Victims of sexual assault in Portland face one obstacle after another — from the initial 911 call to their hospital exam to interviews with detectives — and that has led to one of the lowest “solved” rates for rape, sodomy and molestation among U.S. cities of its size, reports The Oregonian. Victims aren’t consistently told by 911 operators that they shouldn’t shower or wash their clothes but that if they do, they can still pursue criminal charges against their attacker. There aren’t enough nurses trained to examine victims of sexual attacks in Portland. Multnomah County — with the state’s largest population — ranks 30th out of 36 counties in the percentage of specially trained nurses to do such exams. When cases alter, it’s often because victims wait a week or more — and in some cases much longer — for detectives to interview them.
The findings came in a report from the city auditor’s office. The latest federal data show that Portland is second to last among 21 midsize cities in arresting suspects or otherwise “solving” reports of forcible rape — with just 16 percent of cases resolved over six years. At the top of the pack, Milwaukee resolved 80 percent of its cases. Mayor Tom Potter said that as a retired police officer he was “troubled” by the “less-than-adequate response,” and he praised the report’s recommendations.