A 17-year old alleged rape victim who was sent to jail 25 days ago to ensure her testimony in the trial of her accused attacker was released from lock-up on Monday.

Law enforcement says that the man on trial, Frank William Rackley, has a history of violent behavior and sexual assaults, has been arrested in the past but never convicted, and can only be convicted with the young lady’s testimony. The teen victim had failed to appear in court twice in the past and in response the district attorney demanded that she be forced into giving her testimony. This request led Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Brown to order her to juvenile hall. She is now free but has been fitted with a GPS monitoring bracelet to be sure she shows up at the Rackley trial beginning on April 23 — California law does not require rape victims to testify, but prosecutors insist that she must be questioned.

The judge in this case apologetically claimed that his decision “represents a difficult balancing of protecting the community from an alleged violent criminal,” in other words this guy is SO bad that his victim needs to take one for the team.

But victim’s rights advocates see no justification for treating someone who has already faced the horror of sexual assualt like the one who should be put away. They argue that in spite of her past no-shows in court, there were less extreme ways to ensure this victim’s testimony than incarcerating her (for example, the use of a GPS bracelet like the one she is now being monitored by). This young lady is also under the care of the foster care system and has a history of running away, which makes one wonder if any of this would have happened if she had stronger advocates fighting for her rights.

What do you think of this story? Does it make sense to jail a rape victim to assure her testimony?

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