Rape is one of the most under-reported and under-prosecuted crimes for a variety of reasons, The ratio of prosecutions to reported incidents is even lower on college campuses than in the general population, on top of the fact less than 20% of rapes on campus even get reported.
One of the reasons that prosecutors decline to prosecute a rape case has nothing to do with justice, but with how it will impact the district attorney’s win-loss record. Rape cases do not have a good rate of return, and only one in five prosecutions will result in any prison time for the rapist. Ambitious attorneys — many of whom who use the D.A.’s office as a stepping stone to higher political office — want a high rate of convictions to brag about.
D.A. declines to prosecute rape case.
The case of Tucker Reed is a prime example of how these cases are handled with no consideration for the need of the victim to experience closure. In August of 2011 she reported to officials at the University of Southern California that she had been raped by her ex-boyfriend and nothing was done about it. In November 2012 after obtaining an audio recording of her rapist confessing that he had indeed raped her she went to the LAPD.
Detective Derek Fellows was assigned to her case and contacted her to tell her that he would first interview her before he sent the case on to the District Attorney for disposition, however she learned in January of 2013 that the case had been forwarded to the prosecutor with no corroborating input from her included. Fellows notified her four months later that the DA had declined to prosecute the case.
In a meeting with deputy district attorney Rouman Ebrahim of the Los Angeles County DA’s division of sex crimes she was told that since the jury would be made up of 12 individuals who had never experienced a rape and would therefore would be unlikely to find her rapist guilty.
Reed’s case is not unusual, particularly in the case of date rape or acquaintance rape, once the prosecutor’s office gets the case there is a very low probability that it would be pursued. End Violence Against Women International conducted a survey of violence against women which concluded that only about 5 percent of rapes are ever prosecuted, taking into consideration the under-reporting of such crimes.
“Maybe you had a weak moment.”
In another case in New York Morgan Carpenter met with a female prosecutor, someone who might be expected to be more sympathetic to a rape victim however she wasn’t. “Well, I met him. He’s really cute,” Carpenter reports the prosecutor told her:
“Maybe you just had a weak moment and you thought maybe you could get away with it, and then after the fact, you realized what you had done, and thought, ‘Oh, I shouldn’t have done that, I got upset about it.'”
We like to think that we have left the days behind us when the woman who reported a rape could count on being the one put on trial with her entire life scrutinized, having to answer questions about her sex life and what she was wearing that might have provoked the attack in the first place but the continued low levels of prosecution of rape cases is evidence to the contrary, suggesting that we really haven’t made any progress at all and women will continue to be victimized with no legal recourse.
h/t: Huffington Post
More on rape.
- An OB/GYN Annihilates Pathetic Misogynist George Will’s Disgusting Rape Column
- University Lecturer: ‘Female Students Shouldn’t Play the Victim Card’ to Support Women Raped on Campus
- Stunningly Stupid Creationist: ‘If Evolution is True, is Rape Wrong?’ (Video)
- George Will: Being a Rape Victim is a ‘Coveted Status on College Campuses’ (Video)