Brief Fact Summary. David K. Guardia, M.D. (Defendant) was indicted for two counts of criminal sexual penetration and two counts of battery; the indictment was based on Defendant’s alleged behaviors while he was practicing as a gynecologist. The prosecution offered into evidence the testimony of various women who claimed to have been abused by Defendant, and Defendant moved to have the evidence excluded based on the standard of Federal Rule of Evidence 403. The lower court granted Defendant’s motion, and this appeal followed.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. In order for evidence to be admissible under Federal Rule of Evidence 413, a defendant must be on trial for, “an offense of sexual assault,” the evidence must be of and concerning, “another offense of . . . sexual assault,” the lower court must determine that the evidence is relevant, and the potential prejudicial value of the evidence must not substantially outweigh its probative value.
Does the test found in Federal Rule of Evidence 403 (that evidence, otherwise admissible, is inadmissible when the probative value of the evidence is substantially outweighed by the risk of unfair prejudice) apply to evidence introduced under Federal Rule of Evidence 413?
Was the lower court correct in excluding the evidence in the present case based on its Rule 403 determination that the risk of prejudice did substantially outweigh the evidence’s probative value?.
Yes; Federal Rule of Evidence 403 applies to all types of evidence.
Yes; the decision to exclude evidence based on Federal Rule of Evidence 403 is within the sound discretion of the trial court, and that court “properly exercised its discretion.”
Rule 413 provides a specific admissibility standard in sexual assault cases, replacing Fed.R.Evid. 404(b)'s general criteria.View Full Point of Law