Suspected Teen Rape Victim Jailed

'She's a victim, not a criminal,' says her lawyer

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 6, 2012 1:14 AM CDT | Updated Apr 6, 2012 3:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – A 17-year-old suspected rape victim is being held in a California juvenile detention facility to ensure that she'll show up to testify against her attacker. She failed to turn up at a preliminary hearing for her suspected assailant, forcing prosecutors to refile the case. “The last thing we ever want to do is put a victim or a witness in custody, but when you have serious crimes of violence and multiple offenses, you have to balance the protection of the community,” Sacramento County assistant district attorney tells ABC News.

A judge filed the order to hold the girl—who has been raised in foster homes and has a history of running away—as a material witness over three weeks ago. “I think it’s outrageous that the DA’s office wants to put a rape victim—a juvenile rape victim—in custody, as if she were the criminal, in a case where she is the victim,” the girl’s attorney told the Sacramento Bee.

Scales of justice.   (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
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