Tulsa Rape Victim Feels The Justice System Has Let Her Down

Friday, September 15th 2006, 10:59 am
By: News On 6

A Tulsa rape victim has held her silence for nine months, but is breaking that silence now. She feels the justice system has let her down. Her case took a real blow this week when Tulsa County prosecutors dropped charges against the man accused of attacking her.

She wanted to tell her story exclusively to News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright.

We'll call the victim "Mary" to protect her privacy. She was in her apartment Thanksgiving Day weekend, when she heard a knock on her door at 4 in the morning and heard a young man on her porch crying and asking for help. She grabbed a broom for protection and opened the door.

That young man burst into her apartment and raped her then raped her again with the broom. "I had to have emergency surgery to prevent me from dying as a result of those injuries." Mary says she easily picked a suspect out of a line-up and police made an arrest. She feels confident she identified the right person. "Even though there was fear and panic going on, I was thinking, I have to concentrate on this person's face, I need to memorize this face."

Tulsa Police were confident too, after they say the suspect confessed, providing detailed information. A specialized DNA test that can't be done in Tulsa's lab was performed on some seminal fluid found on the victim. It was not a match to the young man arrested. That's why the charges were dropped. Additional testing will be done and Tulsa Police say the case is not over.

Mary says she wants justice in her case, but also wants to protect others. "If he offends again and statistics indicate there's a good probability he will, he's going to do nothing but become more violent, because he's gotten away with it. I'm fearful for our city." Mary believes the man who attacked her will be punished, if not by the courts, then by a higher power and that may have to be enough to bring her peace.

The suspect says he's innocent and says he confessed out of fear. His lawyer says it was a case of mistaken identity and that he has an alibi. He was released from Tulsa County jail on bond last December and is back in class and playing sports at a Tulsa high school. The new DNA results could take weeks.