Inmate Can’t Prove Rape Claim, NY Court Rules

     (CN) – A New York woman was unable to prove that she was raped by a corrections officer while incarcerated, a state appellate division ruled.

     The inmate claimed that an officer at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility had sexual contact with her several times in early 2002.
     An internal investigation revealed that the two had an unauthorized relationship, but the inspector general was unable to substantiate the plaintiff’s claim that the relationship was sexual.
     The trial court dismissed the case, and the Brooklyn-based appellate division affirmed, giving deference to the fact that the trial judge was able to judge the witnesses’ credibility in person.
     “Face to face with living witnesses, the original trier of fact holds a position of advantage from with appellate judges are excluded,” the justices wrote. “In doubtful cases, the exercise of his or her power of observation often proves the most accurate method of ascertaining the truth.”

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