Jo Tamar has decided to join the Hoyden roster following her sterling guest Hoyden efforts. Welcome! ~tigtog
In each legal system, there is a woman has been sexually assaulted.
Each woman is subjected to some sort of abuse by the person who is supposed to be prosecuting the sexual assault.
The similarities end there.
The trial of the alleged attacker, in 2009, collapsed after [the woman who had been attacked] mentioned in her evidence on the first day that he had been in prison, a fact the jury should not have been told. She insists that she had never been warned she should not talk about the matter.
The next day, without consulting the victim, the CPS decided to offer no evidence in the case, meaning it was dropped and the defendant found not guilty. Prosecutors could have sought a new trial at the time but because they did not the man cannot be tried again on the charge.
When the woman’s boyfriend called the CPS to ask if this was a possibility, he was told by a member of staff the only way there could be another trial was if the alleged attacker “did it to her again”.
When the crown prosecutor in charge of the case later wrote to the victim explaining why it had collapsed, she accused her of “deliberately disclosing” to the jury that the defendant had been in prison. The letter also revealed that the man was behind bars in relation to a sexual assault.
The woman sought a judicial review and the CPS admitted it had breached Article 3 of the UN Convention on Human Rights by failing to prosecute sexual assault effectively, accepting its decision to offer no evidence and not seek a retrial was wrong.
It settled the case for what is believed to be a record sum for an Article 3 breach in a sexual assault case.
In a letter to the victim, the chief crown prosecutor for London, Alison Saunders, wrote: “I accept unreservedly that you were not to blame in any way for the collapse of the prosecution and I apologise that you were made to feel that way by the CPS.”
She said the failure to support the victim by consulting her on the decision to drop the case was unacceptable, and the application for screens should have been dealt with more competently and sensitively.
This case builds on the law in this area, arguing that – in the case of sexual assault – failing to properly investigate and prosecute a serious sexual assault is a breach of the positive obligation to protect people from inhuman and degrading treatment.
The award of £16,000 damages is also significant, and likely to send a clear message within the CPS – currently awaiting the results of the spending review and the inevitable cut in its budget, of the importance of handling cases properly.
[A DA prosecuting a domestic violence case wrote text messages to the complainant:] “Are you the kind of girl that likes secret contact with an older married elected DA … the riskier the better?” Kratz, 50, wrote in a message to Stephanie Van Groll in October 2009. In another, he wrote: “I would not expect you to be the other woman. I would want you to be so hot and treat me so well that you’d be THE woman! R U that good?”
Kratz was prosecuting Van Groll’s ex-boyfriend on charges he nearly choked her to death last year. He also was veteran chair of the Wisconsin Crime Victims’ Rights Board, a quasi-judicial agency that can reprimand judges, prosecutors and police officers who mistreat crime victims.
Van Groll, a college student and part-time preschool teacher who has moved to Merrill, said she has been told Kratz won’t be charged because “they didn’t think he did anything criminally wrong.”
Compare and contrast.