Opinion

I was victimized by a rapist and a prosecutor

(Editor’s Note: The following guest column was written by a Port Orchard woman who alleged she was raped by an Idaho man in October. Charges against the suspect were ultimately dropped by the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office. The names of both the suspect and the alleged victim are withheld from this column.)

Don’t get raped in Kitsap County.

That’s what I, as a resident of Kitsap County, learned as I received the news from the Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney that they would not prosecute the perpetrator of a rape against me. The perpetrator even admitted to the arresting out-of-state Sheriff’s Department investigator and a Kitsap County public defender that he used force to have sex with me.

Upon reporting the crime, I left it in the hands of Officer Dean Moe and the Port Orchard Police Department to find the identity and whereabouts of the perpetrator. In a matter of days, a warrant was issued for his out-of-state arrest and questioning with respect to the alleged rape.

The accused man was extradited to Port Orchard, admitting he had forced sex with me, beat me with his belt, attempted to choke me and slapped me, in addition to blocking my way when I attempted to leave, only to have him force himself on me.

He stated the sex between us was consensual. In the meantime, the Kitsap Prosecutor’s Office was presented by the public defender with private, provocative e-mails between myself and the accused. These e-mails would be admissible in court of law under the Rape Shield Law, which is designed to preclude introduction of evidence of a victim’s sexual conduct, but is not meant to exclude statements of interest in sex.

The purpose in offering these e-mails as evidence was to highlight my state of mind and suspect’s state of mind with respect to my intentions.

Upon initial contact with me the night of the rape, I told the suspect I had no intention of inviting him to my home or having sex with him. This was corroborated by an e-mail he sent to me and by his words to me in person.

In other words, my state of mind before and during my meeting with the suspect was, “No means no.”

The assistant prosecuting attorney stated, “Upon review of the e-mails and the fact that drawing an unbiased jury from the dry well of people within Kitsap County would leave the Prosecutor’s Office unable to obtain a majority vote on this case ... (we) had no other alternative but to not prosecute.”

In additional discussions with the senior counsel of Prosecutor’s Office, I was told, “We could educate the people of Kitsap County for a year on what rape is and they still would not understand and identify with the events of this case.”

Even when I reiterated that I was willing to be scrutinized and put under a microscope by the suspect’s attorney so that this would never happen to another woman, the Prosecuting Attorney refused to do so and would not attempt a prosecution.

I did nothing wrong. I would not have met this man if I had known he intended to rape me. I thought I knew him, and I trusted him. I was going there as his friend, but I wouldn’t have if I’d known he would hurt me. He wasn’t even supposed to be in town that evening.

I feel like my court case was brushed under the carpet, and I am insulted the Prosecutor’s Office perceives the people of Kitsap County to be so ignorant as to not be able to make an unbiased, informed decision on a rape case.

I’m not only a victim of rape, but of trusting the Prosecutor’s Office to bring this predator to justice. This rapist has now been set free to prey on other women because the Prosecutor did not even try to take the case to trial.

Thanks go to the expertise and tenacity of Officer Dean Moe, Chief Alan Townsend, and the Port Orchard Police Department, who worked quickly to apprehend the perpetrator in conjunction with an out-of-state Sheriff’s Department.

But the moral of the story is, “Don’t get raped in Kitsap County, because the Prosecutor’s Office here won’t take the case to court unless you can prove you’re the innocent one.”

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