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Fells v. State
Arkansas Supreme Court
207 S.W.3d 498 (2005)
Korey Fells (defendant) had just met SH when he offered to take her to a store. Instead, Fells drove SH to a secluded area many miles away, claiming that they could watch the Super Bowl on a television in his car’s back seat. In the back seat, Fells made sexual advances that SH rejected. Fells threatened to leave SH at the remote location if she did not submit. SH was pregnant and feared for the safety of her unborn baby if she were to be abandoned, so she submitted. Police officers approached the car soon after, and SH told them that she had been raped. Fells was arrested and charged with rape. Before trial, the prosecution asked to exclude all evidence that SH had tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) before the assault, and the trial court granted the motion. Fells never filed a motion or otherwise gave notice that he planned to present the HIV evidence at trial, and the evidence was never presented. Fells was convicted of rape and appealed. Fells argued that he should have been allowed to present evidence of SH’s HIV status because it gave her a motive to lie about whether the sex was consensual. Specifically, Fells argued that it was a crime for SH to expose him to HIV without his knowledge during consensual sex and that SH had told the police that she was raped to avoid being prosecuted for her own criminal conduct. The appellate court agreed with Fells and reversed the conviction. The case was appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Dickey, J.)
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