The Court says that credibility of the witnesses is no more important in sex offenses than in any other case. Maybe so, but credibility is more likely to be the only factor in sex cases than it is in other types of cases. For most other kinds of offenses, one can expect corroborating evidence - missing property in a theft case, injury in an assault case, a body in a murder case. One can imagine scenarios in non-sex cases in which credibility of the witness is the only question for the jury, but they are exceptions to the norm. Usually there will be physical evidence of some kind which the jury may consider.
And consent is rarely raised in non-sex cases. When a defendant claims consent, physical evidence that sexual relations took place becomes moot; credibility of the parties becomes the whole question for the jury. I think that it is in sex cases that juries will most often be asked to reach a verdict solely on the basis of the uncorroborated testimony of a victim, and therefore I think that it is in sex cases that the balancing approach will most often render such evidence admissible.
I join the opinion of the Court.
DATE DELIVERED: May 3, 2000