November 12, 1991
Appeal from the Supreme Court, Kings County (Zweibel, J.).
Ordered that the judgment is affirmed.
On July 1, 1988, the defendant raped a 13-year-old girl, with whose family he had been acquainted, while she was alone in her family's apartment in Brooklyn. After the rape, the victim threw away her clothes, which had been torn as a result of the attack, and did not tell her mother of the rape. Approximately two and one-half months later, on September 17, 1988, at approximately 4:30 A.M., the defendant broke into the victim's apartment, held a knife to her throat and told her he was going to take her away with him and that she was "his woman". When the victim's mother came into the room, the defendant pushed her against a wall, told her that he had previously had sexual intercourse with the victim and repeated that he was going to take the victim away. He then fled. Soon thereafter, the victim told her mother of the July 1, 1988, rape, and a formal complaint was filed with the police against the defendant. On cross-examination of the victim's mother at trial, defense counsel tried to establish that she had suspected that a sexual relationship had existed between the victim and the defendant. He argued that any such suspicions would have been unconsciously communicated to the victim, thereby giving her a motive to fabricate allegations of rape against the defendant.
The trial court's decision to exclude the testimony because it was speculative was not an improvident exercise of discretion. Although a criminal defendant is guaranteed the right to confront all adverse witnesses through cross-examination (Delaware v. Van Arsdall, 475 U.S. 673; Davis v. Alaska, 415 U.S. 308), that right is not unlimited (People v. Stanard, 42 N.Y.2d 74, 83, cert denied 434 U.S. 986), and the trial court has broad discretion to limit the manner and extent of cross-examination (People v Almeida, 159 A.D.2d 508, 509). Evidence, while technically relevant, may be excluded if it is too slight, remote or conjectural to have any legitimate influence in determining the fact in issue (see, Richardson, Evidence § 147 [Prince 10th ed]; see also, People v. Davis, 43 N.Y.2d 17, 27, cert denied 435 U.S. 998). In the present case, the prospective testimony that the victim's mother might have suspected that a sexual relationship existed between the victim and the defendant and unconsciously communicated this to the victim was too speculative to raise a question concerning the defendant's guilt (see, People v O'Connor, 154 A.D.2d 626, 627; cf., People v. Hudy, 73 N.Y.2d 40). Bracken, J.P., Harwood, Eiber and Rosenblatt, JJ., concur.