S.A. v. Superior Court

In S.A. v. Superior Court, 171 Ariz. 529, 831 P.2d 1297 (App. 1992), the Court held that a victim cannot refuse to testify at a criminal trial involving the crime alleged to have been committed against her. After acknowledging the defendant's right to confront the witnesses against him, we recognized that "society's interest in justice would be jeopardized" by allowing the victim to refuse to testify. Id. at 531, 831 P.2d at 1299. As the Court explained: The Victims' Bill of Rights should not be a "sword in the hands of victims" to thwart the prosecution of a wrongdoer. In this case, the petitioner is the critical, and perhaps only, witness. By refusing to testify, perhaps by having succumbed to pressure from the accused's family, she has attempted to usurp the discretion given to the prosecution and to the grand jury in their charging decisions. Id. at 532, 831 P.2d at 1300.