Leah’s Story: no justice

Leah’s Story: no justice

I’m not sure why I’m writing this now. Maybe to obtain some degree of closure or just put to paper the thoughts that rattle around in my mind before I force them away. I don’t know, but I feel compelled to do it, so here goes my stream of consciousness.

I just watched the Netflix drama Unforgettable about a serial rapist and a young victim who was not believed by anyone about her rape until proof was found three years later. So many things resonated with and “triggered” me while watching this show. First, the awful way one victim was treated by those around her and law enforcement, contrasted with the amazing job done by the other detectives in charge of other victims, was really hard for me to watch. To be honest, I had to fast forward most of the scenes with the young girl because it was too much for me. I literally felt ill seeing her treatment and subsequent spiral.

I was raped in September of 2018 by a stranger who drugged me while I was out with a friend. I don’t remember the rape. My first foggy memory was holding a butter knife in my hand in a hotel room and yelling/crying/pleading with two strange men. I don’t remember what I said or where I found the knife or even leaving the room. I do remember the look of fear and shame on one of the guy’s face who looked like he had been woken up out of sleep. I apparently called my husband, but don’t remember that and was then found in the bathroom of the hotel downstairs. Next thing I remember was being put on a stretcher and being taken to the ER. I couldn’t stop screaming this visceral, horrible, worst nightmare scream. I felt so much fear, confusion, anger and all I could do was scream and scream and scream because I knew in my body I was horribly violated, but I could remember any of it.

I stayed in the ER by myself for a while. My husband was angry, thinking I had gotten black out drunk and I guess asked for it? Although he never actually used those words. He did meet me at the hotel as I was being put in the ambulance and told me, “this is it. I’m done with you.” He works as an ER nurse and knew the EMS worker from that day. She later told him that she has never seen anyone cry and scream as I did that day. She likened it to a caged animal. I refused to let anyone come near me until the drugs started to wear off more and I was able to have some coherent thoughts. I remember the faces of the nurses and doctors who came in contact with me were a mixture of fear and pity. It seemed like an eternity before my friend arrived in the room. By that time, I had finally stopped screaming and had agreed to sit on the hospital bed instead of stay crouched in the corner.

The SANE nurse and an emotional support sitter from STAR arrived and were god sent angels to me during that time. The long process of evidence gathering, talking to the detective, and getting meds lasted several hours. I went home and stayed in my bed for about a week. While I was lying in bed, the Brett Kavanaugh trial was going on. Fun times. I also dropped out of NP school for the semester.

Although I couldn’t remember my rape, the evidence of it was overwhelming. When I was being examined in the hospital, I remember the nurse looking at my private parts and immediately getting the doctor. They whispered some things to each other, and then she asked, “do you mind feeling down there and telling me if it is always like this?” I have a pretty normal anatomy so I was absolutely terrified about what I was going to find. I reached down and it felt like my anus was the size of a tennis ball. I immediately started crying because I knew what that meant. I already assumed I was raped considering I was found with no underwear, but that was proof of the brutality that had been done to me. As the inspection of my body continued, there were multiple bruises and abrasions on my body. Most notable to me were the bruises on both of my calves, arms and back and abrasions to both of my knees… that is how he held me down.

The detective told me they found video footage of him bringing me to his room and that I could barely walk and appeared to try to pull away from him. She found the suspect and questioned him and his friend. He denied having sexual relations with me and the friend claimed he woke up to me threatening them with a knife. The door key showed I tried to leave seven times before I finally got out. My underwear was never found. My drug screen came back negative, but showed a relatively low blood alcohol level. The detective said they had a really good case, and that it would be very strong if his DNA was found.

I didn’t hear back about my rape kit for 7 months. My detective said they found foreign DNA that was not my husbands in my vagina. The suspect was visiting from New York, but was originally from India. She said she had already left a message with him that he was to provide a DNA sample or he would be subpoenaed. She said after there was a match, a warrant for his arrest would be issued. No one has been able to find him since the phone call, including his lawyer. Last I heard, they think he went back to India. And that ladies and gentlemen is where it ends.

I didn’t have the best detectives or the worst, but they knew he was a flight risk and let him get away because the truth is my case was probably one of hundreds in the city and rape cases rarely get tried. He has definitely done this before and will probably do it again. My story ending is the most common one. The perp gets away and the girl is left to accept it and move on knowing the cycle will continue.

Author

WYR

WYR

When You're Ready.org is a community for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.

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