A crime's a crime until a police officer commits it. Or unless it's against a woman in a public vicinity. At least, those are messages Flagstaff, Arizona's county attorneys have made clear by allowing a former cop to foot only half the blame when he groped a woman at a bar.
Judge Hatch, who ruled over the July 2nd case, allowed personal bias to cloud her handling of the situation. Though the jury ultimately found Evans guilty and sentenced him to two years' parole, Hatch lectured the victim for making a poor decision by going to the bar in the first place. Evans walks free while a woman gets chided for standing up her herself.
Victim-blaming is never an appropriate response to assault, no matter the outcome of a trial. Tell the Arizona Supreme Court to hold offenders--not victims--accountable for sexual abuse, and to take measures to ensure a safe courtroom environment for all victims.
Dear Arizona Supreme Court,
On July 2nd, 2012, Judge Jacqueline Hatch allowed personal bias to color the way she handled the sexual assault case involving Robb Gary Evans. By telling the victim that she could have prevented assault by not going to the bar, Hatch set an inappropriate standard for law enforcement in Flagstaff.
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I believe the woman who Judge Hatch chastised deserves to be commended for speaking out. I urge you to encourage anyone in her same position to also report sexual assault, and to hold all Coconino county attorneys and judges responsible for any future inappropriate, personal commentary that does not foster a safe environment for assault victims in courtrooms.
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