Where are my rights?
How is it that the accused enjoy so many privileges under our Bill of Rights, yet victims are hung to dry. A non-intimate person that I know broke into the room I was sleeping and tried to rape me 3 times. He was forcibly removed from my body the first time by 2 witnesses (both testified in court) and the last two by me.
My trial was not speedy, it took 6 months of repeated court dates and rescheduling. While 6 months does not sound horrible, he ended up stalking me at my private residence after I filed the report and spent 2 days shaking at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse to get an emergency restraining order where I got to spend my first day with him in court. The 2nd court date was for arbitration in Iredell Country. I cried, “I barley know this man and he tried to rape me multiple times, why would I want to talk things out with him?! Please let me leave, please I don’t want to see him again!” The woman in arbitration declared that arbitration would be “inappropriate” for this case and they finally gave me a real trial date. On November 7th, 2017 we waited till the end of the day when his lawyer asked for a new date and was granted the request. On the day of the final trial, the judge waited till every civilian left the courtroom that day to hear my case. Iredell County in North Carolina could not have possibly had a man try to rape a woman; the judge knew from the beginning he would rule not-guilty and I am certain they did not want an audience for the ruling. I doubt in his judicial career he has ever delivered a guilty verdict on a sexual assault. There was no jury; a 20 minute private trial by a single white male judge occurred. I was devastated each time I sat in that court room till the end of the day, typically leaving just me, my witnesses, and my attacker in the room.
This does not even begin to describe the process of which it felt to file the report. I waited on the porch of the police station for 30 minutes in front of a closed police station (it was a Sunday) waiting for an officer to show up just to be dismissive and condescending. The white male officer could not even understand why I was upset since the man did not succeed at the rape. He refused to file the report unless I could furnish his full legal name, date of birth, phone number and current address. I spent the next 2 hours in the police station trying to locate people that knew him and would be willing to give me that kind of private information. I ultimately purchased a subscription to a locator site while in the station which gave me his information.
Over the 6 months I waited for that day, I contacted the DA office multiple times asking what I could do to help my case or recommendations for a lawyer (the ones I found online only defend the accused). It fell on deaf ears, calls never returned, and the DA that met with me briefly on the day of didn’t care to hear about the inaccuracies of his testimony. It was just over. After my assault, 5 more women came forward about him doing the same thing. I sold my house immediately and got out of the state as soon as I could after receiving the not-guilty verdict and currently am in fear for fear next month when his permanent restraining order expires (permanent means 1 year in North Carolina, and that is June 2019 for me). He makes his moves in the middle of the night when women are asleep. He is a free man with a clean record, and ready to meet your daughter in her dreams.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.