Prosecutors pursuing criminal sexual conduct charges against a former Renaissance Festival manager are asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to block a jury from hearing evidence that could undermine the credibility of the alleged victim.
Carr L. Hagerman, 61, is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. According to the criminal complaint that the Scott County Attorney's Office filed in June 2018, Hagerman assaulted a young woman on the festival grounds the previous September.
The alleged victim was working as a freelance photographer toward the end of the Shakopee festival's run. She said Hagerman, who was the entertainment director, led her to a storage room and then beat and raped her until she lost consciousness.
Hagerman has denied the allegations through his attorney, Piper Kenney Wold.
Earlier this year, Wold filed a motion requesting that Judge Rex Stacey allow Hagerman to use the alleged victim's medical records as evidence for his defense. In court documents, Wold said the woman, who is not named, made contradictory statements to medical providers regarding the alleged assault by Hagerman and a sexual assault by another person in October 2017.
Stacey granted the defense motion to admit the evidence, saying that his decision is in no way intended to afford Hagerman "the opportunity to air irrelevant and private information about Complainant's sexual background in open court."
The judge ruled that Hagerman should have the opportunity to highlight "the possible contradictions or discrepancies" in the alleged victim's statements. Stacey noted in his ruling that including the medical records does not violate the Minnesota rape shield law, which is meant to protect sexual assault victims from having irrelevant information about their sexual histories presented in court.
Prosecutors say Stacey's decision to allow evidence that the woman had been raped by another person on a separate occasion critically impacts the state's case. They want the appellate court to determine whether Stacey abused his discretion by admitting that evidence.