Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. Admission of Evidence in Sexual Abuse Offense Cases.


§ 22–3021. Reputation or opinion evidence of victim’s past sexual behavior inadmissible.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in a criminal case in which a person is accused of an offense under subchapter II of this chapter, reputation or opinion evidence of the past sexual behavior of an alleged victim of such offense is not admissible.

(b) For the purposes of this subchapter, “past sexual behavior” means sexual behavior other than the sexual behavior with respect to which an offense under subchapter II of this chapter is alleged.


(May 23, 1995, D.C. Law 10-257, § 301, 42 DCR 53.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-4121.


§ 22–3022. Admissibility of other evidence of victim’s past sexual behavior.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in a criminal case in which a person is accused of an offense under subchapter II of this chapter, evidence of a victim’s past sexual behavior other than reputation or opinion evidence is also not admissible, unless such evidence other than reputation or opinion evidence is:

(1) Admitted in accordance with subsection (b) of this section and is constitutionally required to be admitted; or

(2) Admitted in accordance with subsection (b) of this section and is evidence of:

(A) Past sexual behavior with persons other than the accused, offered by the accused upon the issue of whether the accused was or was not, with respect to the alleged victim, the source of semen or bodily injury; or

(B) Past sexual behavior with the accused where consent of the alleged victim is at issue and is offered by the accused upon the issue of whether the alleged victim consented to the sexual behavior with respect to which such offense is alleged.

(b)(1) If the person accused of committing an offense under subchapter II of this chapter intends to offer under subsection (a) of this section, evidence of specific instances of the alleged victim’s past sexual behavior, the accused shall make a written motion to offer such evidence not later than 15 days before the date on which the trial in which such evidence is to be offered is scheduled to begin, except that the court may allow the motion to be made at a later date, including during trial, if the court determines either that the evidence is newly discovered and could not have been obtained earlier through the exercise of due diligence or that the issue to which such evidence relates has newly arisen in the case. Any motion made under this paragraph, and the accompanying offer of proof, shall be filed under seal and served on all other parties and on the alleged victim.

(2) The motion described in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be accompanied by a written offer of proof. If the court determines that the offer of proof contains evidence described in subsection (a) of this section, the court shall order a hearing in chambers to determine if such evidence is admissible. At such hearing, the parties may call witnesses, including the alleged victim, and offer relevant evidence. If the relevancy of the evidence which the accused seeks to offer in the trial depends upon the fulfillment of a condition of fact, the court, at the hearing in chambers, or at a subsequent hearing in chambers scheduled for such purpose, shall accept evidence on the issue of whether such condition of fact is fulfilled and shall determine such issue.

(3) If the court determines on the basis of the hearing described in paragraph (2) of this subsection that the evidence which the accused seeks to offer is relevant and that the probative value of such evidence outweighs the danger of unfair prejudice, such evidence shall be admissible in the trial to the extent an order made by the court specifies evidence which may be offered and areas with respect to which the alleged victim may be examined or cross-examined.


(May 23, 1995, D.C. Law 10-257, § 302, 42 DCR 53.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-4122.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 22-1839.


§ 22–3023. Prompt reporting.

Evidence of delay in reporting an offense under subchapter II of this chapter to a public authority shall not raise any presumption concerning the credibility or veracity of a charge under subchapter II of this chapter.


(May 23, 1995, D.C. Law 10-257, § 303, 42 DCR 53.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-4123.


§ 22–3024. Privilege inapplicable for spouses or domestic partners.

Laws attaching a privilege against disclosure of communications between spouses or domestic partners are inapplicable in prosecutions under subchapter II of this chapter where the defendant is or was married to the victim, or is or was a domestic partner of the victim, or where the victim is a child.


(May 23, 1995, D.C. Law 10-257, § 304, 42 DCR 53; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-306, § 216(l), 53 DCR 8610.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-4124.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-306 rewrote the section, which had read as follows: “§ 22-3024. Spousal privilege inapplicable. ”Laws attaching a privilege against disclosure of communications between a husband and wife are inapplicable in prosecutions under subchapter II of this chapter where the defendant is or was married to the victim or where the victim is a child.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 216(l) of Omnibus Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-445, July 19, 2006, 53 DCR 6443).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 216(l) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-490, October 18, 2006, 53 DCR 8686).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 216(l) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-10, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1479).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 216(l) of Omnibus Public Safety Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-25, April 19, 2007, 54 DCR 4036).