State v. Mulkern

Citation85 Me. 106,26 A. 1017
Decision Date07 November 1892
CourtSupreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)

Exceptions from superior court, Cumberland county.

John J. Mulkern was convicted of rape, and brings exceptions. Exceptions overruled.

Frank W. Robinson, Co. Atty., for the State.

C. P. Mattocks and D. A. Meaher, for defendant.

VIRGIN, J. On the trial of one indicted for the crime of rape, the prosecutrix is allowed to testify that she, subsequent to the commission of the offense, made complaint of the injury. She cannot enter into its details. This practice is permissible upon the ground that it tends, more or less, to corroborate her testimony as to the alleged crime. Mere lapse of time between the perpetration of the act and the complaint is not the test of its admissibilty. The time that intervenes is a subject for the jury to consider in passing upon the weight of her testimony, and the degree of credit to be given it on account of the delay in making it depends upon the particular circumstances of the case. Clarke's Case, 2 Stark. 241; Reg. v. Osborne, 1 Carr. & M. 622; 3 Greenl. Ev. §§ 212, 213; Whart. Crim. Law, 440.

The defendant's bill of exceptions recites that "the prosecutrix, having testified that the alleged assault took place on Sunday evening, was asked, on direct examination: 'Question. Did you make any complaint? Answer. Not that night. Q. When did you? A. The next Monday night. Q. To whom? A. To the marshal. Q. State whether that complaint was that you had been ravished. Counsel for Defendant: We object because the complaint was too late.' After testifying why she did not make it sooner, she was further interrogated by the county attorney: 'Q. Now state what the complaint was that you made to the marshal. Counsel for the Defendant: We renew the objection. The Court: The fact that she made a complaint is already in. The terms of it I will exclude.'"

The defendant now urges, as one ground of objection to the testimony, that, while the prosecutrix was allowed to testify that she made "a complaint" the next night, the nature of the complaint does not appear.

The bill of exceptions does not show that any such hypercritical question was raised at the trial, either in argument to the jury, or by any request for an instruction to the jury, of that purport. But, as seen, the bill of exceptions shows that the prosecutrix, having testified that "the assault" took place, etc., thereupon also testified that she made complaint to the marshal, which...

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16 cases
  • State v. Fahnley, Fra–14–180.
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • 7 Julio 2015
    ...after the event as long as the child had a reason for not making the complaint contemporaneously with the assault. See State v. Mulkern, 85 Me. 106, 107, 26 A. 1017 (1892) ; see also King, 834 N.E.2d at 1189–91. In the context of this case, and in the absence of an objection, the passage of......
  • State v. True
    • United States
    • Supreme Judicial Court of Maine (US)
    • 17 Diciembre 1981
    ...(1923); accord State v. Walton, Me. 432 A.2d 1275, 1277 (1981); State v. Ranger, 149 Me. 52, 59, 98 A.2d 652, 655 (1953); State v. Mulkern, 85 Me. 106, 26 A. 1017 (1892). See 4 J. Wigmore, Evidence § 1135 (J. Chadbourn ed. 1972). Alternatively, a statement, including its details, may in app......
  • State v. Hazlett
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of North Dakota
    • 20 Noviembre 1905
    ...People v. State, 15 Ark. 694; People v. Lambert, 52 P. 307; Paulson v. State, 35 N.E. 907; McMurrin v. Rigby, 45 N.W. 877; State v. Curran, 85 Me. 106; State v. Shuttleworth, 18 Minn. 208; State v. Jones, 61 Mo. 232; Matthews v. State, 19 Neb. 330; State v. Knapp, 45 N.H. 148; Baccio v. Peo......
  • Trimble v. Territory of Arizona, Criminal 166
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arizona
    • 20 Marzo 1903
    ...47 Vt. 82; Baccio v. People, 41 N.Y. 265; Thompson v. State, 38 Ind. 39; Laughlin v. State, 18 Ohio 99, 51 Am. Dec. 444; State v. Mulkern, 85 Me. 106, 26 A. 1017; State v. Sargent, 32 Or. 110, 49 P. 889; State v. Imlay, 22 Utah 156, 61 P. 557. The natural instinct of a female thus outraged ......
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