A judge should not have dismissed a charge in a domestic violence case after the victim recanted her original statement to police, the Kansas Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
While the ruling does not create new law, a victims advocate said it would help in future cases of domestic violence.
“I think it will make it clearer for judges that when a victim recants, that doesn’t mean the defendant is not guilty or that there isn’t sufficient evidence,” said Joyce Grover, a lawyer and a legal advocacy coordinator for the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.
The ruling, from a Wyandotte County case, noted that the same scenario probably would arise in future cases because “victims of domestic violence often recant their initial statements to police.”
“It is of statewide interest to ensure that a crime may be prosecuted even when a victim recants his or her original statement,” Judge Tom Malone wrote, “especially where other evidence supports the charge.”