Many police reports are quickly filed away and forgotten. But sometimes a police report can trigger a court case long after the alleged crime took place. Soon the Circuit Court in St. Louis, Missouri, will be considering a thorny question: is an alleged rape victim entitled to read her own police report?
The unnamed victim says she was raped by a St. Louis police officer in April 2008. He was never charged and remains on the force.
Now the woman wants to see the report – but the police department says witnesses could be endangered if the report is released. The victim’s attorney counters that the report could be released safely if the witnesses’ names are redacted.
You can read about the case at this link: https://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2018/05/11/st-louis-police-fight-to-withhold-report-from-rape-victim-who-filed-it
The #MeToo movement is raising awareness of sexual assault – and more and more victims are demanding justice. Agencies can expect to see more requests for police reports about rape cases. It’s important to have policies and practices in place before a particular case goes to court.