Sex assault victims prompted to waive investigation rights
TOWSON, Md. (AP) — A Baltimore Sun survey found Baltimore-area police departments prompted sexual assault victims to waive their rights to an investigation more than 200 times in 2017 and 2018. The newspaper reports that the practice is contrary to guidance from experts and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault Executive Director Lisae Jordan called the practice “totally and completely inappropriate,” citing the impaired decision-making and memory that often accompanies recent trauma.
Of the 223 waivers, Baltimore County reported the highest number at 172. The newspaper reported that in one instance, a victim signed a waiver while still under the influence of alcohol. She has joined a class action lawsuit alleging county authorities have a systemic indifference to sexual violence.
Baltimore County police say they’re ending the practice.
Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com