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November 2014 Archives

Washington Supreme Court Clarifies Criminal Law Burden of Proof

The Washington Supreme Court  decided State v. W.R. on October 30, 2014 and clarified the burden of proof in rape cases. The juvenile defendant  (W.R.) was charged with second degree rape. In a bench trial, since jury trials are not allowed in juvenile  court under Washington criminal law, the trial judge found W.R guilty of second degree rape. The defense had argued that the sexual intercourse between W. R. and another juvenile had been consensual. The trial court ruled that the defendant had not proven consent and that he had the burden to do so.