Dr. David Brown
Sexual assault can have devastating and long-lasting effects on victims, but many assailants get away with their crime without being prosecuted.
The doctrine of chances is a rule of evidence allowing evidences of past crimes, wrongs, or acts to show it is unlikely a defendant would be repeatedly and innocently involved in similar, suspicious circumstances.
Given that about 63.3% of assailants are repeat offenders, the doctrine of chances could effectively be used in sexual assault cases.
The main objective is to determine a precise probabilistic threshold for allowing the use of the doctrine of chances in sexual assault cases such that more evidence may be admissible in cases of a repeat offender.
Research On Capitol Hill 2016
Wallentine, Ryan, "Sexual assault and the doctrine of chances in the courtroom" (2016). Research on Capitol Hill. Paper 37.