Undisclosed Film Footage Won’t Help Rapist

     MANHATTAN (CN) – Footage from a documentary film of a prosecutor expressing doubts about whether a rapist’s victim was too “slow” to understand he had committed a crime against her will not help to reduce his sentence, a New York appellate court ruled.
     In 2011, a New York County Supreme Court judge found Andre Scott guilty of rape and multiple counts of assault, and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.
     Another judge of the same court upheld that decision three years later.
     Following his conviction, prosecutors disclosed a brief portion of a videotape that a television network made for a documentary film.
     The film is discussed, but not identified, in a March 31 decision by a five-judge panel of New York’s Appellate Division, First Department.
     “In the videotape, two prosecutors discuss defendant’s case, and express opinions on the anticipated difficulty of obtaining a conviction,” the decision states. “In particular, a prosecutor expresses the opinion that the victim was ‘slow,’ and may not have understood that defendant’s conduct constituted rape. To the extent that these comments could be viewed as a source of impeachment material, we find that there was no reasonable possibility that timely disclosure would have affected the outcome.”
     The panel noted that Scott had similar impeachment material at his trial, “including a document he actually used in cross-examination.”
     The footage also had “little probative value” as to whether Scott “actually had forcible sexual intercourse with the victim,” according to the ruling.
     Scott’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
     The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

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