Criminal Justice

3 CA Women: We Saw Rape, Want Trial

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In a case seen by some as representing the flip side of the disastrous prosecution of former members of the Duke University lacrosse team for a rape they didn’t commit, a California attorney in private practice has agreed to represent women who say they were eyewitnesses to a rape of an unconscious woman at a Bay Area college baseball team party that the state isn’t prosecuting.

Although it isn’t clear exactly what he can do to persuade the state attorney general, who is now reviewing the situation, to file a rape case, Jim Hammer, a former San Francisco prosecutor, will represent the women, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr earlier decided not to file charges over the alleged attack. Her decision sparked protests, and the involvement of the three young women has also been controversial—all reportedly have been threatened.

“At this point, all these women want is justice for this young woman that they saw being raped,” says Hammer, adding “And by justice, I mean a criminal prosecution. Let’s be clear. That’s what they want, and I’m going to do my best to get that.”

As detailed in an earlier post, the three, all members of the De Anza College women’s soccer team, say they saw members of the men’s baseball team watching as another team member sexually assaulted a 17-year-old at a March 3 private party at a team member’s home in San Jose.

As they took the unconscious alleged victim to the hospital, “She was literally lifeless,” one of the women said, according to an earlier Chronicle column. “Her eyes were completely shut. On the ride to the hospital, I had to keep my hand under her nose to make sure she was breathing.”

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