A federal investigation into a county courthouse has revealed a shocking catalogue of claims that sex assault victims were routinely discriminated against and ignored.
In one case, it is alleged a prosecutor in Montana left a five-year-old rape victim’s mother horrified when he explained away the attack by saying ‘boys will be boys’.
According to a report, the mother of the child said she wanted to know why the boy who raped her daughter was only getting a slap on the wrist.
Just read an article in regards to a U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation of Missoula County, Montana. The focus of the investigation: Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg’s prosecutors routinely discriminated against sexual assault victims. Also, prosecutors refused legitimate cases, pushed sex crimes to the lowest of priorities, and belittled women who came to them for help. Sex crimes cases rarely made it to the courthouse because they are a low priority to county prosecutors.
Jocelyn Samuels, acting assistant Attorney General for the Civil Right Division, said: “We uncovered evidence of a disturbing pattern of deficiencies in the handling of these cases by the County Attorney’s Office. This pattern not only denies victims meaningful access to justice, but places the safety of all women in Missoula at risk.”
Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg has angrily denied claims in a report that prosecutors routinely discriminated against sex attack victims. According to a mother of a 5-year-old rape victim, a prosecutor allegedly left her horrified when he attempted to explain the attack by saying, “boys-will-be-boys.” The mother wanted to know why the boy who raped her daughter was only getting a slap on the wrist.
One woman claimed a prosecutor recited Bible verses to her, and others felt “judged” after extensively grilled about their sexual histories. Another said “she would never suggest” another woman go to prosecutors with a sexual assault case.
Mr.Van Valkenburg denied the allegations and blamed the federal investigators. Stating, “First and foremost, I think this is one of the most unfair, unethical things I have ever witnessed in 35 years in public life. It is impossible to believe these things are true. This is not how the Missoula County Attorney’s Office conducts itself. These are half-truths, mistruths and maybe outright lies.” Spoken like a true politician. Blame everyone else for your situation!
As I was reading this article, it was like; wow, is this 2014 or the 50s/60s? We have made great strides in the way law enforcement and some prosecutors treat sexual assault victims, but Mr. Van Valkenburg and his prosecutors set those strides back thirty years. Regardless of his statements, I believe these allegations to be true.
While reading the article it reminded me of incidents in Ohio, Connecticut and Missouri, where young girls attended underage parties and consumed large quantities of alcohol. The perpetrators paraded several girls around, who were unconscious, in their bras and panties; eventually sexually assaulting them. Law enforcement arrested the perpetrators, which resulted in trials and convictions; however, a significant number of the population supported the perpetrators! It was the “football playing, good-ole-boy, boys-will-be-boys” mindset. I wondered if their opinions would be different if they assaulted and degraded one of their daughters. Victim blaming has to stop, and these out-of-control individuals removed from society. Forgot to mention numerous individuals (both male and female) recorded the incidents on their cellphones, but did not stop the behavior or notify law enforcement of what transpired.