Wasilla, Ak., forced rape victims to pay for their own forensic tests when Sarah Palin, Republican vice presidential candidate, was mayor, reports the Anchorage Daily News. Eight years ago, complaints about charging rape victims for medical exams in Wasilla prompted the Alaska Legislature to pass a bill that banned the practice statewide. “There was one town in Alaska that was charging victims for this, and that was Wasilla,” said former Gov. Tony Knowles.
A 2000, article in Wasilla’s newspaper, The Frontiersman, noted that Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies regularly pay for such exams, which cost between $300 and $1,200 apiece. The newspaper quoted Wasilla Police Chief Charlie Fannon objecting to the law. Fannon was appointed by Palin after her dismissal of the previous police chief. He said it would cost Wasilla $5,000 to $14,000 a year if the city had to foot the bill for rape exams. “In the past we’ve charged the cost of exams to the victims’ insurance company when possible,” Fannon told the newspaper. “I just don’t want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer.”