1192. Testimony on Rape Trauma Syndrome
You have heard testimony from <insert name of expert> regarding rape trauma syndrome.
______'s <insert name of expert> testimony about rape trauma syndrome is not evidence that the defendant committed any of the crimes charged against (him/her).
You may consider this evidence only in deciding whether or not ______'s <insert name of alleged rape victim> conduct was not inconsistent with the conduct of someone who has been raped, and in evaluating the believability of her testimony.
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction if an expert testifies on rape trauma syndrome. (See People v. Housley (1992) 6 Cal.App.4th 947, 958-959 [8 Cal.Rptr.2d 431] [sua sponte duty in context of child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome (CSAAS)]; CJER Mandatory Criminal Jury Instructions Handbook (CJER 10th ed. 2001) sua sponte Instructions, § 2.132; but see People v. Sanchez (1989) 208 Cal.App.3d 721, 736 [256 Cal.Rptr. 446] [instruction on CSAAS only required on request].)
Rebut Inference That Victim's Conduct Inconsistent With Claim of Rape. People v. Bledsoe (1984) 36 Cal.3d 236, 247-248 [203 Cal.Rptr. 450, 681 P.2d 291].
Syndrome Evidence Not Admissible to Prove Rape Occurred. People v. Bledsoe (1984) 36 Cal.3d 236, 251 [203 Cal.Rptr. 450, 681 P.2d 291].
1 Witkin, California Evidence (4th ed. 2000) Opinion Evidence, § 52.
3 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 71, Scientific and Expert Evidence, § 71.04[d][v][B] (Matthew Bender).
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 142, Crimes Against the Person, § 142.23[d] (Matthew Bender).
It is unnecessary and potentially misleading to instruct that the expert testimony assumes that a rape has in fact occurred. (See People v. Gilbert (1992) 5 Cal.App.4th 1372, 1387 [7 Cal.Rptr.2d 660] [in context of child molestation].)
(New January 2006)