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This note analyzes the constitutionality of an absolute testimonial privilege for communications between a rape victim and a rape crisis counselor. Part I reviews the law of testimonial privileges, examines the underlying policy interests supporting the existence of such privileges, and focuses on the absolute privilege for the rape crisis counseling relationship and the interests the privilege protects. Part II considers the contours and scope of the rights guaranteed by the confrontation and compulsory process clauses of the sixth amendment and Supreme Court decisions resolving conflicts with sixth amendment rights." Part III discusses the origins of the testimonial privilege of confidentiality for the rape crisis counseling relationship and reviews the conflicting decisions of state courts confronted with the issue of the constitutionality of an absolute privilege." This note concludes that an absolute privilege of confidentiality for communications between rape victims and rape crisis counselors does not violate a defendant's sixth amendment rights because the compelling state interests and the individual private interests of the victim supporting this testimonial privilege justify any infringement on the defendant's rights.


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6 Sep 2022
3.51 MB



  • Subject
    • Criminal Law

    • Sex Crimes

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Law Review

  • Volume
    • 30

  • Issue
    • 2

  • Pagination
    • 411

  • Date submitted

    6 September 2022