CALCRIM No. 1192. Testimony on Rape Trauma Syndrome

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2020 edition)

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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) [or any conduct or crime[s] with which
(he/she) was not charged].
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.
New January 2006; Revised April 2020
BENCH NOTES
Instructional Duty
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
2019) Sua Sponte Instructions, § 2.163; but see People v. Sanchez (1989) 208
Cal.App.3d 721, 736 [256 Cal.Rptr. 446] [instruction on CSAAS only required on
request].)
Related Instructions
If this instruction is given, also give CALCRIM No. 303, Limited Purpose Evidence
in General, and CALCRIM No. 332, Expert Witness Testimony.
AUTHORITY
• 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].
COMMENTARY
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].)
SECONDARY SOURCES
1 Witkin, California Evidence (5th ed. 2012) Opinion Evidence, § 53.
974
3 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 71,
Scientific and Expert Evidence, § 71.04[1][d][v][B] (Matthew Bender).
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 142, Crimes
Against the Person, § 142.23[3][d] (Matthew Bender).
Couzens & Bigelow, Sex Crimes: California Law and Procedure § 12:7 (The Rutter
Group).
SEX OFFENSES CALCRIM No. 1192
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