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Should Alleged Rape Victim Be Jailed for Missing Court Dates?

A witness is being held in juvenile hall for missing court dates.

A 17-year-old witness is being held at for missing two court dates where prosecutors hoped she would testify against an accused rapist, according to the Sacramento Bee.

"Twice, the girl failed to appear in court to testify against defendant Frank William Rackley Sr., 37, a man the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office believes is a serial rapist," the Bee wrote.

Prosecutors say she was abducted and raped near the Del Paso Boulevard light rail station in July, according to the Bee.

Now, she's being detained and held until the trial, which is now scheduled for April 23–even though she can't be forced to testify.

The girl's lawyer requested she be released with a GPS tracking anklet, an idea a judge said he's interested in exploring further. Her lawyer said the girl would not miss another court date, but she's run away from previous foster care at least three times, the Bee reported.

Fair Oaks, how do you feel about this girl being locked up in the Kiefer Boulevard Youth Detention Facility? Is it fair, since she missed two court dates already? Or does it turn a victim into a criminal? Let us know how you feel by leaving a comment below.

Tracy Whipple April 11, 2012 at 03:31 PM
NO! If she isn't even required to testify, how can she even be detained? Geez, poor girl. Sounds like she's already got it pretty rough so let's make her feel like she has even LESS control of her life??? How about making sure she feels safe to testify instead of using more force.
Carole IF April 12, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Speaking as a past rape victim, it is extremely hard to testify even if you are willing to go through the process. And at 17? Mine was when I was 28 and as much as I thought I had put testifying behind me, I had to have counseling last year because of having to show up for jury duty. Just being in the courtroom made me ill. The courts should be able to take testimony some other way than in person for a person that is that young and who went through something tramatic. How sad for our court system to "jail" this young person.

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