Woman: 8-hour interrogation after campus rape

Friday, October 14, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. -- An Old Dominion University student who reported she was raped in her dorm room is charging campus police prevented her from getting a medical exam to preserve evidence until after she was interrogated for almost eight hours.

Her complaint to federal education officials about the October 2014 episode also stated she was not given written information about her right to seek a protective order against the person she said attacked her, among other things. It accuses school officials of mishandling the case.

The complaint obtained by The Associated Press stated the woman, who was not identified, told campus police after she was raped in her dorm room she had an appointment at a local medical center for a forensic exam. Instead of taking the woman to the appointment, police took her to their department, where they held her for nearly eight hours and denied her food, water and access to the bathroom in between interrogations, the complaint stated.

In a personal statement included with the complaint, the woman said the detectives made comments and asked questions that made her feel as if she were "being violated again," including, "Do you like rough sex?" and "I'm just trying to find the crime here."

The experience left her with ongoing post-traumatic stress disorder and an anxiety disorder, she said.

"After the entire day of being victimized by your police department, I was left feeling paranoid and scared as if I was the criminal," she wrote.

The complaint accused the school of violating federal law by failing to give the woman written information about the importance of preserving evidence of her rape through a forensic exam and not letting her know she could decline to report the crime to law enforcement before getting an exam.

"Had Ms. Doe known about her right to decline to report to law enforcement prior to receiving a forensic examination and medical care, she would have been able to attend her appointment at a local medical center to receive care for her injuries and bleeding after her rape on campus," the complaint stated.

The woman's lawyer, Laura Dunn, said it was filed late Wednesday -- the two year anniversary of her rape -- with the U.S. Department of Education.

A criminal investigation was launched after the assault, but the alleged attacker never was charged, Dunn said.

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