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Sacramento judge keeps alleged rape victim in jail

April 6, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
After spending over a week in jail, a Sacramento judge has decided to keep an alleged rape victim locked up, possibly for another 1 1/2 weeks.

"I can't tell you how terribly sorry I am that you're in the circumstance that you're in," the judge told the victim.

The teenager sobbed in court when she heard the judge's decision. She's been locked up to ensure she appears in court when her alleged attacker, Frank Rackley, goes on trial.

Rackley has also been accused of rape in a second case. Rackley, who has a lengthy criminal record, is also accused of raping a prostitute who identified him through the Swastika tattooed on his chest.

"You can't stomp all over her rights and put her in jail, when she's a victim, revictimize her and treat her like she's a criminal," said the victim's attorney, Lisa Franco.

According to court documents, Rackley met the girl last July at a train station. He threw her into his truck, drove to a dark area and sexually assaulted her.

Prosecutors say drastic steps were necessary because the teen has already missed two hearings in the case. She cannot be forced to testify, but prosecutors say they need her in court to make the case against Rackley.

"It's something that we have to look at the big picture on, there's a very dangerous man out there, we believe him to be a serial rapist, and we're doing what we have to do," said prosecutor Van Stalen.

Patti Giggans is executive director of Peace Over Violence, an organization that helps victims of sexual violence. Giggans say putting the victim in jail sends a bad message to other sexual assault victims.

"Everybody would want that person to be taken off the streets, we understand that, but not at the expense of abusing and harassing and violating the rights of a 17-year-old girl," Giggans said.

Giggans also said putting the girl in jail sends a bad message to other sexual assault victims.

"They already have fear from the experience, and then to feel like you could be put in jail if you don't testify, then they're not going to report, they're not going to come forward," she said.

The girl's attorneys are suggesting an ankle-monitoring bracelet as an alternative to jail. The judge said he is willing to consider that option. The next hearing in the case is set for April 16.


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