Mistrial Called After "Rape" Used to Describe Attack

Excerpt: A Nebraska judge who had ordered the victim of a sexual assault to describe the encounter for the jury as "sex" instead of "rape" now has called a mistrial in the criminal case. Judge Jeffre Cheuvront of Lancaster County said he decided the publicity around the case, especially a protest held on the steps of the courthouse, would make it difficult to seat an impartial jury, according to an Associated Press report.

A defense lawyer, Clarence Mock, told the Lincoln Star-Journal words such as "rape" could be detrimental to his client's case. "Rape" is not even a legal term, he noted. And while "sexual assault" is a legal term, it references something only the jury can determine, he said. The defense team had asked Cheuvront to disallow such references during the trial, and he agreed.

"Under the rules of evidence, witnesses can't reach legal conclusions," Mock told the newspaper

Read More