Henson v. State
Indiana Supreme Court
535 N.E.2d 1189 (1989)
A jury convicted Rickey Henson (defendant) of rape and related offenses. Henson sat next to J. O. at a bar, and they exchanged names but did not talk to each other. J. O. stayed until the bar closed. As J. O. entered her car, Henson approached J. O. with a knife, forced her into the passenger’s seat, and drove them to a secluded place, where Henson raped her. J. O. testified that she returned to the same bar the next evening and drank; another witness additionally noted that J. O. danced. Henson presented an expert witness, Dr. David Gover, a psychologist specializing in post-traumatic stress syndrome who had worked extensively with rape victims. Henson’s attorney asked Gover whether the behavior of returning to a bar the evening after an alleged rape to drink and dance was consistent with the behavior of a rape victim. The prosecution (plaintiff) objected to the question, noting that Gover had never consulted with J. O. After further discussion without the jury’s presence, the trial court ultimately refused to admit Gover’s opinion about J. O.’s behavior, reasoning that although Gover was qualified to testify as an expert, Gover’s proffered testimony would be too speculative. Henson appealed from his conviction, arguing in relevant part that the trial court had erred by excluding Gover’s opinion about whether J. O.’s behavior was consistent with that of a rape victim.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Debruler, J.)
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