Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court–SCWC-19-0000583
No. SCWC-19-0000583, Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 2 p.m.
IN THE INTEREST OF GH.
The above-captioned case has been set for argument on the merits at:
The oral argument will be held remotely and will be livestreamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/hawaiicourts.
Attorney for Petitioner GH:
Walter J. Rodby
Attorney for Respondent State:
Chad M. Kumagai, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 08/19/21.
COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, Wilson, and Eddins, JJ.
Respondent/petitioner-appellee State of Hawaiʻi filed six amended petitions against petitioner/defendant-appellant GH (“Minor”) for various degrees of sexual assault, which arose from his alleged sexual assault against the minor complaining witness.
Four months before the bench trial, the State filed a motion in limine under Hawaii Rules of Evidence (“HRE”) Rule 412, Hawaiʻi’s rape shield statute, to exclude “[a]ny evidence, including but not limited to reputation and/or opinion, relating to the past sexual history, behavior and/or character” of the CW. Minor did not file any notice or written motion regarding the CW’s past sexual behavior that he intended to offer at trial. Before the bench trial began, the family court granted the motion, but allowed Minor to ask the CW about prior allegedly false unrelated sexual assault allegations she had made regarding people other than Minor, provided he could show that it was inconsistent with another statement she made.
During trial, Minor attempted to adduce extrinsic evidence of the CW’s prior sexual assault allegations against people other than Minor that was inconsistent with the statements she made on cross-examination. The family court precluded Minor from presenting such evidence. Minor was adjudicated a law violator as to one count of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree sexual assault.
The Intermediate Court of Appeals (“ICA”) held that the family court did not err in finding the CW’s prior sexual assault allegations to be inadmissible under both HRE Rule 412 and HRE Rule 613, and also based on State v. West, 95 Hawaiʻi 452, 24 P.3d 648 (2001), and that there was sufficient evidence to prove Minor was a law violator. In his untimely certiorari application, Minor argues the ICA erred.