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New Mexico (2018)


State v. Oliver, 2020 WL 4251978, New Mexico, Unpublished.

The case involved same-sex male partners. The victim was beaten, kidnapped, robbed, and strangled by his ex-boyfriend. The victim escaped and contacted police. Law enforcement transported the victim to SANE. Gail Starr conducted the exam.

The court ruled that the primary purpose of the exam was for purposes of prosecution and not medical reasons.

Statements about method and manner of strangulation were excluded. Identity and facts of assault excluded. The prosecutor made all the right arguments, but case law in NM is complicated.

The court did not consider each statement line by line but rather the totality of the facts and purpose of exam. They relied on nurse’s title (SANE), prior training to collect evidence for forensic use, her dual role, the location of exam (in the same building as law enforcement officers). They decided that the main purpose was prosecution even though the assault and exam happened the same night.

State v. Hollowell  80 N.M. 756 (1969)

Choking the V to the point where breath was “practically cut off” creates a high probability of death.

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