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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Press Release: Sexual Assault Victims File Important, Precedent-Setting Petition in Utah Supreme Court Seeking Appointment of a Prosecutor to Pursue Their Cases

October 16, 2018

Today four sexual assault victims – Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2, Jane Doe 3, and Jane Doe 4 – filed a petition in the Utah Supreme Court, asking the Court to appoint a prosecutor to file criminal charges in their cases. The National Crime Victim Law Institute joined Professor Paul Cassell of the Utah Appellate Clinic (of the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah) and four other attorneys to bring the case.  The Jane Does are challenging the decision by local prosecutors not to file charges in their cases.  This action, brought under a new state constitutional theory, represents an important effort to provide an avenue for crime victims in general – and sexual assault victims in particular – to obtain review of prosecutors’ decisions not to file charges in criminal cases.

To read NCVLI’s press release regarding this breaking event, click here.

For further background information on the context of a victim’s right to seek prosecution, read our law survey, “Fifty States and D.C. Survey of Laws That Authorize or Recognize Private Citizen-Initiated Investigation and/or Prosecution of Criminal Offenses,” and our Victim Law Bulletin, “Fundamentals Of Victims’ Rights: A Brief History of Crime Victims’ Rights in the United States.”