Saturday, February 24, 2007

Rape Victim Arrested

My comments, as always, are in red...

Woman jailed after reporting rape

TAMPA -- A 21-year-old woman who told police that a man raped her was jailed for two days after officers helping her found an old warrant accusing her of failing to pay restitution for theft charges.

A jail worker later refused to give her a second dose of a morning-after pill because of religious convictions, the college student's attorney said Tuesday. She was released from jail Monday only after attorney Vic Moore reported her plight to the local media.

"Shocked. Stunned. Outraged. I don't have words to describe it," Moore said of his client's arrest and treatment in jail. "She is not a victim of any one person. She is a victim of the system. There's just got to be some humanity involved when it's a victim of rape."

Tampa police said they were changing their policy to give officers more discretion on when to arrest a crime victim who has outstanding warrants.

"Obviously, any policy that allows a sexual battery victim to spend a night in jail is a flawed policy," police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said. "So our city attorney is writing a new policy right now."

The woman is not being named by The Associated Press because she reported being the victim of a sex crime.

She was in Tampa on Saturday afternoon for Gasparilla, a pirate-themed parade that draws thousands each year. She said she was walking alone to her car when a man pulled her behind a building and raped her, McElroy said.

She reported the rape to police at 3:30 p.m. Responding officers took her to a rape crisis center, where she was given the first of two doses of a morning-after pill, McElroy said. The second is supposed to be taken within 24 hours.

She was riding in a patrol car trying to locate the crime scene in the dark when a police check revealed an arrest warrant for failure to pay restitution. The warrant stemmed from a 2003 juvenile arrest for grand theft and burglary. It said she owed $4,585 in restitution, although her lawyer disputed that.

She was arrested around 8:50 p.m.

"They stopped the investigation right there," Moore said. "She was riding in the front of the patrol car. They put her in handcuff and put her in the back."

McElroy said detectives are still searching for the rapist. She said the arresting officer checked with a sergeant before arresting the student.

"It appears at face value that they didn't violate policy," McElroy said of the officers. "It's just we had a flawed policy."

The warrant required the student to pay the full restitution or stay in jail until she could face a judge in Sarasota. She spent Saturday and Sunday nights in jail.

Hillsborough County jail officials didn't immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

I don't know what outrages me more...the fact that a woman reports a rape and is ARRESTED and spends two days in jail, or the fact that once again, some assmunch nutbag refused a woman contraception based on HIS religious or moral beliefs. The fact that it was EMERGENCY contraception due to rape makes it all the more outrageous.

Far too few women report rape now as it is. Some are afraid of facing the rapist in court, some are afraid of not being believed....and now, some will be afraid of being arrested. And worse, denied the morning after pill because of it.

I am sickened, sickened, sickened by this.


At 5:21 PM, Blogger Ron Southern said...

I hate it, hate it. I'm sorry, but a lot of cops and authorities are still crude strutting enemies of womankind.

At 7:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It didnt say the jail worker that refused the medication was a man, you man hater

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