Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lawsuit Filed After Police Release Information Useful To Rapist

From the News Times:

A Fairfield [CT] woman, who claims she provided key information to Fairfield police that led to the arrest of a man charged with trying to rape a 16-year-old girl, says senior police officials violated their promise to keep confidential information about her.

The woman, identified as "Jane Doe" in the lawsuit filed in Bridgeport Superior Court, claims she suffers anxiety and emotional distress because Police Chief David Peck and Deputy Chief Gary McNamara released information about her to the local news media.

"Despite being in fear of her life my client, a sexual assault victim, came forward and provided the Fairfield police with information to help their investigation after the officers promised to keep the information about her confidential," the woman's lawyer, Robert Berke, said Thursday. "But they broke their promise."

"We don't believe we did anything wrong," said Fairfield Town Attorney Richard Saxl. "She indicated to the department she would be willing to testify if necessary."

The response by the police indicates that they are still missing the point of this woman's lawsuit.

Being willing to testify in court against your rapist if necessary is different from having the police announce to the press your role in the case with enough information for your rapist to know you are 1 of 2 specific previous victims.

This didn't reveal her identity to the general public, but she wasn't in fear for her life from the general public. She was in fear for her life from her rapist who might find her and possibly kill her to prevent her from testifying.

This fear for her life was likely the reason she and the other rape victim from 2002 refused to testify in the original trial and why her rapist was given a plea deal which led to him being released from prison 2 months prior to the attempted rape of a 16-year-old girl.

All the police needed to announce to the press was that they got an anonymous tip and then refuse to give any additional information about the tipster.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:35 AM   1 comments links to this post


At April 30, 2009 12:06 AM, Anonymous Holly said...

And there are still people who wonder why survivors have such a tough time coming forward about their abuse? This is yet another reason why so many survivors do not feel as if they are safe to tell the authorities about their abuse and press charges.


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