Cuyahoga County

Appeals court rules statements to doctors and nurses made by now-deceased woman who reported rape decades ago can be used by prosecutors

Statements in medical records created as part of a 1993 sexual assault examination can be admitted as evidence in a case where the woman who reported the rape has since died, according to a decision released by the 8th District Court of Appeals today.

In August, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John Sutula granted a motion by defense attorneys for two men charged in the 1993 rape to exclude prosecutors from using medical records in the case. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The victim died in 2008 but prosecutors decided to pursue the case anyway and charged them men with rape and kidnapping last year.

“This is a great victory for the victim," Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty said. "She showed enormous courage in going to the hospital after her attack and now, even after death, her courage can help protect other women from these defendants. Though she can no longer speak for herself, this ruling will enable us to speak for her and to seek justice for her.”

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