Desperately seeking a Minnesota thin girl

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S She was a farm girl from Stearns County, still in high school, out on a Saturday night for what was supposed to be a double date. Instead, she wound up alone in a car with two older boys. They lured her to a dark, empty apartment in the town of Brooten, threw her down and raped her. Now, at 71, she felt moved to tell her story after reading the s of dozens of other women who survived sexual assault. Joan, who asked that her last name not be used, is one of almost Minnesota women who felt compelled to share their stories of being sexually assaulted after the Star Tribune began documenting chronic errors and widespread failings in the way Minnesota police, prosecutors and judges handle rape cases.

The reports, along with video testimony of dozens of women, galvanized victims of sexual violence, lawmakers and law enforcement officials alike. The board that s all police officers is recommending new specialized training and clear investigative protocols, and local police departments and county attorneys are dedicating more staff and other resources to sex assault cases. Kristen Houlton Shaw, executive director of the Sexual Violence Center in Minneapolis, said more women are reporting assaults and seeking assistance from her staff as a result of heightened awareness, and more people are applying to be volunteer-advocates.

Meanwhile, some of the women who told their stories have seen renewed interest in their cases. In St. Paul, Cherrelle McGowan, who said she was assaulted while on a date, learned that Ramsey County prosecutors had reopened her case and charged the man with first degree sexual misconduct. In Chisholm, police reopened the case of Katie Finch, who reported being raped by an acquaintance after an evening out Desperately seeking a Minnesota thin girl friends, and sent it to prosecutors.

Two other women, Emily Schlecht and Brooke Morath, met and became friends. They are forming a nonprofit to provide short-term housing for sex assault victims — a safe place to collect themselves after going to the hospital for a rape kit. A series examining why so few rape and sexual assault victims in Minnesota get justice. Part 1: When rape is reported and nothing happens. Part 2: How repeat rapists slip by police.

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Part 3: How alcohol foils rape investigations. Part 4: Police overwhelmed and undertrained. Part 5: Rejected by the prosecution. Part 6: A victim heard, justice served. Part 7: How rapists avoid prison. Part 8: A better way to investigate rape. Part 9: When rape is reported and something happens. Watch: Women describe reporting their assaults. T The experiences described by the dozens of rape victims struck a familiar chord with dozens more who stepped forward to talk about how they were treated when they went to police. Cloud in To date, the Star Tribune has analyzed some 1, sex assault reports filed across the state in and The files show repeated lapses in basic police work, including failing to interview victims, failing to visit crime scenes and failing to question suspects or witnesses.

Jennifer, who asked that her last name not be used, reported being raped in St. Paul in Ramsey County declined to prosecute, saying there was insufficient evidence to prove that a rape occurred. The man was acquitted. Davlin reported being raped by a stranger while she walked to her Minneapolis home late one night in More than a year later, a suspect was identified and convicted. She said both the investigation and the drawn-out trial were demeaning. Boe told St. When the suspect denied any sexual contact, police closed the investigation. Boe said she went public with her story in hopes of holding police able.

The investigating officer did not respond to a request for comment. Hirsch said a Minneapolis officer laughed at her when she walked into police headquarters in to report that she had been raped at a hotel two weeks earlier. She said he found a piece of scrap paper and started taking notes only when she insisted that he take down her. She never heard back from police.

Police said they could find no record of a complaint filed by Hirsch, and they encourage citizens to report unprofessional conduct by officers. Stockberger said she was raped by her boyfriend while unconscious after having had too Desperately seeking a Minnesota thin girl to drink. He later admitted to St. Louis Park police that she had been in no condition to have sex, but he was never charged with a crime.

Williams reported being raped in her apartment by a friend from high school. She got a sexual assault exam and saved the blue condom he left behind. Gillespie told Golden Valley police that she was raped by an acquaintance after she blacked out in bed.

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Mary Black was raped in her Minneapolis apartment inat age Police closed the case without identifying a suspect. In October — 32 years later — she learned that her assailant had been identified using DNA from her original rape kit. The man was confined to the state sex-offender program inwhen investigators began examining possible links to crimes. Gram told police in July that she had been raped a year earlier by an ex-boyfriend.

She saved incriminating e-mails and text messages but said an investigator showed no interest. Police later dropped the case. Gram said she still grows anxious knowing her assailant is free. After seeing his brother on a city bus,she suffered a crippling panic attack. Radford told Farmington police that a friend, year-old Kyle Devries, raped her in his home in April Prosecutors charged Devries, who had a conviction for criminal sexual conduct, with a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

In July, he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting Radford and served less than a month. Lien called police to report being raped in her Mankato apartment by a man she met on a dating site. Records show the officer gave the suspect eight days to provide hisand Lien said police believed his story over hers. She has a recurring dream in which she answers a knock at her door and sees the officer with the suspect behind him holding a shotgun.

Finch said she accepted a ride home from a friend she met at a bar in Chisholm. He took her to an apartment where she says he raped her. This spring, after the Star Tribune inquired, an officer called her, apologized and said police have reopened her case.

Paye reported being raped twice by a man she was dating but says officers never tested the clothing and other evidence that she gave them. Her case file shows that police never called two women she named who might also have been victims. Police called the suspect, but when he refused to talk to them, they closed the case.

Marquette says she was devastated by the phone call from prosecutors saying they would not charge an ex-boyfriend who she said raped her in his Edina home in April Ortmeier-Clarke reported being raped by a man who came over to watch a movie after they met on a dating app. Because I said no. She said that when she asked an officer to have her rape Desperately seeking a Minnesota thin girl tested, he told her that it was just a box with a red piece of evidence tape on it.

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My dignity was in that box. Ortega told police that an ex-boyfriend came to her apartment very drunk, yanked her hair so hard that she saw stars, then raped her. Mandi told Minneapolis police she was raped in a downtown parking ramp by a man she and her friend met in a bar after a Twins game. A detective, new to the sex crimes unit, told her prosecutors were unlikely to pursue the case, even though she had bruises and a sexual assault exam.

The suspect told police the sex was consensual, and officers never found surveillance video of the time in question. Prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to bring charges. Wendy called police in February to report that her ex-boyfriend broke into her home and raped her. Her case file shows that police never went to her home to collect evidence. Police reopened her case after inquiries by the Star Tribune. But her detective, Justin Boardman, diligently worked the case and obtained crucial evidence through an empathetic interview with Griffiths.

She would later see the suspect plead guilty in court and be led away in handcuffs.

Desperately seeking a Minnesota thin girl

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