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Olden v. Kentucky

United States Supreme Court
488 U.S. 227 (1988)


Olden (defendant) and Matthews met in a bar and eventually left and had sexual intercourse multiple times. Olden claimed that the intercourse was consensual, but Matthews claimed that she was kidnapped, raped, and forcibly sodomized. Olden sought to show that Matthews had a motive to lie because she was seeing Olden’s half-brother, Russell, at the time of the incident and a revelation of the incident would ruin the relationship. To prove this, Olden tried to introduce evidence that Matthews is now living with Russell. The trial court excluded the evidence on the grounds that Matthews, a white woman, having a relationship with Russell, a black man, would produce an unfair prejudice against Matthews in the eyes of the jury. Along those lines, the trial court also sustained an objection when the defense tried to cross examine Matthews about her living situation. Olden was acquitted of kidnapping and rape, but convicted of forcible sodomy. The Kentucky Court of Appeals affirmed and he appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Per Curiam)

Dissent (Marshall, J.)

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