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§ 904.04 – Greater Latitude Rule in Sexual Assaults

State v. John P. Hunt, 2003 WI 81, reversing unpublished order of court of appeals
For Hunt: Rex R. Anderegg


¶86. We have ruled that “Wisconsin courts permit a more liberal admission of other crimes evidence in sexual assault cases than in other cases.” Davidson, 236 Wis. 2d 537, ¶44; State v. Hammer, 2000 WI 92, ¶23, 236 Wis. 2d 686, 613 N.W.2d 629. Accordingly, in a sex crime case, the admissibility of other-acts evidence must be viewed in light of the greater latitude test….¶88. Applying the above rules to the facts of this case, we hold that that the circuit court was correct here in applying the greater latitude rule in the determination of whether other-acts evidence was admissible. Accordingly, we hold that the court of appeals was in error in its determination regarding the applicability of greater latitude in sex crimes cases, particularly when a child victim is involved.

(The court thereby rejects Hunt’s arguments that the greater latitude rule applies only when the extraneous misconduct involves sexual assault of a child; and that the misconduct must be similar to the charged offense. ¶84.)


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