The Arizona Rape Shield Law

The Arizona Rape Shield Law meets the requisite notice- and-hearing requirement. It mandates that there be a hearing on written motions to determine the admissibility of the evidence of the alleged rape victim's chastity. A.R.S. 13-1421(B). The defendant is not absolutely denied an opportunity to present evidence. See Lucas, 500 U.S. at 146. Rather, the statute provides procedural safeguards to admit evidence of the victim's prior sexual activity when that evidence has substantial probative value and when alternative evidence tending to prove the issue is not reasonably available. See Olden v. Kentucky, 488 U.S. 227, 102 L. Ed. 2d 513, 109 S. Ct. 480 (1988) (It was a constitutional violation when a trial court excluded evidence of a rape victim's relationship with another man when evidence of that relationship would have provided strong evidence of her motive to lie about being raped and there was no alternative evidence that would have tended to show the same.); United States v. Bear Stops, 997 F.2d 451 (8th Cir. 1993) (It was a constitutional error to exclude evidence relating to a victim's sexual assault by other parties because the evidence was highly probative to establish an alternative explanation for why the victim exhibited the behavior of a sexually-abused child and no other evidence was reasonably available.).