One of our juvenile sex assault cases are set for jury trial and I was just wondering if the SANE exam photos are admissible during a jury trial? And if so, can copies be given to defense counsel?
The photos are admissible evidence. I would talk to the defense about the photos and see if they would agree to not having copies made, just review by their expert or by them (out of respect for the victim, I am not aware of any confidentiality rules other than HIPPA regarding the photos themselves). It is usually discouraged by SANE personnel to actually present the photos. I think in most prosecutions, those pictures aren't presented. I worked with one prosecutor who always presented the photos, but our SANE staff did not like it and preferred to draw demonstrative exhibits of the tears/injuries during trial and they would discuss their findings. The photos themselves are direct evidence of damage/tears and there is no prohibition per se from presenting them.
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