The Pacific Index

Update: DA rules on assault

Janae Sargent

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Last issue, The Pacific Index ran an article about Karen, a Pacific University sophomore who claims she was sexually assaulted in her dorm.

On April 22, the District Attorney sent back its charging decision saying there was not sufficient evidence to press charges against Marcus at this time.

Sitting in the interview room with the detectives and a friend, Karen tried to process the news that she would not see justice for what happened to her anytime soon.

“I sat there and I closed my eyes and I tried to keep myself together,” she said. “I just wanted to break down but I was trying so hard to stay strong. I still am.”

Forest Grove Detective Matt Smith said by ruling to not continue at this time, neither the police department nor the District Attorney is saying that Karen was not sexually assaulted.

It was a case of not having the evidence to prove or disprove either side, making the case a “he-said-she- said “ situation, which is very hard to

prosecute.
As a result, the case is

“suspended,” meaning it could be resubmitted if new facts or evidence surface that could help the case end in an indictment at grand jury.

Smith said while it is absolutely possibly to be sexually assaulted by someone you have had consensual sex with before, it can complicate criminal investigations.

“This case exposes one of the biggest challenges in law enforcement,” Smith said. “The majority of offenses are done by known offenders.”

Even though Karen’s case did not move forward to grand jury, she said she does not regret reporting it.

“Despite the outcome, I feel like I stood up for myself by reporting it,” Karen said. “Now at least maybe I can help someone else in the future because of what I went through.”

Karen urged other victims to have the conviction to call the police, despite how terrifying it can be.

“I want people to stand up for themselves. Take a stand and make the report,” Karen said. “No matter what happens, knowing you were strong enough to make the call is something you’ll never let go of.”

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Update: DA rules on assault