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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Fighting for a Victim’s Dignity and Privacy

April 19, 2011

In the early morning hours of November 22, 2009, a college student was raped by another student at a party held at the defendant’s home.  Defying statistics, the victim quickly reported the rape to a student health services nurse and to the police.  Defendant was arrested and charges were brought against him. 

Nearly a year after the rape, defendant filed a number of motions that invade the privacy of this rape victim.  Among these, defendant is seeking the court’s authorization to get all of the victim’s cell phone records.  The stated reason for the subpoena was that the defense wanted to call every single one of the phone numbers and talk to them about the rape and see whether they had any useful information

Tragically, the trial court agreed with the defendant in this case.  Unfortunately, the prosecuting attorney in the case does not believe he has standing to fight the issue (without standing you can’t appear before a court), and therefore cannot fight for this victim’s rights.  NCVLI and its Oregon pro bono legal clinic are stepping in to ensure that this victim’s privacy is not violated in this outrageous manner.  We are fighting this request by the defendant to ensure that this victim is not re-traumatized, and to ensure that positive precedent is set in courts to make sure that the next victim doesn’t have to encounter these same invasions of privacy.

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NCVLI’s Responding to Violence Against Women Project actively works to stop these tragic invasions of privacy and to give all victims, including women victimized by these crimes, the opportunity to exercise their rights in the criminal justice system in the manner that they choose.