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United States v. Pumpkin Seed

572 F.3d 552 (2009)

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United States v. Pumpkin Seed

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

572 F.3d 552 (2009)

Facts

Heather Red Cloud accused Jason Adam Pumpkin Seed (defendant) of sexual assault. At the hospital, Red Cloud underwent a rape kit and was treated for multiple injuries to her back, knee, lip, and elbow. When asked whether she had engaged in consensual sexual intercourse in the last 72 hours, she replied that she had not. The samples gathered from the rape kit showed that there was foreign pubic hair and semen inside her vaginal area. After Pumpkin Seed was indicted by a grand jury, laboratory results indicated that Pumpkin Seed was not the source of the semen or pubic hair. Red Cloud then admitted to a consensual sexual encounter a day before the alleged attack, which she had concealed because her partner was a married man. Due to this information, Pumpkin Seed filed a motion pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 412, seeking to admit evidence of Red Cloud’s past sexual relations with the married man. The district court denied Pumpkin Seed’s motion, and Pumpkin Seed was convicted. On appeal, Pumpkin Seed argued that the court erred for two reasons. First, he alleged that the court erred because the evidence of Red Cloud’s consensual sexual activity could have proved another source of her injuries. Second, Pumpkin Seed alleged that the court erred because excluding the evidence violated his constitutional right to put on evidence in his defense, which would have shown that Red Cloud’s motive in making a false rape accusation was to have an explanation in case of pregnancy or venereal disease.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gruender, J.)

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