208.Witness Identiﬁed as John or Jane Doe
In this case, a person is called ((John/Jane) Doe/
other name used>). This name is used only to protect (his/her) privacy,
as required by law. [The fact that the person is identiﬁed in this way is
not evidence. Do not consider this fact for any purpose.]
New August 2009
If an alleged victim will be identiﬁed as John or Jane Doe, the court has a sua
sponte duty to give this instruction at the beginning and at the end of the trial.
(Pen. Code, § 293.5(b); People v. Ramirez (1997) 55 Cal.App.4th 47, 58 [64
Penal Code section 293.5 provides that the alleged victim of certain offenses may
be identiﬁed as John or Jane Doe if the court ﬁnds it is “reasonably necessary to
protect the privacy of the person and will not unduly prejudice the prosecution or
the defense.” (Id., § 293.5(a).) This applies only to alleged victims of offenses
under the following Penal Code sections: 261 (rape), 261.5 (unlawful sexual
intercourse), 262 (rape of spouse), 264.1 (aiding and abetting rape), 286 (sodomy),
288 (lewd or lascivious act), 288a (oral copulation), and 289 (penetration by force).
Note that the full name must still be provided in discovery. (Id., § 293.5(a); Reid v.
Superior Court (1997) 55 Cal.App.4th 1326, 1338 [64 Cal.Rptr.2d 714].)
Give the last two bracketed sentences on request. (People v. Ramirez, supra, 55
Cal.App.4th at p. 58.)
• Identiﬁcation as John or Jane Doe. Pen. Code, § 293.5(a).
•Instructional Requirements. Pen. Code, § 293.5(b); People v. Ramirez (1997)
55 Cal.App.4th 47, 58 [64 Cal.Rptr.2d 9].
• Statute Constitutional. People v. Ramirez (1997) 55 Cal.App.4th 47, 54–59 [64
5 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Criminal Trial, § 553.
3 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 70,
Discovery and Investigation, § 70.05 (Matthew Bender).