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A 17-year-old alleged rape victim is being held in juvenile detention to ensure she’ll testify at her alleged rapist’s trial, which was rescheduled after she previously failed to appear.

The unidentified girl did not show up at a preliminary hearing for Frank William Rackley or at his Feb. 28 trial, causing prosecutors to re-file the case and set an April 23 trial date.

“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 a multiple offenses, you have to balance the protection of the community here,” Sacramento County Assistant District Attorney Albert Locher told

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As I was drifting off to sleep last night, this story came across my local newscast.  I honestly couldn't believe what I was hearing.  A child (17-year old girl) being placed in juvenile detention to force her to testify against her rapist because he's a serial rapist.

I wonder if HE's in jail too?  This just seems so unfair - but don't think this is an isolated incident.  

I received this story recently from a fellow Tree Climber...

I was raped at age 17 and my rapist hired a private investigator to follow me around, and call up all of my friends and ex boyfriends to dig up dirt on me...then one day I came home from school and there were two strange men on my front doorstep and they basically told me that I should drop the charges because of the shit they had found out about me; that i was a druggie little teenage slut and a runaway street kid.

They didn't realize my stepdad was home- he came outside with a baseball bat They left me alone after that. But it was so humiliating...I had to tell everyone I knew that I was raped because I knew they were probably going to get a phone call and then ask me about it.

We must stop legally revictimizing children who already bear the brunt of the offense carried out on them.  We must change our culture to STOP protecting the pedophiles and rapists and START protecting the children!

That this girl is being held as if SHE is the criminal...

The girl has been held in juvenile hall since March 23.  “She’s being treated like a criminal without having done any criminal act. In fact, she’s the victim,” said attorney Lisa Franco, who is challenging the decision to hold the girl as a material witness to ensure she appears at the trial of Frank William Rackley Sr., 37.
The judge apologized to the teenage witness who stood and sobbed in the courtroom cage usually reserved for accused felons.
"I can't tell you how terribly sorry I am you're in the circumstance you're in," Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lawrence G. Brown told the 17-year-old witness and alleged rape victim.

Read more here:

Victims being penalized for the very coping mechanisms they were forced to use to deal with the trauma inflicted upon them.  What are we telling this girl?  That she did something bad - she's in JAIL!  Instead of providing her the resources she needs to deal with the trauma of her rape, she is being held like a common criminal.  And what message does this send to other children who may want to report?  

Originally posted to House of LIGHTS on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 05:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by TreeClimbers.

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