CARBONDALE, Ill., Feb. 26, 2013 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- The Sexual Assault Myths Organization of Carbondale today launched an awareness campaign that explains that the Jackson County District Attorney, Mike Carr, has currently allegedly charged at least three people for reporting their sexual assault. The website and organization was formed by Larry Brunken a longtime resident of Jackson County because of what he says has destroyed his wife's life.
"My wife was arrested for reporting an alleged violent sexual assault by someone she knew for almost ten years. Through discovery and court subpoenas we found the Jackson County Sheriffs office did no investigation of the accused and ignored all parts of the 'Illinois Sexual Assault Guideline And Manual For Law Enforcement' published since 1996," says Brunken.
"The manual clearly states the procedure Officer Marks was duty bound to follow but allegedly choose not to. Moreover, court subpoenas prove the person accused of the assault statement to the police was a complete lie, which is a felony, yet he is still the state's only witness. There are several state and national sexual assault support groups looking into this policy which now has gained national attention."
Mr. Brunken goes on to explain that, "More disturbing is the fact that the evidence put forth by the state as 'consent' to the alleged assault, are Facebook chats between my wife and the accused. Also, the accused turned over pictures of the assault from a website profile he created to broadcast the alleged sexual assault. He told the police he would turn over his computers and cameras with all the videos taken but later refused and then destroyed them while under subpoena. The pictures of the assault used as evidence against my wife show her naked and crying while being pinched, slapped, and beat by the accused on his web-cam so long bruises had already formed.
"The police choose to ignore this abuse and do no investigation as mandated in state guidelines. Instead, Assistant District Attorney Casey Bloodworth, apparently decided that the pictures somehow show 'consent' and refused to do any investigation. This is a direct violation of the Illinois Laws Of Consent (720 ILCS 5/11-1.70) as well as Illinois Criminal Sexual Assault Act. Of 1984 and of course federal law."
According to Brunken, newly elected District Attorney Mike Carr continues the policy of arresting sexually assaulted victims, even when Illinois laws of consent could not be more clear on the subject. Furthermore, for Mike Carr to assert that someone's consent can be shown in pictures which contain violent sexual abuse is absurd, and a clear "free pass" for sexual offenders in our county.
It's not just state and federal laws being ignored but also national manuals like, "Prosecuting Alcohol-Facilitated Sexual Assault," printed and distributed by the National District Attorney Association along with the American Prosecutors Research Institute. Within the 76 pages it explains clearly how a prosecutor should handle this and all sexual assaults involving date rape, drugs and alcohol.
All procedures listed were completely ignored in this case by our local district attorneys office, says Brunken.
"We urge anyone who has been charged in Jackson County for reporting sexual assault to visit our website at www.SexualAssaultMyths.com and submit us your story. On the site you will find copies of the above mentioned guidelines and laws along with more information about rape myths from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan," Brunken adds.
One fact listed on the site is that less than 4 percent to 6 percent of rape reports are false. Another is that "non-stranger rape" accounts for 85 percent of all rape reports. The most disturbing information listed is a quote from UMass Boston psychology professor David Lisak in an interview with the Boston Globe where he states "non-stranger rapist are know to be serial offenders often using drugs to facilitate their crimes for years."
Brunken concludes: "Please be aware that if you or your loved ones are brave enough to report a sexual assault here in Jackson County you can be charged with a felony if Mike Carr feels the report is false."
April is sexual assault awareness month.
NOTE: The Carbondale Women's Center has also issued a press release about this policy of charging victims and we encourage everyone to read it as well (available on the website). Learn more at: http://www.SexualAssaultMyths.com/ .
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