Damn, THIS is the justice system??
Rape Victim Arrested For Non-Compliance With Prosecution
In October 2012, a woman was held against her will, taped naked to a chair and sexually assaulted. This week, Cowlitz County prosecutors had the same woman arrested to help prove the case against her alleged captors.
The 43-year-old woman — the victim and prime witness in the case — has not been charged with any crime. She just wasn’t showing up for pre-trial meetings with prosecutors, despite promising to do so several times.
So earlier this month they obtained a judge’s order for a material witness warrant.
It’s a little-used procedure under state law that allows police to arrest a witness of a crime to ensure they show up for court. Chief Criminal Deputy James Smith said such warrants are rare and requested only “as a last resort.”
In this case, it had the added irony of using a warrant to hold the woman against her will so she can help convict someone else of holding her against her will.
Pretty traumatic isht for someone who has been kidnapped and sexually assaulted, no?
The woman (whom the Daily News is not naming because she’s alleged sex crimes victim) spent only one night in jail on the material witness warrant. She was arrested Tuesday afternoon and appeared in court the next day.
Deputy Prosecutor Amie Hunter told Superior Court Judge Stephen Warning Wednesday that the woman often sleeps on various friends’ couches and thus can’t be easily reached. The woman, though, insisted to Warning that she was now staying with her parents in rural Cowlitz County.
Warning let the woman go with an order to appear weekly at the Hall of Justice. She must appear more often if prosecutors request her to do so, he said. And, she must stay put at her parents’ home until the trial starts.
“Do you understand?” Warning asked. “If the prosecutors try to contact you and you’re not there, there will be another warrant out for you, and you’ll be going back to jail. And this time you’re not getting let out.”
We can understand her hesitancy, but damn, if she wants to send the man who attacked her to prison, then prosecutors are gonna need a lil help…
Image via Shutterstock