State v. Vue

606 N.W.2d 719 (2000)

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State v. Vue

Minnesota Court of Appeals
606 N.W.2d 719 (2000)

  • Written by Haley Gintis, JD

Facts

MV and Vue (defendant) were Hmong immigrants from Laos. MV and Vue were not legally married but lived together as husband and wife for over 10 years. In February 1998, MV sought a protection order against Vue after their relationship had deteriorated. The order was granted. In June 1998, MV reported to the police that Vue had raped her on four separate occasions after she had received the protection order. Vue was arrested and charged with criminal sexual conduct, harassing conduct, and violating the protection order. Vue alleged that the sex and contact was consensual. Prior to the trial, the defense counsel sought to exclude the expert testimony that the State of Minnesota (plaintiff) was prepared to introduce. The state had planned to introduce a park police officer as an expert on Hmong culture because he had encountered the culture through his work. The officer was prepared to testify about how the Hmong culture was male-dominated and the pervasiveness of male aggression within the culture. The officer also planned to testify that a Hmong woman may be reluctant to report spousal abuse. The court held an evidentiary hearing and admitted the testimony. At trial, MV also testified about the male-dominance in Hmong culture. Following the trial, the jury returned a guilty verdict. Vue appealed on the ground that the expert testimony was inadmissible cultural stereotyping and was unfairly prejudicial.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Randall, J.)

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