N.H. Lawmakers Consider Bill That Would Require Corroboration in Sexual Assault Cases

Jan 17, 2017


Credit Daniel S. Hurd

Fierce debate is expected over a bill that would require sexual assault victims to corroborate their testimony if the defendant has no prior related convictions.

Lawmakers will hold a hearing Tuesday on the bill. Existing law doesn't require a victim to corroborate their testimony. Another bill before the committee would change the word "victim" to "complainant" in the sexual assault statute.

Domestic violence advocacy groups oppose both bills. Prosecutors, police and victims are expected to testify against the bill.

Rep. William Marsh is the prime sponsor. He says he filed the bill after learning about the case of Foad Afshar, a New Hampshire psychotherapist who was convicted last year of molesting an underage client during a session. Afshar denies the allegations.

The bill doesn't specify what counts as corroboration.