Rape Victim Assails Repeated Release of Suspect


Katie Rouse of Long Island told police she was raped at an off campus Duke University fraternity party in 2007. Michael Burch, who was not a student at the university, was charged eight days later, Newsday reports. Burch, who had been released on bail, was indicted on charges of a second rape and kidnapping that allegedly took place last year. He was released on bail a second time. “That he was released twice and did the same thing twice just angers me a lot,” said Rouse, now 20 and a finance major at Hofstra University. “It just kind of made me not have faith in a lot of things.”

Burch, 23, pleaded guilty Monday in both cases and was sentenced to 48 to 67 months in prison. Rouse said the delays she endured – and abuse she said she received on Web sites in North Carolina – were, in part, what inspired her to speak to Newsday. It’s still rare for rape victims to go public, but Los Angeles women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred sees more clients willing to do so. Allred made her own decision to speak out about being raped more than 20 years ago, and wound up writing about it in her book, “Fight Back and Win.” “I wanted to try to remove the stigma from sexual assault, and encourage others to have more confidence in the criminal justice system,” she said.

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