Los Angeles, CA asked in Appeals / Appellate Law and Juvenile Law for Michigan

Q: In Michigan, how can a teen victim contradict her story several times and the defendant is still found guilty?

I know that the victim is not the one on trial, but shouldn't the inconsistencies be a red flag and weigh in on the jury's based on beyond a reasonable doubt? I don't know if I worded the question correctly.

1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Only the 12 people on that jury can answer that for you. The jury's job is to weigh credibility of witnesses. They can believe everything or nothing, or some combination thereof.

In CSC cases, it's not at all uncommon for testimony to be inconsistent as stories and memories change; particularly with children.

I don't know how involved in the case you are, but step back and consider: if you had no idea who any of the parties were, and you heard all the testimony and evidence, what would you believe? Because that's the position the jury is in: they don't get to hear the whole story, necessarily, from the defendant's or the victim's mouth; only what is presented by either side.

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