De Anza Witnesses Condemn Botched Rape Investigation

by Cara on May 24, 2010

in activism, misogyny, patriarchy, rape and sexual assault, violence against women and girls

I don’t usually do quick hits, but I thought that this one, via SAFER, was reason for an exception. The three witnesses in the De Anza rape case — Lauren Chief Elk, Lauren Bryeans, and April Grolle — have written an editorial for the San Jose Mercury News about the new revelation that some key evidence in the alleged rape was never tested before authorities dropped the case for “insufficient evidence.” An excerpt:

We are writing in response to the recent news that the office of the Santa Clara County district attorney failed to do a complete investigation of the De Anza rape case by failing to do laboratory tests on all the evidence.

We are three young women who were taught as children to step in and do the right thing when someone is in trouble, and to report it to the authorities. We were also taught that when people did bad things, they would be held accountable for their actions.

Well, we did see a crime occur and we did report it. In fact, we spent several hours that night, and hundreds more during the following 14 months, telling our story to the police, to the media, and to investigators from both the district attorney’s office and the attorney general’s office. All of this has been laid out in a lawsuit filed from the incident.

We were confident that the suspects we saw committing a sexual assault would be held accountable for their actions. Instead of seeing justice served, we saw justice denied. We first witnessed a crime and then witnessed the justice system completely fail the people it is supposed to protect.

As people closely connected to this case, we were told that a complete and thorough investigation was performed by the offices of the district attorney and attorney general. In the words of Attorney General Jerry Brown, “No stone will be left unturned.” We now know that this was not the case.

I have said before and will say again that these three women are heroes, and their willingness to do what is right — and long after they could have easily walked away — is astounding to me. Their editorial is also very good, so click through to read the rest.

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{ 1 comment }

1 SunlessNick May 25, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I have said before and will say again that these three women are heroes

The victim in this case had vomit in her mouth, and was too incapacited to retch it out of her own airway. I’m firmly convinced these three women saved her life.

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