Confirmed victory
Petitioning Lynnwood Police Chief Steve Jensen and 1 other

Demand Justice for Woman Who Was Fined for Reporting Her Rape


555
Supporters

In 2008, an 18-year-old woman in Washington state reported to police that she had been sexually assaulted. But they didn’t believe her, so they charged her with false reporting, and she pleaded guilty under a deal that included a fine of $500. The charge remains on her record. Three years later, Marc O'Leary, the man who raped her, was arrested in Colorado after raping at least two other women--and police found a photo of the Washington victim among his belongings.

Lynnwood police have refunded the $500 fine to the victim, and say they are working on getting the false reporting conviction removed from her record. But that's not enough to rectify the grave injustice that was done to the Washington victim, nor to be sure it won't happen again.

Ask the Lynnwood police department to take action to correct this injustice, starting with a public apology to the victim. Furthermore, to ensure that another rape survivor isn't dismissed again, ask the department to revise its policy on rape charges. Specifically, suggest that the department partner with anti-sexual assault organizations in the community to:
(1) provide a trained victim's advocate to help any woman who reports a rape
(2) mandate a sexual assault training for all officers to ensure they understand how to talk with victims—and that not all victims tell their stories in the same way.

Letter to
Lynnwood Police Chief Steve Jensen
Commander of Patrol Steve Rider
We, the undersigned, urge you to take appropriate action to rectify the injustice that was done to the woman who was wrongfully charged with falsely reporting a rape to your department, and to take necessary steps to ensure that your police department is never again responsible for making an innocent rape survivor into a criminal.

To send a clear message to your community that rape accusations are taken seriously, we ask that your department make a public apology to the victim. Furthermore, to ensure that another rape survivor isn't dismissed again, we ask the department to revise its policy on rape charges.
Specifically, we suggest that the department partner with anti-sexual assault organizations in the community to:
(1) provide a trained victim's advocate to help any woman who reports a rape
(2) mandate a sexual assault training for all officers to ensure they understand how to talk with victims—and that not all victims tell their stories in the same way.

If rape victims cannot turn to police when a crime is committed against them, then rapists will never be taken off the streets. We believe that you take seriously your commitment to protect and serve your community, and that you're eager to bring criminals to justice. Please follow through on that commitment by making sure all members of your department are prepared to handle future rape cases in a serious, respectful manner that makes finding and convicting the perpetrator your top priority.