Witnesses say cops make rape cases go away
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Sarah Reedy was working at a Gulf Station in Cranberry, Pa., in 2004 when a man came into the store and held the 19-year-old at gunpoint. After robbing the register, he held the gun to her temple and forced her to give him oral sex.
She immediately called 911. Detective Frank Evanson didn't believe her story.
Instead, he accused her of stealing the money herself. Police arrested her six months later for theft, despite several rape cases mirroring her own. She was in jail for five days before being released on bail, all while four months pregnant. Her long road came to an end when her attacker, a serial rapist, was caught and confessed to the assault.
Reedy told her story at a Sept. 14 Senate committee hearing on the under-reporting of rape and poor police response to rape accusations.
Several others witnesses testified alongside Reedy concerning the repeated and systemic mishandling of sex crimes across the country. These included Scott Berkowitz, president of Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network in Washington, D.C.; Lawanda Ravoira, director of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency Center for Girls in Jacksonville, Fla.; and Susan B. Carbon, director of the Office of Violence Against Women in Washington, D.C.
At one point in the proceedings Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota voiced worries, echoed by others, that some police departments bill victims for a rape kit that can be used as criminal evidence and expect them to seek reimbursement.
Sources: Women's eNews
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