Please help our best friend, Lindsey, share her story. She was tortured endlessly on the courtroom stand hundreds of miles from home in Puerto Rico. After multiple months, a guilty verdict was finally reached. For this to have been possible, the jury needed to decide if this man was guilty of rape beyond reasonable doubt; they found this to be true. However, recently Lindsey recieved news that a new trial has somehow been approved. This means she will need to go back to Puerto Rico and testify for a new judge and a new jury all over again- almost as if the first trial had never even happened. Not many people are aware of the terrible horrors she faced while testifying on her own behalf; something not many victims of such a devastating crime have the courage to do. Please help us help our best friend fight, once again. Help us to petition this retrial and prevent her from having to be in the same room as this man again.
Hundreds of people sat on the quad of our campus for a sexual assault awareness event called Take Back the Night and listened to Lindsey's personal account of her assault. The following is a direct passage from her speech which describes how painful the court system made her trial the first time around:
"It was the hardest 2 months of my life. Everyday I was on the stand for hours at a time, and when I was not, I was shut in a 10 ft by 10 ft room with no communication to the outside world. I felt like I was the criminal. I felt like I had done something wrong. I was told by the defense attorney that I was a slut, I was asking for it, I wanted money, I made up the whole story, and I was a liar. I was beat down more and more everyday I took that stand, even though the hospital had the DNA evidence. I started going crazy in my own head. I remember one day breaking down so badly when I was asked to stand up and demonstrate to every one in court the exact position I was being held in when I was raped. I collapsed to the floor sobbing in tears after doing so. The defense attorneys response to this was that I needed to do it again because the jury didn’t get a long enough view to understand. Talk about sickening. You know, the worst part was that after this painful trial, I was sent back home another month before the jury had determined the verdict.
I got the call during finals week of the first semester of senior year at WPI. The verdict was in. I was to fly down to Puerto Rico immediately. The head juror handed the judge the verdict. I closed my eyes and felt my body shaking uncontrollably. The judge began reading. The voting was unanimous. All 12 Puerto Rican jurors agreed that he was guilty of rape. Sentencing to be determined at a later date. That was it. My mother was gasping for breath and crying all at the same time. I ran to my prosecutor, jumped on top of her, cried, and thanked her far more times than necessary. The prosecutor was even crying with me. I will forever remember this day as the most successful and powerful thing I have ever accomplished."
It is widely known that rape victims rarely come forward to face their attacker in a courtroom. Lindsey did, in a foreign place with foreign people and with more courage than most. She transcended a tremendous hardship and has inspired many to come forward and talk about their own accounts of assault. But now, this is all being taken away from her. She will have to relive this experience all over again and if she refuses, this man will be set free. Lindsey should not have to attend another trial to prove an already guilty man guilty. Please sign our petition and help us fight against this retrial. Help Lindsey make sure that this man never causes the pain she had to experience to another woman ever again.
We thank you in advance for your support and love.
Jackie Lynch, Alex Dustin, Hillary Chesson, Jenna Simakauskas, and Melissa Leonard