Witnesses are angry rape case is dropped

May 5, 2008 5:59:35 PM PDT
Two De Anza College women are furious with the State Attorney General's decision not to pursue charges against several De Anza baseball players in a rape case. These women insist they can identify two of the men involved.

The two women said they could identify every one of the men in the bedroom and who surrounded the bed on which they said the 17 year old was lying. The two women pulled that 17 year old out of the room. They are surprised they can identify these men and the woman was definitely raped, but so far no one has come forward who actually witnessed the rape.

Lauren Chief Elk and April Grolle say the testimony of what they witnessed at a party last March should have been enough to prosecute several baseball players for rape.

"We saw an unconscious girl lying on a disgusting mattress with men surrounding her with vomit on her face. The state she was in, I don't want to give details because I don't want anyone to see what we saw that night, I don't think anyone deserves to see that or be in that state. But there is no doubt in our minds that she was raped," says Grolle.

The two women say they can identify the men involved and are dismayed that the Santa Clara County District Attorney and now the Attorney General's Office refused to file any charges.

"It's very hard for us to grasp the concept that no one is being held accountable for their actions," says Grolle.

State Attorney General Jerry Brown defends the decision. One he says that was not easily made.

"There was more 1,000 hours of trying to identify witness. There's conflicting testimony. We tried to tie down a consistent testimony and evidence so you can say 'This person is guilty of a crime' you can't do that," says Attorney General Brown.

He says when the victim cannot identify her attacker, then the one witness who can tie the case together for a prosecutor, is gone and other witnesses proved unreliable.

"It's other people saying things, but then they can't agree on their stories," says Brown.

Attorney John Cahners represents one of the De Anza baseball players accused of rape.

"I'm sure he's quite relieved at this point. He's been living under this cloud for over a year and he is glad its over with," said Cohners.

Patrick Donovan of the San Jose YWCA Rape Crisis Center is disappointed.

"Were extremely saddened for the victim because we believe that a crime occurred," said Donovan.

He understands that the DA and Attorney General couldn't win the case without the victim identifying her attacker. This De Anza student thinks that other victims will now think twice before coming forward.

"I feel like if I come forward and have a say it's not going to matter. Not going to matter as much," says a De Anza.

Attorneys for the young woman at the center of this case issued a statement which part of it reads, "We remain convinced that how these men acted is wrong, morally and legally. Our client is committed to pursuing her civil remedies, in large part to send a needed message that behavior such as these young men displayed is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated," said Barbara Spector, Attorney for Victim.


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