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Woman Forced by Police to State That Non-Consensual Sex Was Not Rape

November 12, 2010

This is so horrifying.

Reposted from change.org.

“Though I didn’t agree or consent to it (it) was not rape.” Does that sentence make sense to you? It shouldn’t. If you don’t agree or consent to sexual intercourse, that’s called rape. But a South Carolina rape survivor reports that she was forced to write this statement by Marion police after being assaulted by one of their own.

The victim had been in a car accident earlier that day, so when the responding officer showed up at her door, apparently in relation to a crash, she did what any normal person would do: she let him in. She told CarolinaLive that’s when he raped her. When her boyfriend called the police to report the assault by a member of their force, the responding officers, Lt. Farmer Blue and Lt. Betty Gause, treated her like a criminal, reading her Miranda rights and threatening to have her arrested if she didn’t recant her charge. They told her she could land in jail for five years otherwise and wouldn’t it be hard to be away from her four-year-old daughter for that long.

Refusing to say she had given consent, the victim was nonetheless pressured into writing that the incident was not rape, resulting in the nonsensical sentence quoted above. The written statement seems to make it clear that the Marion police officers were looking to protect one of their own, and figured coercing the victim into denying the assault was rape, even when she continued to insist that the act was nonconsensual, would get him off.

Tyrone Reed, the officer accused of rape, is on unpaid leave during the investigation into the assault. But the responding officers who intimidated the victim into given them a written statement denying the rape are also guilty of a gross act of police misconduct, and should also be suspended without pay while an investigation looks into their response. Instead, ironically, Blue was the officer quoted as providing information to a South Carolina newspaper about the Reed’s status.

It’s is highly unusual for a rape victim to be read her Miranda rights, and authorities admit that Blue and Gause did not follow department protocol, which says that Marion police should not be involved with an incident regarding one of their own, and that the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) should have been called immediately.

Blue and Gause were also quoted by the victim as saying she didn’t “look like a rape victim,” and “you don’t have a case because rape victims be balled up in a corner or scared to talk.” Always lovely to hear from people who have no idea what they’re talking about making assumption about how a rape victim “should” act. Lisa Hyatt of the Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault, on the other hand, says that they have worked with the victim since the attack and that she shows classic post-traumatic symptoms associate with a rape.

Please tell Marion Chief of Police Willie Smith to immediately suspend Officers Blue and Gause pending the results of an investigation into their inappropriate and unlawful treatment of a women reporting a rape.

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