Tell Marion Police Chief to Suspend Officers Who Threatened Rape Victim
  • Petitioned Willie Smith

This petition was delivered to:

Marion Chief of Police
Willie Smith
Marion City Government
SC Attorney General
Alan Wilson
South Carolina Governor

Tell Marion Police Chief to Suspend Officers Who Threatened Rape Victim

    1. Alex DiBranco
    2. Petition by

      Alex DiBranco

      New York, NY

"Though I didn’t agree or consent to it (it) was not rape." Does that sentence make sense to you? It shouldn't. If you don't agree or consent to sexual intercourse, that's called rape. But a South Carolina rape survivor reports that she was forced to write this statement by Marion police after being assaulted by one of their own.

The victim had been in a car accident earlier that day, so when the responding officer showed up at her door, she did what any normal person would do: she let him in. That's when he raped her. When her boyfriend called the police to report the assault, the responding officers, Lt. Farmer Blue and Lt. Betty Gause, treated her like a criminal, reading her Miranda rights and threatening to have her arrested if she didn't recant her charge. They told her she could land in jail for five years otherwise and wouldn't it be hard to be away from her four-year-old daughter for that long.

Refusing to say she had given consent, the victim was nonetheless pressured into writing that the incident was not rape, resulting in the nonsensical sentence quoted above. The written statement seems to make it clear that the Marion police officers were looking to protect one of their own, and figured coercing the victim into denying the assault was rape, even when she continued to insist that the act was nonconsensual, would be enough to get him off.

Tyrone Reed, the officer accused of rape, is on unpaid leave during the investigation into the assault. But the responding officers who intimidated the victim into given them a written statement denying the rape are also guilty of a gross act of police misconduct, and should also be suspended without pay while an investigation looks into their response. Instead, ironically, Blue was the officer providing information to a South Carolina newspaper about Reed's status.

Authorities admit that Blue and Gause did not follow department protocol, which says that Marion police should not be involved with an incident regarding one of their own, and that the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) should have been called immediately.

Blue and Gause were also quoted by the victim as telling her that she didn't "look like a rape victim," and "you don't have a case because rape victims be balled up in a corner or scared to talk." Lisa Hyatt of the Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault, who actually knows what she's talking about, says that they have worked with the victim since the attack and that she shows classic post-traumatic symptoms associate with a rape.

Please tell Marion Chief of Police Willie Smith to immediately suspend Officers Blue and Gause pending the results of an investigation into their inappropriate and unlawful treatment of a women reporting a rape.

Photo credit: davidsonscott15

Recent signatures

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    1. Reached 6 signatures
    2. Woman Forced by Police to State That Non-Consensual Sex Was Not Rape

      judith meskill
      Petition Organizer

      "Though I didn’t agree or consent to it (it) was not rape." Does that sentence make sense to you? It shouldn't. If you don't agree or consent to sexual intercourse, that's called rape. But a South Carolina rape survivor reports that she was forced...

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Michele Stander-Reimer MILWAUKEE, WI
      • almost 3 years ago

      Over 60% of victims don't report their sexual assault. The officer who intimidated this woman shows us why. If he isn't held accountable for his action of intimidation, you will show us why as well.

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    • Sasha Grams APPLETON, WI
      • almost 3 years ago

      Clearly this was an abuse of power on many levels. How would you respond if this woman were your daughter? Please restore justice to her and your police department.

      I would also suggest that your entire department be retrained in understanding the dynamics of sexual assault and how to avoid further victimizing survivors who are brave enough to come forward.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Nicole Porto OXNARD, CA
      • almost 3 years ago

      Pure Disgust! This is why I cant trust police officers......I know that I shouldnt blame the actions of three officers on the rest of the officers who may actually be a good cop. But its way too often we hear stories like this and it makes me think who can I trust and will these officers really protect me.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Melissa Higgins MERRIMACK, NH
      • about 3 years ago

      UNBELIEVABLE.

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    • April Sowell CABOT, UNITED STATES
      • about 3 years ago

      The actions of these officers is reprehensible. In a country where far too many victims do not come forward because of the consistent blame the victim mentality and the likelihood of having to experience a type of re-assault as their case moves through the courts- police officers should absolutely be held to the highest standard of all, and should receive the greatest punishment when found to be using their position of power to intimidate witnesses or assault/rape them. Officers who exhibit misconduct of this type with a victim, especially a way as scarring as this should be investigated and suspended pending the results. All interviews should be recorded as a precaution for both victims and officers, and if a recording or evidence proves misconduct they should immediate be fired from the force and charged with intimidating a witness and be unable to work as even a security guard ever again. This is a disgusting abuse of power, and exhibition of just how horrid the "blue wall" can act in order to protect one of their own.

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