…was probably the most painful, and still probably the, the hardest to get past.”

This video clip is a very effective way to began any module. Suggested Commentary is located in the Faculty Manual for each module.

Transcript of Video Clip

It is useful to distribute the transcript of the video clip so program participants fully absorb the impact of intimate partner sexual abuse.

Video Clip

To play the video clip, it is necessary to have A/V equipment with speakers.


The Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse modules include extensive resources that are intended to be distributed. This download contains a compilation of eighteen articles that will be useful to anyone wanting more information about intimate partner sexual violence in the domestic violence context and adult victim sexual assault in general. The resources are organized as an Annotated Table of Contents. Each citation is a hyperlink to the full text of the resource. Users do not need to be connected to the internet to link to these texts.

Download the Resources with Annotated Table of Contents for All IPSA Modules (.zip)

Participant Handouts

Graphics for Reproducing this Module (.zip)