Consent in rape case: preliminary hearing cross-examination questions

If you have been arrested for rape, the preliminary hearing may present a good opportunity for your defense lawyer to explore the basis for the assertions against you.

After the victim testifies on direct examination during the preliminary hearing, your defense attorney can cross-examine the witness. Many of the cross-examination questions that your attorney asks might be based on your story. The cross-examination will test the willingness of the witness to concede that story.

When the case is certain to be bound over for trial, your defense attorney should not fear asking open-ended questions or getting bad answers. Your attorney needs to learn how bad the case could get, both to evaluate the strength or weakness of any possible defense and to lock in the story so that it cannot get worse at trial.

The cross-examination questions might be similar to these:

  • You and defendant had been in the bar drinking?
  • For about two hours?
  • You were drinking gin and tonic?
  • You had about five drinks?
  • The two of you were laughing and talking?
  • You went alone with defendant to his room?
  • When the defendant asked you to go with him, you were with other people? [Identify]
  • You did not ask anyone to accompany you?
  • After you had sex, defendant gave you a hug?
  • And asked you if you were all right?
  • After, where did you go?
  • Whom did you speak with?
  • Did you tell that person what had happened between you and defendant?
  • What did you say?
  • What did she say?
  • You did not tell that person that defendant forced you to have sex with him, did you?
  • Why not?
  • Did you report the incident to the police after talking to that person?