2007 De Anza rape investigation

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The 2007 De Anza rape investigation was a police inquiry into allegations of sexual assault of a minor arising from an off-campus party on March 4, 2007. The investigation focused on eight members of the 2007 De Anza College baseball team. The allegations were investigated by the Santa Clara County, California Sheriff's Department, and reviewed by Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr. June 4, 2007, Carr stated that no charges would be filed. This decision was questioned by many, and the Office of the California Attorney General Jerry Brown was invited by the prosecutor to perform an independent investigation of the available evidence. May 2, 2008, the Attorney General's office determined that there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone present with a crime.

Allegations of assault[edit]

March 4, 2007, three members of the De Anza College woman's soccer team alleged that, while attending a party off-campus at the home of a member of the college baseball team, they witnessed an intoxicated 17-year-old girl being sexually assaulted by two or more people.[1] They further stated that a number of other people were in the same room, observing the incident and cheering.[1] The women stated that they intervened, removed the girl, and took her to the hospital.[1]

Investigation[edit]

The members of the soccer team reported the matter, and the Santa Clara Sheriff's Department investigated. The results of the investigation were turned over to the Office of the Santa Clara County District Attorney.[2] The district attorney's office conducted additional investigation, and presented its evidence to a grand jury. On June 4, 2007, District Attorney Dolores Carr announced that she would not charge anyone involved in the alleged incident with a crime.[3]

Public reaction and aftermath[edit]

The decision not to prosecute was questioned widely. There was negative reaction in the form of public protests,[4][5] and adverse comments by the county sheriff,[3] by a number of newspaper columnists,[6][7] and editorial page writers.[8] June 5, 2007 Carr invited Jerry Brown, the Attorney General of the State of California, to conduct an independent assessment of the evidence. Brown accepted, and his office commenced an investigation.[9] May 2, 2008, in a letter from the Attorney General's Office to Carr, the results of the investigation were released.[10] The investigation determined that while there was evidence that a crime had occurred, there was insufficient evidence to identify who had been responsible. The investigation noted that the physical descriptions of the attackers varied so widely that they could not be accurately identified. The victim was characterized as having no memory of the incident after her arrival at the party. The report concluded that these factors made proof beyond a reasonable doubt, as required for a criminal trial, impossible[10] The report further indicated that widespread intoxication among the party's attendees hampered the accuracy and reliable of their memories of the event. As a result, Carr's office announced that no charges would be filed, and the criminal case was closed.[10]

This case went to civil court in 2011 with the victim seeking monetary compensation from 10 men. Knopf and Chadwick claimed that the sex was consensual. Another six men were also listed in the lawsuit when the trial began in late February, but they have all settled with the plaintiff or had the lawsuit dismissed.

On April 7, 2011, the jury in the civil case found Knopf and Chadwick to be not liable for the charges against them.[11]

ABC News 20/20 episode on the 2007 De Anza rape case by Deborah Roberts[edit]

ABC News 20/20 episode aired on June 5, 2009 on the 2007 De Anza rape case that never went to trial and two years later still causes some raw nerves and outrage. During the episode April Groelle, Lauren Chief Elk and Lauren Bryeans allege that they witnessed a rape of a teenager by members of baseball team and stated: If three witnesses aren't enough, 'why is rape even a crime?' Meanwhile, Sheriff Smith called the case 'frustrating', saying it was possible the baseball players were sticking to a code of silence.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Witnesses to Alleged De Anza Rape Speak Out http://www.ktvu.com/news/13370961/detail.html
  2. ^ Investigators Plan to Present Evidence http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/03/23/BAGO5OQLNM5.DTL
  3. ^ a b Coté, John (June 6, 2007). "SANTA CLARA COUNTY / D.A. won't file in case involving De Anza athletes / Sex assault decision stuns investigators in Sheriff's Department". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  4. ^ De Anza sex case decision protested http://www.mercurynews.com/search/ci_5984116
  5. ^ Protesters Demand Justice In Alleged De Anza Rape http://www.foxreno.com/news/13424029/detail.html
  6. ^ D.A. should give alleged victim day in court http://www.sfgate.com/cg i-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/06/02/MNG7CQ6J771.DTL
  7. ^ SiliconValley.com, Herhold: Questions persist in De Anza case, and we deserve answers, http://www.siliconvalley.com/scottherhold/ci_5956640
  8. ^ Editorial: Where's justice? http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/06/05/EDGGTP3FH91.DTL
  9. ^ "SANTA CLARA COUNTY / Experts assess Brown's move in De Anza case". The San Francisco Chronicle. June 7, 2007. 
  10. ^ a b c Coté, John (May 3, 2008). "State: Evidence lacking in De Anza rape case". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 30, 2008. 
  11. ^ "No defendants found liable in De Anza rape trial, no damages awarded". Silicon Valley Mercury News. April 7, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  12. ^ Deborah Roberts. "Alleged Gang Rape Ends With No Criminal Charges but Civil Suit Pending". ABC News 20/20. Retrieved November 7, 2009.