§ 5920.  Expert testimony in certain criminal proceedings.

(a)  Scope.--This section applies to all of the following:

(1)  A criminal proceeding for an offense for which registration is required under Subchapter H of Chapter 97 (relating to registration of sexual offenders).

(2)  A criminal proceeding for an offense under 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 31 (relating to sexual offenses).

(b)  Qualifications and use of experts.--

(1)  In a criminal proceeding subject to this section, a witness may be qualified by the court as an expert if the witness has specialized knowledge beyond that possessed by the average layperson based on the witness's experience with, or specialized training or education in, criminal justice, behavioral sciences or victim services issues, related to sexual violence, that will assist the trier of fact in understanding the dynamics of sexual violence, victim responses to sexual violence and the impact of sexual violence on victims during and after being assaulted.

(2)  If qualified as an expert, the witness may testify to facts and opinions regarding specific types of victim responses and victim behaviors.

(3)  The witness's opinion regarding the credibility of any other witness, including the victim, shall not be admissible.

(4)  A witness qualified by the court as an expert under this section may be called by the attorney for the Commonwealth or the defendant to provide the expert testimony.


(June 29, 2012, P.L.656, No.75, eff. 60 days)


2012 Amendment.  Act 75 added section 5920. Section 2 of Act 75 provided that section 5920 shall apply to actions initiated on or after the effective date of section 2.