Make a Rape Report, Go to Jail9:44 am - 08/05/2010
In 2004 then 19 year old Sara Reedy was raped at gunpoint. Six months later, she was jailed for false complaint. Today, a federal appeals court reinstated her lawsuit against the police detective who orchestrated her arrest.
Reedy, a convenience store clerk at the time, reported the rape and robbery within minutes, underwent a rape examination, and made consistent statements. As it turned out, she was one of at least 11 victims of Wilbur Cyrus Brown II. But the lead investigator on her case, Detective Frank Evanson, thought from the moment he interviewed her in the hospital that Reedy had fabricated the rape report to conceal her own theft from the convenience store. Three months after the attack, Det. Evanson also became lead investigator on a markedly similar assault, by Brown, and accurately suspected it was by a serial rapist. Nonetheless, half a year after Reedy's rape, Evanson arranged for her arrest on charges of false report, theft, and receipt of stolen property. She spent 5 days in jail and was cleared only shortly before her trial date, when Brown was captured and confessed to the rapes.
Reedy sued for violation of her civil rights. But the trial judge threw out her case by construing all the evidence in favor of Evanson, instead of Reedy, as the legal rules require. Today the appellate court said the judge was wrong and reinstated the case.
Women's groups, who filed an amicus brief in the case, are praising the appellate court decision.
Ironically, Brown's crimes also resulted in the wrongful conviction of another man who was convicted of two of Brown's assaults.