Monday, July 17, 2006

Washington County's kangaroo court system

Back in December, I followed the case of a young woman in Oregon who was accused of filing a false police report based on her complaint of a rape.

What happened (in a nutshell) is this:

The woman claims she was raped and filed a police report. The police could find no evidence of rape--the young men (there are three) involved say that they had sex with her but it was consensual.

The young woman says she was frightened following the incident. She was taken to a party afterward where she says she was told to be good and she'd be taken home soon. She also didn't shower for a 3-4 days following the incident--which police claimed was a red flag. They say most rape victims shower as soon as possible.

The case went to municipal court where she was found guilty of filing the false report. On appeal, the case went to Washington County court. It was finally "resolved" last Friday:

A 19-year-old woman charged with filing a false police report for claiming she was raped by three young men resolved her criminal case Friday without admitting guilt.

But she's not allowed to talk about it.

Part of her diversion agreement with Beaverton prosecutors forbids her and city officials from talking about the case with the media. Legal experts said the requirement is highly unusual in criminal cases and could set a dangerous precedent.

I don't know what the hell is going on with the police and court system in Beaverton/Washington County--but this is completely screwy.

The young woman admits to doing nothing wrong in this criminal case, gets a diversion and as part of the agreement is placed under a gag order?

I've wondered all along if the three men in this case were wealthy and/or well connected in local circles. It would seem to me that the outcome of this case lends creedence to my wonderings.

Is there another case in the span of criminal case histories where a person who stands not guilty is unable to discuss their case with the press under a gag order?

Even OJ didn't have a gag order.