Commonwealth v. Torres

The Supreme Judicial Court vacated Defendant’s conviction of stalking, holding that the superior court judge erred in denying Defendant’s request for access to records held in the victim compensation file maintained by the Attorney General under Mass. R. Crim. P. 17, and the error was prejudicial. On the eve of Defendant’s scheduled trial, Defendant learned that the complainant had applied for the Attorney General’s victim compensation program. Defendant sought access to records of the complainant’s claim for compensation for dental services as mandatory discovery and, in the alternative, as third-party records, pursuant to Rule 17. The judge denied the request, concluding that the records could not be disclosed to Defendant because the Attorney General’s regulations required that such records be kept confidential. The Supreme Judicial Court held (1) Defendant’s request to access the victim compensation records should have been evaluated as a request for third-party records under Rule 17, notwithstanding the regulation requiring confidentiality of records; and (2) the judge erred in redacting the complainant’s dental records. View "Commonwealth v. Torres" on Justia Law