By Katie Feifer
Roger Canaff, CounterQuo member, former sex crimes prosecutor in Virginia and New York and currently a Highly Qualified Expert with the U.S. Army assisting in investigation prosecution of sexual assault cases within the armed forces, has just written a powerful and insightful critique of the recent decision by Fred Bright, the Georgia D.A. who recently decided not to charge Roethlisberger with rape.
Canaff notes that he doesn't know all the facts of the case, and so can't base his comments on that. However, he rightly excoriates the D.A. for his publicly stated reasoning for declining to file charges in the case, noting "your reasons... should stand as a training tool in how not to evaluate a sexual assault case."
After pointing out some of the major reasons why D.A. Bright failed in his duties, Canaff concludes "I don’t believe you dropped this case in any sort of deference to a celebrity. I think you ran from it because you’re thoroughly unschooled on how to prosecute anything like it. Thus, you have failed this woman, the citizens of your jurisdiction, and the wider world beyond it. You have allowed a repeat sex offender to escape, let loose to rape again, which he almost surely will, despite your admonitions to him to “grow up.” Ben Roethlisberger is grown up, Mr. Bright. He’s a grown up rapist, and he has permanently altered and forever scarred the life of more than one woman."
We share Roger's belief that when prosecutors ignore the realities of conditions under which most rapes occur and the way many victims typically react immediately after the trauma they've endured, and use that ignorance as a basis for declining to prosecute, the ramifications run far and deep.
We urge you to read this important post, and share it broadly.