WI def atty's intimidate sex assault victims using motion to expose their mental health records
PC about mental disorders is considered censorship of speech. But here is one of the awful consequences of prejudice/stereotypes of people with mental disorders being incompetent regardless of their dx. That myth works its way into the legal system and people who have a mental health dx have it used against them.
It's hard to figure out how to shrink this to 4 paragraphs as the story isn't pubished in paragraphs, and really the story is hard to grasp as a snippet. The article is important enough to be read in it's entirety: http://host.madison.com/7dd4137f-4f97-501d-9e88-aa2f682d2b0a.html
...The motion is commonly used in sexual assault cases, and is a common problem, said Rusch.
“Defendants are all over this,” Rusch said. Rusch, who has 29 years of experience as an assistant district attorney in Dane and Kenosha Counties, estimates that this motion was filed in at least 15 percent of the sexual assault cases she litigated.
Other prosecutors across the state have seen it frequently filed.
“We saw it when I was a prosecutor in Milwaukee, I saw it very frequently in the sensitive crimes courtroom, and the way it was being litigated was a deep concern to me,” Thurston said. “In my opinion this topic is a deeply troubling one ... I see this being resorted to by the defense very often.”
Rusch believes these motions are being filed more often.
“Case law was better for us in terms of privacy rights in the late 90s and early 2000s than it is now,” said Rusch. “I think we’ve embarked down a dangerous road and a more slippery slope for sexual assault victims' privileged records.”
Karofsky agreed that Wisconsin has strayed from the original intentions of Shiffra, and the threshold to access records has been effectively lowered.
"The law is dynamic, it's ever-changing and sometimes we need to correct the course, and I think that's where we are right now,” Karofsky said.
Sometimes a simple PTSD accusation can lead to an in camera review, said Karofsky, which is especially troubling because PTSD is relatively common in victims of sexual assault.
“What we see is cases where someone is suffering from PTSD and courts say, ‘Oh this victim has PTSD and she must not be able to tell the difference between fact and fiction,’” Karofsky said.