LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV) -- A University of Kansas graduate student who was charged with filing a false police report is finally speaking out.
“It has been really hard to be involved in the criminal matter, because I have felt like I haven't had a voice. I felt like I have not been able to defend myself or to advocate for myself, or to even, you know, try to stand up for myself,” said the accuser.
The woman no longer faces charges. A proposed gag order was never granted.
“My message for victims right now would be not to report. Or if you're going to take an attorney,” said the accuser.
The woman points to court records where investigators admit they didn’t believe her within 90 minutes of her reporting her crime.
Police audio reveals interactions between investigators and the woman. The interaction that stung the most was a conversation in the back of a police cruiser. A female detective explained to the woman what she thinks really happened.
“And it looks like you cheated on your boyfriend and you’re like “Oh sh*t,” and then your friend was like “Well, you were raped,” and that’s why we were called and it happens a lot. “
“But I held my ground and I just told her that I know that this happened to me,” said the accuser. “From the minute we arrived at the hospital I felt honestly felt attacked I felt not believed. I mean I just felt like I was being treated as almost like a suspect.”
The woman is speaking specifically about police who met her at the hospital and not the nurses who provided her with compassionate care.
The woman was eventually arrested after police tricked her into coming to the police station. An investigator lied to her and told her they had received an anonymous note about her rape.
“I was in utter shock. I mean, I think that for a lot of women who come forward and report this… I mean that's one of your greatest fears is for people, you know, not to believe you and you know to be criticized for your choices. I mean, it didn't even seem real,” said the accuser.
The woman was handcuffed and booked. She was charged with three counts of filing a false police report.
“Surely, once we get somebody to review these facts there is no way this is going to continue,” said the accuser.
But the case dragged on for almost a year. The DA offered plea deals but the woman says she didn’t want to accept any deals because she says she was telling the truth.
Last week the prosecutor officially dropped charges. In the statement, District Attorney Charles Branson made it clear his office still believed the accuser was lying and they would win at court. He indicated his decision to drop charges was about how a court case like this could affect the community.
Through this difficult case, we have learned much. We have heard from community members on both sides. It is critical that we use this information to improve our response to sexually violent crimes. I will be working with law enforcement to update our guidelines for investigating and prosecuting these crimes.
The accuser admits she’s grateful the case won’t head to court. She has been working with counselors and says the stress was wearing on her. The only minor drawback is she won’t be able to reveal what happened behind the scenes.
“I knew what happened to me and I wasn’t going to let the system failures define me or win. And I just want to show people eventually the truth prevailed,” said the accuser.
Accuser thanks supporters
The accuser thanked all of the people who supported her in this case especially her attorneys, Cheryl Pilate and Brandon Bell.
The accuser also thanked the media who spoke about the case when she felt she could not. This includes Kansas City Star’s, Katie Bernard who did the initial reports on the case.
KCTV5 recently joined the Kansas City Star to fight against a proposed gag order motion in the case.
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