William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice


Jason Wool


This note evaluates the use of language orders in date rape trials in which the defense is consent through a case study of State v. Safi, in which Tory Bowen claims that Pamir Safi date raped her. In that case, the trial judge granted a motion by the defense to prevent the prosecution and any of their witnesses from using words such as "rape" and "sexual assault." Using State v. Safi as a starting point, the author examines the use of such trial orders from the perspective of both defendants and victims. The author concludes that a modified version of such language orders would effectively preserve the presumption of innocence afforded to all criminal defendants without sacrificing a fair opportunity for victims to see their attackers convicted.