RHINELANDER - The state Supreme Court made a ruling Tuesday that could impact what evidence can be used in rape cases.
It reversed the decision of a state appeals court in a 2011 case.
A defendant argued evidence of a previous consensual relationship with the victim should be allowed in court.
But the Supreme Court said evidence of a previous relationship falls under the state's rape shield law.
"The sexual assault victim is protected from any of her past being brought in that would disproportionately sway the jury like, 'Oh, well, that must have been it. It must have been what she was wearing,' or they might not approve that she had multiple partners, things like that," said Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault executive director Shellie Holmes.
She believes this is a good reminder to victims that they are protected and can come forward even when they're frightened.
"Sexual assault victims are rightfully traumatized, frightened, they don't know what type of response they will get from any of the systems that they may go to. The main question is: 'Will I be believed?'" Holmes explained. "And so what this decision does is that it says to victims, 'Yes, we are still upholding your rights and it is important that you come forward.'"
Tri-County Council serves about 100 people seeking help for sexual assault issues each year.
RHINELANDER - Wild Instincts celebrated the release of BBC's "Supercharged Otters," which filmed at Wild Instincts in Rhinelander.
Saturday's viewing at Rouman Cinema in Rhinelander had a complementary showing of the episode.
The episode features otters that spent seven months with Rehabilitation Director Mark Naniot and his team.
The episode gives people a look into the life of an otter.
"Like everything else it's the web of life. Everything's all interconnected and even if it's just the pure enjoyment of watching an otter swim or catch a fish and seeing how playful they are sliding down a mudslide or sliding through the snow that alone is immeasurable really," said Naniot.
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