Juror perceptions of excited utterance hearsay testimony in an adult sexual assault case

Dylan R. Baker, Jonathan M. Golding, Mary M. Levi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study utilized a 4 (testimony condition) × 2 (participant gender) between-participants design to investigate how mock jurors react to hearsay testimony in an adult sexual assault case. Participants included 211 community members (106 female, 105 male). Mock jurors read a trial summary involving an adult sexual assault case that varied only in the Prosecution’s primary witness featuring either victim testimony, brief-hearsay testimony (simply reporting that the crime occurred), elaborate-hearsay testimony (describing the crime at a similar length as the victim), or a control condition. Consistent with expectations, hearsay and victim testimony yielded guilty verdict rates comparable to each other and higher than that of the control condition. Additionally, victim credibility mediated the relationship, such that participants were more likely to render a guilty verdict if they perceived the victim as more credible. The results of this experiment will be discussed in terms of how rape cases are prosecuted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-319
Number of pages17
JournalPsychology, Crime and Law
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Juror decision making
  • decision making
  • hearsay
  • rape
  • sexual assault

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • General Psychology
  • Law


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