Tampa Police Apologize For Jailing Woman Reporting Rape


Florida victims’ rights groups are asking police to review their policies after a college student was jailed after reporting she had been raped, reports USA Today. The woman, 21, spent two days in jail after Tampa police discovered a warrant stemming from a crime she committed as a juvenile. Her lawyer said a jail employee refused to give the woman a second dose of emergency contraception because it conflicted with the employee’s religious beliefs.

Tampa Police Chief Steve Hogue apologized and announced a policy giving officers discretion on whether to jail people reporting violent crimes who have felony warrants. “The chief was not happy to have a rape victim end up in jail,” police spokeswoman Laura McElroy says. “He took very swift action to make sure it doesn’t happen again.” The University of South Florida student told police she was attacked as she walked to her car. Police took her to a crisis center, where she was examined and given one dose of emergency contraception. Later, police jailed her when they discovered a felony warrant accusing her of not paying $4,585 restitution for a crime committed in 2003, when she was 17. Her attorney says the money had been paid.

Link: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-01-31-jailed_x.htm

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