The Fourth Department, over a two-justice dissent, determined that, if it was error to admit testimony that the rape victim was aware defendant had been incarcerated, the error was harmless. The dissenters argued that the victim’s state of mind, i.e., awareness of defendant’s prior incarceration, was irrelevant because the victim was immediately overpowered and pushed to the floor upon opening the door for the defendant:
From the dissent:
The evidence … had no probative value under the circumstances of this case and should have been excluded as prejudicial … . People v Hartsfield, 2022 NY Slip Op 02908, Fourth Dept 4-29-22
Practice Point: The two dissenters argued that evidence the rape victim was aware defendant had been incarcerated should not have been admitted because it was irrelevant and highly prejudicial. The evidence was irrelevant because the victim’s state of mind was not in issue.