Comments: When rape is reported and nothing happens
Read the 144 comments in response to the first part of the Denied Justice series.
Frozen_Logic OCT. 12, 18 6:23 PM
The stories above are heart wrenching and should never have happened. Here is the problem with the article, it feeds the narrative that this is normative of rape cases and feeds into the false line of thought that America has a rape epidemic. It serves as a tool to inflame the passions of those who do not or will not seek out statistics. Rape and sexual assault has never be lower in America. There has never been a safer time in our history. It refocuses and completely ignores the issues of assault and rape across the world to demonize our culture. Yes, we have our issues and those need to be addressed. But seriously, FGM, child brides, women as property, these are things that are still happening across the world in vast numbers. Please have some global focus on this issue and recognize the affluence that women in our society really have.
goldma OCT. 11, 18 2:57 PM
Republicans try and sweep rape allegations under the rug and ignore women. Its time to vote and vote blue! A vote for the victims.
evilal OCT. 7, 18 5:36 AM
The government has certain obligations to its citizens. Investigating and prosecuting violent crime should be one we all agree on. This is not a left/right issue as we all have daughters, wives and mothers. It would be a good start if we could leave politics out of the equation and find common ground on tracking down violent offenders and keeping them off of our streets.
margeanncullen OCT. 6, 18 11:39 PM
This is insane. Nothing has changed in the rape culture or the US. And it is evident in the election of Kavanaugh. Ish I am disgusted in this country.
AntlrdBambi OCT. 5, 18 4:15 PM
I have to ask: why are no men shown or interviewed in this article? Male on male rape is terribly common and while none of us are proud about the fact it happened to us, I find it unacceptable that the Star Tribune did not depict any male anguish in this article. Some males are carrying the exact same anxiety, emotional pain and PTSD that these women are. It's time society stops ignoring that!
MiddeViewer OCT. 5, 18 12:39 PM
As the father of a daughter - I would be asking for resignations for sloppy police work - it's really malpractice. It just makes me angry.
anon0001 SEP. 12, 18 10:04 AM
I think the story here is about second-rate police work (whether poor training, mistakes, failure to gather evidence, or lack of time or other resources) rather than any bias against alleged rape victims. As someone who was secondarily involved in a false accusation situation that ended up going to trial, it was startling to see some of the same basic errors described in this article. The police investigator (female) did not interview people known to be in the vicinity of the alleged incident, never went to the site much less searched it for evidence, etc. Ultimately, I'd say police take these types of cases as seriously as any, but are, after all, human.
Landshark AUG. 22, 18 10:06 AM
Thank you Star Tribune for bringing this to the attention of your readers. Unfortunately the politicians running this election have already forgot about this issue. I urge everyone to keep the pressure on and support these women and jail the perps.
carl12345 JUL. 27, 18 7:48 AM
I wondered why in the Justine Diamond case there was no talk about what actually happened to investigate what she was investigating. If this is why, then the largest concern here is that our Officers, District Attorneys, Prosecuting attorneys are taking it into their own hands to not present charges so that victims don't get their day in court and criminals can't be held accountable. This is likely in part because of fear of laws that protect criminals taking precedence over those that protect citizens and because of money, including influence of lawsuits, funds available and the divides between haves and have-nots.
If we police in and with fear, we may not really be effectively policing at all, but may be failing to fully do what's intended and necessary to protect and defend citizen's rights, risking the liberties of everyone.
This probe is important and speaks to systemic breakdowns that ask whether this system is working right and I'm thankful to the Star Tribune for using journalism in it's most powerful way.
I noticed one case was reopened here, if that starts a trend, if something really happens with that and more cases here and to come, we're all the better for it. My sincere thanks.
carl12345 JUL. 25, 18 10:30 PM
Besides so many statements sounding like excuses, rather than legitimate indication of problems with process that couldn't be avoided, it stinks that it's stated here that "any comments made through the news media could jeopardize further convictions and.. re-victimize a victim." This sounds like demanding silence from those attacked who may provide warning, information and support to others, as well as demands of accountability from those compensated to provide vital services. It also suggests the media silence rape, stick a pillow over its head (no puns here) and violate the right of citizens to be safe and challenge when they are not. Shame on the MPD and other departments who didn't pursue charges, blamed the victims, didn't collect evidence and kits. Women's lives matter and we could do more to protect their safety. We need to stop making excuses about rape and start bringing forth charges and allowing women their day in court,or half of us are unsafe, probably because of decisions the other half are making.
bl1957 JUL. 25, 18 6:48 PM
I normally side with the police but after reading this article...man oh man. My heart aches for these women. Time is way past for the police to step up and start protecting the people they are paid to do so. As soon as my 16 year old daughter becomes 21 she will be getting her conceal and carry permit. She already has her gun and is very good with it. I refuse to let her become a victim like these and many other women. Enough is enough. And yes, she will be trained on how to shoot to kill. All of you lefties and anti NRA folks who disagree...too bad, hope it doesn't happen to you.
watcherman AUG. 16, 18 3:22 PM @bl1957
Hope she does not kill or injure herself, use it in the heat of passion resulting jail or a lifetime of regret, stolen and used against her or be the reason some innocent person is killed or severely wounded by accident. or on purpose with that gun..
goldma OCT. 11, 18 3:01 PM
@bl1957 That's dumb, yea give her a gun that sounds smart. When someone jumps you from behind and then they now have the gun.
mglovett JUL. 25, 18 6:20 PM
Just read where Anthony Randklev, the suspect in the Fergus Falls rape yesterday was convicted in 2007 of rape, kidnapping assault and eluding, he did three years. Maybe the police feel the sentences don't fit the crime?
trillessa JUL. 25, 18 4:05 PM
This is part of why I want to smack people who question victims sincerity because a sexual assualt wasn't reported or wasn't prosecuted. The other part is that often there are other reasons reporting doesn't occur.
3 of the 4 women in my immediate family have been sexually assualted and reporting wasn't possible.
I won't speak for others, but in my own case it happened when I was 5 or 6 and I blocked it out until I attempted suicide at age 13. I remembered then and now still only remember a specific scene that absolutely does show that the assult happened. It was perpetrated by the father of a friend. No one in my family knew what had happened until I told them at age 13. Therefore, no one was attempting to influence my memories in any way. My older sister remembered that at some point I was no longer allowed to play inside that friends house. Talking to my mom, I learned that she was suspicious that something strange was going on, but had no idea what. This would have been 1976 or 1977. These things didn't happen in Iowa then. Unfortunately, because my memory isn't enough to even begin to prosecute someone, and I didn't even remember the man's name there was no reason to go to the police with this. That doesn't mean it didn't affect me. As a child I wet the bed until 5th grade. This is now known to be a common symptom of child sexual assualt victims. I also was fairly promiscuious at an early age, another symptom of child sexual assult victims. (You begin to connect love with sex). One additional odd thing, as a child my Ken doll would sometimes rape and hang my Barbie (yes with a noose by the neck) It wasn't until many years later when I talked to my younger sister that I learned that she remembered me doing this. Sexual assualt is an incredibly insidous thing. We need to figure out how to fix this.
DottieHinson AUG. 17, 18 5:35 PM
@trillessa "This would have been 1976 or 1977. These things didn't happen in Iowa then." I'm sure the the complete silence in the public discourse on the topic made it seem that way, but child sexual abuse is a problem in all communities, big and small, and always has been. When no one talks about it, children feel alone and don't know how to communicate what happened. Today we teach kids about stranger danger, meanwhile almost all child sexual abuse is committed by a family member or someone known to the child like a family friend, a priest, boy scout leader, or youth sports coach.
Toyota99 JUL. 25, 18 1:28 PM
This article makes me sick to my stomach. To think in 2018 women are still seen as being called overly dramatic, just wanting to cause problems, and hysterical, is outrageous. Nobody has the right to touch another person in a physical way without consent, and stop means STOP - not finish your sex first. The law needs to focus more on the physical abuse of people than on many of our stupid traffic laws! Cars - tint too dark, music too loud, car too loud, maybe if we could focus more on physically violent acts more than minor infractions, human lives could improve. Especially for women and children. How many have been hurt or killed, left in dangerous situations because "We do not have enough proof" "My hands are tied". My sister works in a hospital and said a very small amount of all rape cases are ever tested or picked up. THE MAJORITY OF WOMEN ARE NOT GOING TO GO THROUGH BEING ABUSED, THEN GOING THRU THE HUMILIAITON OF A RAPE KIT, TELL THEIR STORY OVER AND OVER, AND BE LIEING.
Now if women were using a broom handle and doing it to men.... I think the law would be enforced. Then it would be a horrible crime.
DottieHinson AUG. 17, 18 5:41 PM
@Toyota99 Now every time I see cops hiding in a speed trap at the end of the month to meet their quota, I'm going to think... Imagine how many rapists would be off the street if the police dept incentived investigating sexual assault instead of traffic stops, especially since those traffic stops incidentally *cause* more accidents than they prevent.
omeara2004 JUL. 24, 18 4:05 PM
The police need more training and a better work ethic. Some of these cases seem like nobody cared about the victim. At first I thought it was just the big city cops but it all over the state. Shame on Law Enforcement.
mylittleid JUL. 23, 18 6:26 PM
Articles like this show why we need a free and unfettered press in this country.
fall2011 JUL. 24, 18 1:21 PM
@mylittleid Totally agree. Thank you Star Tribune.
checkfacts AUG. 18, 18 2:41 PM
@fall2011 @mylittleid The Star Tribune should be naming the cops who managed this failure to protect and serve. They know who is responsible and these people should not be protected and should be in another, less harmful, occupation.
marathon2004 JUL. 24, 18 1:24 PM
@mylittleid And this is a great article... although terrifying too... but there are too many issues of the press pushing an agenda too and not able to be believed. We do need more press... press that isn't owned by 5 corporations... which 90% or so are...
maggiesue JUL. 23, 18 6:12 PM
I want to thank the women for coming forward. There has to be oversight of the rape investigation process so that women have recourse.
sstranger JUL. 23, 18 1:52 PM
I'm also concerned about when nothing happens, and rape is reported.
LapSwim JUL. 23, 18 2:59 PM
@sstranger This is not what the investigative story is about.
curiosone JUL. 23, 18 12:42 PM
I'm sure that a lot of the article is accurate. I'm a little concerned, however, about the apparent bias of the writers. My reason for saying this is that very early on in the article they quote a "Texas investigator", Elizabeth Donegan, as saying that the transcript of the interview of victim Brooke Morath included the police officer asking her "Is everything you've told me true and accurate?" Donegan says that this "tells the victim right off: You might be lying to me." Donegan's claim is nonsense. This question is asked of the vast majority of witnesses and victims in ALL types of cases who give transcribed statements. It is not expressing "doubt," it is the victim confirming their statement in the strongest possible terms. So, if the Strib's "expert" thinks this is somehow a red flag, then I question the expertise of this "expert." BTW, I prosecuted sex abuse and rape cases for years in Minnesota, so I am familiar with how things are done. That being said, when I prosecuted those cases I also was frustrated on occasion with inadequate investigations. Unfortunately, the inadequacy usually occurred from lack of resources. Those resources can be increased, but expect your taxes to go up to support them. Maybe we can drop some government projects that pale in importance to solving and prosecuting rape cases, and use the saved money to go after rapists.
Yawn22 OCT. 7, 18 7:22 PM
@curiosone They have the resources.
BEOWITCHmsp JUL. 23, 18 12:26 PM
Wow. Just wow. The total incompetence and insensitivity shown by the MPD is appalling. First problem I perceive? They are male officers. Second? There is no communication or followup. It makes women seem like second class citizens all around.
OtisPhillip JUL. 23, 18 2:15 PM
@BEOWITCHmsp Is Mellisa a mans name? Sounds like a female boss was quoted in the article.
mnturbo JUL. 23, 18 11:44 AM
email the mayors office...this is an outrage
jamonone JUL. 23, 18 11:37 AM
Justine Damond died reporting a sexual assault and they never investigated it.
jeff4649 JUL. 23, 18 11:29 AM
As the father of 3 boys 2 of which are in high school. My boys have been taught starting at an early age to respect women and if a woman says 'no' that's it. There is never a circumstance where taking advantage of anyone is okay.
Parents specifically fathers set the tone for how our sons treat women. Women have a role of only being in relationships with men who treat them with respect and if they are abusive you are responsible for getting out of that relationship. Sadly, too many of these rapists come from homes where dad sets a bad example but also moms who do the same by staying with abusive partners. Boys see this and early on these behaviors are developed.
sallygirl JUL. 23, 18 1:57 PM
@jeff4649 Victims of domestic violence stay with their abusers for many different reasons and for any one victim their reasons may vary depending on their situation. Blaming a victim for not leaving an abusive relationship is not productive. Please take some time to learn more about the dynamics involved in domestic violence.
MiddeViewer JUL. 23, 18 2:22 PM
@jeff4649 I had the same discussions with my son! I think good Dads should be having these conversations and modeling this positive behavior.
taxpayer17 JUL. 23, 18 10:30 AM
This is the stuff that makes a person sick. God bless these women. Should we be spending $100,000 per immigrant on these transplant programs vs. added resources to help women like these? Our government has plenty (too much) money already, they just don't spend it on the right things. We can't do everything. Thank you StarTrib for focusing on a story like this and leaving it in a prominent position on your home page for a lengthy period.
norselandc JUL. 23, 18 9:59 AM
Men can stop rape. Men can stop war. Why don't they?
MiddeViewer JUL. 23, 18 10:53 AM
@norselandc I think we know better than condemning a group of people based upon the bad acts of a few. As the father of a daughter - I can assure you that I am outraged & that we as a society need to do more to catch these evil people.
jmg8866 JUL. 23, 18 9:40 AM
I remember reading about Daniel Drill Mellum. That guy and his frat bros were such pieces. I hope he is getting what he deserves in prison.
ewieffering JUL. 23, 18 8:58 AM
A theme to many reader comments: that many complaints are false. Wrong. Credible studies put the number of false complaints at fewer than 10 percent and as low as 2.5%. Plus, we excluded any closed cases that police deemed unfounded.
Hockeyteam JUL. 24, 18 7:08 PM
@ewieffering What studies? How can one be certain if there is no physical evidence or confession?
DottieHinson AUG. 17, 18 5:48 PM
@ewieffering *And those rates are lower than the rates of false reports in all other categories. It's also artificially inflated because it combines unfounded cases with cases of actual fraud.
prometheus1 JUL. 23, 18 8:09 AM
Part of the problem here actually comes through in the format of this article. All of the accusers statements are begin with the statement "I felt....". Police act much as scientists do....based on evidence not on feelings. Until such time as the Star Tribune puts its censors to rest and allows an honest discussion of the problem, even if that offends some alleged "survivors" there is no point in wasting time on articles like this.
A02MIT JUL. 23, 18 9:05 AM
@prometheus1 what are you trying to say? be blunt, it's easier than trying to figure out why you use the word alleged and put survivors in quotes.
frank60 JUL. 23, 18 12:38 PM
@prometheus1 "Police act much as scientists do....based on evidence not on feelings." That's one of the main points in the article...the police have to collect the evidence in the first place and in a very thorough manner in order to make a case. If you read the article before commenting you would have seen in a review of 1000 cases over the past two years, approximately 33% of the victims were never interviewed and in 50% of the cases potential witnesses were never interviewed. In fact, 25% of the cases didn't even have an investigator assigned to investigate. So much for your "police as scientist" theory.
A02MIT JUL. 25, 18 2:13 PM
@prometheus1 perhaps one of the 8 people who 'liked' your comment can parse your true meaning for me.
DottieHinson AUG. 17, 18 5:59 PM
@prometheus1 Even if they all started their statements with "I felt", almost every case in the article are examples where the accuser's initial report to the police included a solid lead (often more than one) that would've made it easy for detectives to collect concrete evidence, usually DNA evidence, that could've been used in court, but the investigators just didn't bother to go out and collect the evidence or no investigator was even assigned.
mobocracy JUL. 23, 18 6:59 AM
This is pretty shocking to read, especially when it includes a stranger rape in a public parking lot -- you would expect that would be the one type of assault that would get vigorously investigated since there's not much room for even a cynical he-said/she-said interpretation.
I do wonder how easy it actually is to investigate some rapes. A random stranger assault in a public place -- without a DNA match or a good visual from a camera, what can the police actually do? The pool of suspects from a public area could be in the hundreds if not thousands. Barring other evidence (good video, license plate, witness, etc), it sadly seems like the best outcome is a future DNA match when the perp gets caught elsewhere.
Then there's the whole range of date-rape type situations where there's a lack of certainty as to what really happened. Prosecutors can bring charges, but the "reasonable doubt" standard turns so many of these into he said/she said territory and often when the narrative is spun from the perp's perspective in court it winds up being enough doubt that you can't win convictions.
It would have been interesting to read about similar cases that did achieve successful prosecutions to see what made the difference -- investigative effort? Some type of evidence?
DottieHinson AUG. 17, 18 6:07 PM
@mobocracy The article clearly states that the cases that led to convictions were the cases assigned to investigators who did basic police work like interviewing the victim, interviewing named suspects and witnesses, visiting the crime scene and collecting evidence, contacting local businesses with security cameras near the crime scene or directly on the victim's route.
mgresist JUL. 22, 18 11:51 PM
Thank you to the Star Tribune for an excellent article that both raises this extremely important issue and treats the victims with sensitivity and respect. The team of Jennifer Bjorhus, MaryJo Webster and Brandon Stahl have done an outstanding job of writing insightful articles about law enforcement and criminal justice. We are lucky to have them at our local paper.
alanam8 JUL. 22, 18 10:15 PM
Seems like a very good argument for hiring more police investigators. If the resources aren't there, then provide them. Let's start there.
marathon2004 JUL. 23, 18 11:52 AM
@alanam8 Or perhaps start putting them on important things and stop with some of the ridiculous things they do go for and prosecute. I don't care so much about the people going 5 or 10 over the speed limit... they are a far less danger than a rapist.
DottieHinson AUG. 17, 18 6:09 PM
@alanam8 None of the police departments said a lack of investigators was what prohibited cases from being investigated.
shawnm4360 JUL. 22, 18 9:16 PM
It is truly sad that this happens, but there needs to be evidence beyond "he said, she said" before the authorities can do anything about it.
marathon2004 JUL. 23, 18 11:52 AM
@shawnm4360 The first one of the article had a rape kit done.
worker11811 JUL. 23, 18 12:17 PM
@shawnm4360 What about the stranger rapes that also have 0 investigation? Fail to see how that can be "he said, she said". And that is likely not going to have just one victim. Basically this tell me if you are a woman, arm yourself because no one else will help you or care what happens to you.
Joe Bob JUL. 23, 18 5:46 PM
@shawnm4360: What is "he said, she said" about getting raped by a stranger in a parking lot?
DottieHinson AUG. 17, 18 6:13 PM
@shawnm4360 In all of the cases mentioned, there was physical evidence, video footage, or witnesses that would've corroborated the the accusation, but the police departments didn't bother to collect the evidence and sometimes didn't even assign an investigator.
PeterAG JUL. 22, 18 8:52 PM
This happens becuase not enough people put effort into this to stop and prosecute perps. District attorneys and judges are either over-whelmed or fail to see the importance of prosecuting perps. Poor investigations - and unfortunately - some lies along the way lesson the seriousness of the battles. Women deserve better.
Gex4099 JUL. 22, 18 2:39 PM
I just emailed our Governor, and both senators. We will see what their response is. I recommend everyone do the same thing.
marathon2004 JUL. 23, 18 11:52 AM
@Gex4099 good luck with that/
betty6114 JUL. 22, 18 1:32 PM
Thanks Star for the wonderful article. As an emergency room nurse I saw people brought in, examined, (another assault on your dignity), and then the rape kit evidence was "lost", or who cares anyway..We didn't lose the evidence, but the county did somehow. Horrible. Horrible for all these beautiful people, who will always be traumatized as we who work with them.
kivirl JUL. 22, 18 12:41 PM
Because of the length, I just listened to one story (the young blonde woman) and was sickened. Sure, we are only getting one side it seems. But I see no reason she would make this stuff up. I also realize this isn't a city of Minneapolis thing alone, but yet another example of total incompetence in the government of the City of Minneapolis including its police force. Who was chief at that time?
evilal OCT. 7, 18 5:29 AM
@kivirl Should have read the whole story. It's not just Minneapolis but statewide.
dmgrinde2 JUL. 22, 18 12:24 PM
How can this still be happening. Rape victims deserve to have justice.
frank60 JUL. 22, 18 12:20 PM
Elect people who will make this a top priority and direct resources to this national problem. It's unbelievable to me that 50% of our population are affected and more isn't done. Rape is about power and control. However, so is sexual harassment which is on the continuum of power/control. We need to deal with the underlying issues in our society that may fuel rape in addition to dealing with the aftermath of rape.
regularx JUL. 22, 18 11:58 AM
So if the cops don't protect women and they don't protect Black people....than who ARE they protecting? Just their fellow White guys?
john14 JUL. 22, 18 12:33 PM
@regularx The cops are not even protecting the elderly or the disabled either. You have to wonder what law enforcement does for a living in your community other than aggressively going after really minor offenses such as unarmed black dudes in North Minneapolis to breast feeding moms in Mora, or even little old ladies with overgrown yards etc. Time for law enforcement to be institutionalized reform.
Donnay JUL. 23, 18 3:33 PM
@john14 @regularx I always see lots of cops down by the beaches.
MiddeViewer JUL. 23, 18 10:56 AM
@regularx This just in, not all cops are white males....
bl1957 JUL. 22, 18 11:46 AM
Time to start arming young women. They need to have the right to protect themselves. This is a huge issue for the NRA but you lefties refuse to listen. As soon as my daughter becomes 21 she is getting her conceal and carry permit. She already has her gun. Which she us very proficient at using. She is 16. I refuse to let her be a victim.
katfood JUL. 22, 18 3:07 PM
@bl1957 No. I do not want to do that. I'd rather learn self-defense maneuvers and teach men to respect women. I refuse to live in such fear that it makes me buy a deadly weapon such as a gun.
buttles JUL. 22, 18 8:40 PM
@katfood Exactly right. Many years ago a relative of mine, a graduate of the Air Force Academy where she was taught self defense, was attacked while out for her morning run. She did suffer from soreness from how she was first jumped, but her would be attacker was still on the ground whining when the police arrived.
redqueen JUL. 23, 18 10:13 PM
@buttles @katfood Awesome! In the chaos of a struggle with someone who might be a foot taller and 80 pounds heavier, it is not likely that a gun would have been much of a protection and may have put some of these survivors at much greater risk. Good for her for using her training to "immobilize the suspect"!!
DocGonzo JUL. 22, 18 9:50 PM
@bl1957 When a guy roofies your daughter, what good will her gun do her? It may help her out of some jams, but in most of the stories told in this article, it would have been useless.
worker11811 JUL. 23, 18 12:21 PM
@katfood @bl1957 I think learning self defense and being hyperaware of your surroundings and situation is number one. But still own a glock.
sallygirl JUL. 23, 18 3:56 PM
@worker11811 @katfood @bl1957 How about we work really hard to change our rape culture so no one has to carry a weapon or learn self-defense. The majority of sexual assaults are not committed by strangers.
sallygirl JUL. 23, 18 3:52 PM
@katfood @bl1957 The NRA doesn't give a crap about stopping rape. They use fear to sell guns, period. Stopping sexual assaults and sexual harassment requires a change in our social norms. That is hard and complicated work. There is never a simple solution to a complex social problem as much as we would like there to be.
fall2011 JUL. 24, 18 1:34 PM
@bl1957 I also refuse to let my daughter be a victim. Hyper-awareness, buddy system, understanding alcohol and self defense are all lessons she is learning. There will be no gun, and yes, I do "refuse to listen". You will never prove to me that a weapon that can be used against her to kill her can do enough to save her.
bl1957 JUL. 25, 18 6:54 PM
@fall2011 @bl1957 Good luck with that.
mamalab JUL. 22, 18 11:18 AM
Thank you for bring light to this situation. Now it is time for Mayor Frey to start with the MPD and hold Hennepin County Attorney Freeman accountable by defeating him In November. And please, this has nothing to do with our President. Or Hollywood, although that is another matter. All of the people who dropped the ball are paid public employees and they should be fired for incompetence. This is absolutely heartbreaking and unacceptable.
msimsi JUL. 23, 18 7:16 AM
@mamalab How does this plan fix the problem in the other 86 counties in Minnesota? The article mentions cases in Mankato, Duluth, Chisholm and St. Paul.
mcmahon34 JUL. 22, 18 10:45 AM
Two things to say after finishing this article with tears in my eyes- Thank you to these women for their courage and speaking up. Thanks to the Star Tribune for this detailed reporting and exposing how we must do a better job investigating sexual assault.
MaryJWebster JUL. 22, 18 10:48 AM
@mcmahon34 You're welcome. And thank you for reading.
alexburcum JUL. 23, 18 12:30 AM
@MaryJWebster And thank you, Ms. Webster, for proving that Star Tribune staff do indeed comment on their own articles.
MiddeViewer JUL. 23, 18 2:29 PM
@MaryJWebster @mcmahon34 Yes, Thank you for bringing this to our attention! Great work Ms. Webster and colleagues!
A02MIT JUL. 22, 18 10:21 AM
How often do you think this happens?
sallygirl JUL. 23, 18 4:02 PM
@A02MIT Sexual assaults are greatly under reported. It is a significant problem.
atch1111 JUL. 22, 18 10:54 AM
First off, wow. Secondly, if they aren't even investigated properly, then how would we ever know?
jflynch1 JUL. 22, 18 11:15 AM
@atch1111 Would you support the issue being studied? how many accusations are retracted after the accuser is caught lying? The U of Michigan has a data base on this BTW. Check it out. Wow.
jflynch1 JUL. 22, 18 11:20 AM
@atch1111 The National Registry of Exonerations
frank60 JUL. 22, 18 11:36 AM
@Reality2017 "I really hope there is a follow up article about "Rapes that are reported, turn out to be made up fake stories, how the made up fake stories destroyed lives, and would the accuser be held accountable."
That is why we have courts and due process to help protect the innocent. However, if poor investigations prevent due process from occurring or if prosecutors drop the ball as suggested in the article then we have a major problem.
jenbjorhus JUL. 22, 18 1:32 PM
@Reality2017 Research shows that only about 5-8 percent of rape reports are false, and that the vast majority of rapes are never reported to police.
alexburcum JUL. 23, 18 1:19 AM
@jenbjorhus "Only" and "vast majority"? Do you mind citing the research you speak of? It certainly could not have come from here: "Discredited Sex Assault Research Infects U.S. Legal System," by Linda LeFauve & Stuart Taylor, Jr., (RCP), March 5, 2018.
redqueen JUL. 23, 18 10:20 PM
@alexburcum @jenbjorhus I would be interesting to ask a SANE nurse (I think SANE stands for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner?) how many of the patients they examine and treat go forward with cases and how many drop them due to the likelihood that nothing will come of it. I am guessing a lot of them. It's the same with domestic violence - patients come in with evidence of assault but decline to press charges, so the numbers of victims are underreported.
marathon2004 JUL. 23, 18 11:57 AM
@jenbjorhus @Reality2017 and as we saw here, even if they are reported, they aren't investigated to any means.
Bump99 JUL. 22, 18 4:17 PM
@Reality2017 Happens a lot, that is why the real cases are getting ignored.
DocGonzo JUL. 22, 18 9:55 PM
@Reality2017 No. When one side says it is raining out, and the other says it is not, its not the newspaper's job to quote both sides equally. It is their job to look out the window and report what is happening. The under prosecution of rape is real. There likely have been false accusations prosecuted, but by reading this article, it seems highly unlikely that these problems are equal in scope.
carlson JUL. 22, 18 9:54 AM
We have a president who brags about sexually assaulting women. So, don't expect things to improve for women in this country unless women (and us men) get out and vote. Until the Republicans have gerrymandered, dark monied and vote suppressed us out of existence, we have the power to change things. Show up in November!
Geniuslevel JUL. 22, 18 9:56 AM
@carlson Seems to me most of the people getting charged in the Govt. are of the Democrat persuasion. Bragging about something and actually doing it are two different things. But maybe you knew that, or not.
atch1111 JUL. 22, 18 10:55 AM
Might want to rethink your username.
frank60 JUL. 22, 18 11:53 AM
@Geniuslevel @carlson " Seems to me most of the people getting charged in the Govt. are of the Democrat persuasion." There are plenty of Republicans that have had accusations as well. If you meant that more Democrats have resigned than Republicans then I would agree with you as Democrats seem to have higher standards in this area these days then conservatives. Trump is a case in point.
"Bragging about something and actually doing it are two different things. " Trump bragged about how you can sexually assault women and get away with it when you hold a position of power. Over a dozen women have come forward accusing Trump of sexually assaulting him just like he bragged. Trump also bragged about how he could barge into women's dressing rooms while they were naked because he was the boss and women from the Miss Universe pageant have confirmed this as well. Coming to the defense of sexual predator like Trump eviscerates your credibility.
A02MIT JUL. 23, 18 8:58 AM
@Geniuslevel @carlson this is not a right or left issue - it crosses all lines. Focus on what is important.
bl1957 JUL. 22, 18 11:48 AM
@carlson... you forgot to mention your idol...bill Clinton.
DocGonzo JUL. 22, 18 9:58 PM
@bl1957 And you are forgetting Warren G Harding...
MiddeViewer JUL. 23, 18 11:02 AM
@carlson More than one president has sexually harrased women. It's not just Republicans in spite of the most recent example. I think we would all admit that politics in general are full of dark money, and these other things you speak of.
marthaw JUL. 23, 18 11:08 AM
@MiddeViewer @carlson Agreed. It goes back to that "power" thing.
Corruptgovt JUL. 22, 18 9:53 AM
If you are a women who feels the least bit vulnerable to assault, sexual or otherwise. I recommend you purchase a 9mm handgun, get your conceal and carry permit, learn to use the weapon, carry at all times, be prepared and aware of your surroundings . There are too many scumbag male predators in our society today. As reported in this article; the police and courts can be of little help.....Don't be a victim!!! Protect yourself!!! Shoot first and answer questions second!!!
MCMBurn JUL. 22, 18 12:49 PM
@Corruptgovt Shooting first and asking/answering questions later is illegal. Did you take the conceal and carry class?
mnmaid JUL. 22, 18 9:27 PM
@MCMBurn Shooting first and asking questions later is the modus operandi of the police. Double standards?
katfood JUL. 22, 18 3:06 PM
@Corruptgovt No. I do not want to do that. I'd rather learn self-defense maneuvers and teach men to respect women. I refuse to live in such fear that it makes me buy a weapon such as a gun.
MiddeViewer JUL. 23, 18 11:04 AM
@katfood @Corruptgovt I would argue that most men do respect women. And some will never be taught to respect them.
sallygirl JUL. 23, 18 4:19 PM
@MiddeViewer @katfood @Corruptgovt There are definitely a lot of men who respect women and many of those same men need to examine how they are or are not holding other men accountable when they are being sexist and denigrating to girls and women.
buttles JUL. 22, 18 8:33 PM
@Corruptgovt The gun is just as apt , maybe more, to be used on the victim as it is the attacker.
DocGonzo JUL. 22, 18 9:59 PM
@buttles @Corruptgovt What good is a gun to someone whose drink has been roofied?
sallygirl JUL. 23, 18 4:20 PM
@DocGonzo @buttles @CorruptgovtAre you going to answer this question???
sallygirl JUL. 23, 18 4:14 PM
@Corruptgovt If you are a man I recommend you examine your attitudes and beliefs about the female gender and once you have done that then work hard to educate other men about treating women as autonomous human beings deserving of respect and the right to not be violated. That will go a whole lot further in stopping violence against women.
carlson JUL. 22, 18 9:47 AM
Seems like collecting video footage from neighboring businesses immediately is a no brainer.
krump56 JUL. 22, 18 9:03 AM
The StarTribune should follow up by naming the worst departments, Chiefs, Prosecutors and politicians in the cities associated with these failures. Prosecutors are elected and can be held accountable for their choices and priorities. Public shaming and the ballot box is the best way to force change.
tice87 JUL. 22, 18 8:45 AM
Police need more personnel and resources! There is a small but very vocal group which gets lots of coverage by this news organization who among other things are advocating for less police. This problem would get even worse if that group got their way.
Broonie JUL. 22, 18 9:36 AM
@tice87 Make that statement to Melvin Carter and Todd Axtell and you will get two different answers.
atch1111 JUL. 22, 18 10:58 AM
Police need to waste less time on minor stuff offences. Did you see the study this week that police in Washington and Colorado have seen their clearance rates go up after those states legalized weed?
john14 JUL. 22, 18 12:47 PM
@tice87 Tell me how does civil rights activists in North Minneapolis are going to make enforcing the law worst off? Less aggressive police presence make sense given how many high profile cases were in the news recently including Justine Damond and Phil Castillo. Nobody that I know wants to be easily targeted by crazy cops in uniform. And this rape investigation scandal seems to enforced this idea among the public that police officers, investigators, and county prosecutors are giving the green light with serial rapists in society while they waste taxpayer resources by going after the low hanging fruit with non-criminal offenses. Sorry, but I do believe our police agencies are corrupt, out of control, not taking serious crimes seriously, targeting the public as the enemy masses, and always playing the victim card in politics when accountability is demanded by community activists.
aethos JUL. 22, 18 7:11 AM
There are a lot of points regarding possibly failures in departments, and there are certainly things here that need to be addressed and improved. There are also a lot of statistics used to extract emotion from people as opposed to being worth their face value. 25% of cases were not assigned an investigator - WHY? Perhaps there's a reason? A 75% of cases were assigned investigators. How many cases? How pervasive is the real problem? You sell LEO quite short here. There are a lot of miscarriages of justice in the world but trying to provoke rage like this is aggravating to read.
Case in point, "Most of the cases — about 75 percent, including violent rapes by strangers — were never forwarded to prosecutors for criminal charges." How much of that 75% was violent rapes by strangers? You lead a less talented reader to believe that it's the majority of that. How many of those cases were determined by investigators to be disputes by people who were sexually involved, which could not be determined to qualify as rape? How many of those cases involved attackers who could not be identified in the time period you examined? How many old rape cases are charged every year as a result of DNA evidence that FINALLY has a match?
qweqaz JUL. 22, 18 6:13 AM
First of all, I am so glad that I'm a man and have not had to worry about being assaulted the way these ladies have been. It's terrible that anything like these assaults EVER take place. I am so filled with anger and incredulity right now over the lack of concern for the plight of these ladies that I don't have the words for them. "Did you use your cane?" Making the ladies feel as though that they are the ones in the wrong? Seriously? I wish I could hug these ladies and cry with them. Talk about the injustice of it all.
jflynch1 JUL. 22, 18 6:03 AM
There needs to be prison time for making false claims that rob real victims of the credibility and resources to get the justice they deserve.
msimsi JUL. 22, 18 8:31 AM
@jflynch1 Do any of the stories presented here appear to be false claims?
jflynch1 JUL. 22, 18 8:35 AM
@msimsi @jflynch1 No- all these people deserve justice. It would be great if no one was skeptical of rape claims- but when demonstrably false accusations can be made with impunity this is where we end up.
catkat JUL. 22, 18 8:44 AM
@jflynch1 @msimsi An abusive man could make the victims claim seem false to punish her further.
jflynch1 JUL. 22, 18 8:49 AM
@catkat @jflynch1 @msimsi Agree- I am thinking more like the woman who accused Francesco Parisi of a violent rape and had him jailed for 3 weeks- demonstrably false with a simple check at the hospital she claimed she went to. Or Brian Banks or countless others. One wonders what real victims think of false accusres.
suefranpat JUL. 22, 18 3:02 PM
@jflynch1 It's unfortunate they happen at all but they are very rare, and have absolutely nothing to do with "where we end up."
atch1111 JUL. 22, 18 10:59 AM
There is. Read the paper more.
jflynch1 JUL. 22, 18 11:17 AM
@atch1111 Please show me where in this paper the woman who falsely accused professor Parisi who was in jail while his mother died was name or charged?
Kristin625 JUL. 22, 18 2:28 AM
I am also angry, sad, horrified, and appalled. According to the article, the POST Board (Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training), which licenses law enforcement officers, needs a directive from the Legislature to require statewide standards for sexual assault investigations. We can certainly get that done. Minnesotans, contact your elected representatives.The Minnesota Legislature reconvenes on January 8, 2019. Be very clear with your elected representatives:They need to arrive at the legislature on January 8 ready to pass this common-sense measure. Find out who represents your legislative district. It is posted online.
Thanks to all who contributed to this article, especially the many brave rape victims.
MaryJWebster JUL. 22, 18 10:57 AM
@Kristin625 You're welcome. And thank you for reading and commenting!
alexburcum JUL. 23, 18 1:11 AM
@Kristin625 They do have statewide standards for sexual assault investigations. Matter of fact, they have national standards. Whenever the police in any part of the country receive a formal complaint alleging a sexual assault, they investigate it. If they discover evidence indicative that a sexual assault or another crime occured, as well as ascertained the party responsible, the perpetrator will be charged and prosecuted in accordance with the law and due process. It is that "due process" part that individuals such as yourself have trouble with. Which is exactly why individuals such as yourself lobbied and impelled the Obama Administration to establish Title IX Kafka Courts on College Campuses and mandated they grant no Due Process. Title IX adjudication auctions have essentially been held unconstitutional now. Apparently the courts realized that this is, like, America or something.
saywhat567 JUL. 22, 18 12:02 AM
Sickening. We need more women investigators. Maybe they would care more.
Molly1958 JUL. 22, 18 8:45 AM
@saywhat567 Did you notice that one investigator noted, Lt. Melissa Chiodo, did nothing at all only saying they didn't have the manpower. Why would the Lt. NOT press the department for more "man"power?
mgresist JUL. 23, 18 12:31 AM
@Molly1958 @saywhat567 And now Chiodo is in charge of internal affairs for Minneapolis, which explains why so few MPD cops are actually held accountable.
mdachs JUL. 21, 18 9:39 PM
I don't even know where to begin to comment on this extremely disturbing article! So, for now, I will share a few immediate reactions - and, maybe comment in more detail later.
First, I wonder if the miserable statistics have anything to do with the ratio of male to female investigators and police officers - in other words, are the majority of investigators and police officers male? Without having national statistics on the causes of low statistics like these, I wonder if the fact that most, not all, rapes are committed against women and not men - and that may be the reason for what we read above?
Second, as a woman with a carry permit for a semi-automatic pistol, which I do carry, another reaction was that this article makes a very strong case for women to learn to use a handgun, get a carry permit, and carry it in all places where it is permitted. And also carry pepper spray. And maybe a taser? If I were attacked by anyone, I would never hesitate to use my pistol and pepper spray.
For those of you who hate guns, read the article again. For those of you who are mothers and fathers, just think about how would you feel if your daughter were raped? And what would you advise your daughter to do in the future to avoid being raped? When I left home for college in 1969, the only advice my father gave me was about rape. He explained that men can lose all sense of right, wrong, consequences, and logic when they decide to have sex with women - and, that he would rather have me come home pregnant than dead. That resisting a man in a situation like that could very well lead to being beat up or killed. At that time, it was not at all common to have handguns nor had any of us even heard about HIV/AIDS. I am sure that, if he gave me pre-college advice and preparation now, he would have bought me a semi-automatic handgun, taught me how to use it, and helped me to get a carry permit. And pepper spray.
I recall my junior year at Illinois State University when the university experienced its first rape one evening. The rapist was never caught. Women students were incredibly frightened. Those of us who took night classes took a few measures to keep safer than before - get a strong guy to accompany women to and from the night classes, carry a baseball bat (I carried my field hockey stick in such a way that men knew what I would do with it and would give me a wide berth), carry pepper spray, and NEVER walk alone around campus.
Third, "Some states now require that officers who investigate sex crimes complete special training, but Minnesota does not. " That just blows my mind! I am sure that the number of raped females far, far exceeds the number of black who are shot or beaten by police officers. With all of the outrage about "excessive police force" against black males, exactly where is the outrage about rape victims? The inept and misguided Minneapolis city council members want to take over policy control over the police force, primarily driven by their concerns about police use of force. As far as I know, there has been no mention of rape victims in these discussions, even though the incidence is much higher that police force used on suspects. Similarly, Obama was always very quick to react to the use of force by police on black males, as has been Dayton. And calls for training police about the use of force and de-escalation. No calls for training police about rape investigations?
I have been fortunate enough never to have been raped - or had a male not respond when I said, "NO!" But, as the article points out, there are just far too many rape incidents that go under-investigated.
Kudos to the Strib, for a change, on this article. Let's just hope that our politicians and legislators read this article and take some action! And their constituents should be contacting them to do take some action.
mnmaid JUL. 22, 18 9:37 PM
@mdachs Actually, fighting back is the best defense a "defenseless" woman has once she's been grabbed. It is NOT more likely she will be beat up or killed. A potential rapist finds that a woman fighting back isn't worth the effort. That is one of the first things law enforcement will tell you--FIGHT BACK! You can actually Google this. Sorry, dad, but that was one bad piece of advice.
mgresist JUL. 22, 18 11:46 PM
@mdachs It's not a contest. We need high quality policing that doesn't racially profile people of color or involve excessive force. In fact, if police would focus on the serious crimes and stop harassing Black folks, there might be more resources for investigations of serious crimes including sexual assault.
beloitgopher JUL. 21, 18 9:16 PM
I'm sickened by this report! Good Job StarTribune! I'm angry, sad, horrified, to the point I can't write anymore! Evie JUL. 21, 18 8:39 PM Stunning stories. A wake up call for local officials and state legislators to make needed changes to provide help to victims that they deserve. We as a state can and must do better.