Appeals court: Prosecutors can say ‘rape’ at rape trial

State News

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — (10/31/19) A Louisiana appeals court has overruled a judge who said prosecutors could not use the word “rape” during a man’s rape trial.

In a ruling filed Wednesday, Judge Ben Willard in New Orleans granted a defense request to bar prosecutors and prosecution witnesses from using the word rape in an ongoing trial.

Prosecutors appealed, noting the defendant faces multiple charges, including first-degree rape.

A three-judge panel of Louisiana’s 4th Circuit Court of Appeal agreed that Willard was wrong to ban the use of the word rape by prosecutors.

It’s unclear why lawyers with the New Orleans Public Defenders office made the request. The office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Willard did not spell out his reasoning in a filing with the appellate court.

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