Information has come to light, about a date rape case, in 2005, which was refused by the then Prosecutor, Ken Buck. In discussing the case with the date rape victim, Mr Buck appeared to lay the blame squarely on the victim and told her directly that the case was not winnable and he thus, refused to take the case. Unbeknownst to him, the victim had legally taped their conversation. Unfortunately for him, the information has now been made public. Some facts of the case... The victim alleged that her ex boyfriend had raped her while she was intoxicated. The alleged rapist admits to having had sex with her and sexually touching her in her home, even after she had said no and even though he knew she was drunk (as he reported to the police, that he recognised she was quite intoxicated and he had seen her like that before). Here is a part of the police incident report in questioning the alleged rapist: Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/12/ken-buck-refused-rape-victim-case-audio_n_758890.html Here is what the police recommended at the time: So where did this case go wrong? Reading through that, it looks fairly cut and dried. The alleged rapist even admits to having sex with her after she said no and even as she said no. He admitted to sexually assualting her, even after she said no. So why refuse to take this case. To attempt to understand this utter disaster, we should take a look at what Mr Buck actually said to the victim when he questioned her about the assault. The transcript of that conversation can be viewed here: http://coloradoindependent.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Ken-Buck-transcript.pdf You can also listen to the actual taped conversation here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/12/ken-buck-refused-rape-victim-case-audio_n_758890.html But lets have a quick look and break it down. Firstly, when he discusses why, in his mind, he does not think that this case is worthwhile. It seems Mr Buck has a bit of an issue with date rape. In his conversation with her, he virtually accuses her of inviting the assault and that because she had had sex with the man in the past (they had been in a relationship in the past), that it would be difficult for him to prove to a jury that she had not consented to sex. Keep in mind that the alleged perpetrator admitted that he knew she was drunk, that she had said no several times, and that he felt so bad about what he had done to her that he had told her he was sorry for what he had done and then admitted to feeling shame and regret about it. At one point in the conversation, the victim confronts Mr Buck about what the perpetrator had said in the police report and asks him to explain to her how it was not rape. She challenges him about why he thinks their having been "bedfellows" in the past somehow means that she had consented, even though the perpetrator admitted that she had said no several times and had attempted to push him away. It seems that Mr Buck has issues with the fact that she had invited him into her home and also has issues with the fact that they had had sex before: Victim: His statement says, “When he finished, … (reading police report)… tried to get the victim to wake the victim up so he could apologize.” How is that not “physically helpless, meaning unconscious, asleep, or unable to act” (legal code) (139) KB: Because when you look at what happened earlier in the night, all the circumstances, based on his statements and some of your statements, indicate that you invited him to come to your apartment… that you told him how to get in …. It would appear to me and it appears to others that you invited him over to have sex with him. Whether that you, at that time, were conscious enough to say yes or no... ? (147) V: So you’re telling me that previous sexual relations is enough to provide consent, and you’re telling me that because of me calling him and because of previous sexual relations and because I invited him up and told him how to get in, that invited him up for sex... (153) KB: I’m telling you that’s what the circumstances suggest, to people, including myself, who have looked at it. Although, you never said the word yes, but the appearance is of consent. http://coloradoindependent.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Ken-Buck-transcript.pdf "Never said the word yes"? She said no, several times.. Anywho.. As someone who has been involved in countless rape and sexual assault cases, I quite literally facepalmed when I read this transcript. This is should have been cut and dried. Hell, a first year law student would have been able to get a conviction based on the man's confession. But this is not the end of it. There is more in that transcript that suggests that Mr Beck may have a personal view or belief about the victim and indicates something that, well, you'll have to see for yourself to believe. After the victim challenged him about his flimsy reasons, which basically amounts to blaming the victim for her own rape, for refusing to prosecute the case, he then makes a comment about the victim and her past, which is troubling at best. Now, as has been mentioned, the victim had, in the past, been involved in a relationship with her alleged rapist. He then goes on to warn and threaten her in case she decides to pursue this further. (255) KB: Be aware of something, if this, if you file this motion, it will be very public, publicly covered event. There are a lot of things that I have a knowledge of, that I would assume (name of possible suspect redacted) knows about and that they have to do with, perhaps, your motives for (unintelligible) and that is part of what our calculation has been in this. V: I’m interested to hear more about that, my motives, for what this has been. KB: You have, you have had HIS baby, and you had an abortion. V: That’s false, that’s just false. KB: Why don’t you clarify? V: I did have a miscarriage; we had talked about an abortion. That was actually year and a half ago. So … (268) KB: That would be something that you can cross-examine on, that would be “something that might be a motive for trying to get back at somebody.” And it would be a (unintelligible). And it’s part of what we have to take into account whether we can prove this case or not. And there are a lot of things that, um, you know, for as why weren’t not prosecuting the case. We’ve got to weigh all that, and it not something that I feel comfortable with, but something I have to be. (274) V: I would be interested in you actually bringing that up with me, actually being honest with me as to why you’re not willing to take this case. Instead of dancing around, you know, what you’ve told me because if there are other things, I would be interested in hearing them... KB: I don’t appreciate your inference that I’m not being honest with you. I’m taking the time to meet with you. I’ve had prosecutors review … I’m being absolutely honest when I say “Totally of circumstances, I don’t believe that we can prove this case.” That the …? (280) V: So you’re looking at the fact that I had a miscarriage with his child, and what else? Give me more information, because I’m really interested in knowing the totality. KB: That’s part of it. And part of it is, when you describe yourself as “bedfellows” and you did indicate that you were “bedfellows” and “it’s hard to convince a Weld County jury that this wasn’t consensual, when that is your label. So there are those kinds of factors. This office doesn’t believe in (blaming the victim?) for the conduct of the case but, we do have to take into account what a weld county jury sees in the relationship. You had consumed a lot of alcohol. You had a prior relationship. According to him, you were naked from the top up when he came into the bedroom. So, there are enough indicators or (indications?) that in my opinion make this impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, even though she had said no, that even the perpetrator admitted she had said no, that because she had had sex with the man in the past (they had not apparently spoken for a year before this incident), that because he, Mr Buck, believed the perpetrator about an alleged abortion that she denied having, the fact that she was very drunk and according to the perpetrator, semi-conscious and at times unconscious when he sexually assaulted her and then raped her... she was not raped.. Ermm yeah.. makes sense if you exist in some sick and twisted reality.. What is worse, Mr Buck advised that he had spent 2 hours reviewing the case and the police report before he decided that he would not take on the case. Now, Mr Buck is against abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, something he has publically stated in the past, which makes this even more revolting, as he actually went on to accuse her of having had an abortion.. Over a year before.. Ermm what the hell?.. There was a temptation to start this in the Politics forum and I am sure Tiassa may end up moving it there regardless. But I wanted to discuss the ethics behind his reasons. In 2006, Mr Buck described the case quite insultingly: District Attorney Ken Buck told the woman he could not press charges against her attacker, despite the man's admission to police that she said no. Buck said he must only prosecute cases in which he has a reasonable chance of convicting someone, and this was not one of those cases. "A jury could very well conclude that this is a case of buyer's remorse," Buck said. http://www.greeleytribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060301/NEWS/103010095&parentprofile=&template=printart Buyers remorse? Even the perpetrator admitted that she had said no and had rolled away from him. And that he had continued to touch her and then sexually assault her before raping her. He admitted she was not fully conscious during the rape and he had to actually "get her more conscious" so that he could speak to her to apologise for what he had done. What buyer's remorse? He even went on to refer to the facts of this case as pitiful. Mr Buck advised that he had sent the report and his assessment of it to others to try to assertain whether they agreed or not. He then advised that they agreed with his assessment to refuse to prosecute the case. However, the victim stated she also showed the case and the report to 3 other lawyers, all of whom could not understand why Buck had refused to prosecute: The article then goes on to say that Mr Buck seemed to have seen the light after this case and approached rape victim advocates for advice. All well and good, but it still does not excuse his behaviour towards this victim and his refusal to take on the case. So when is "no", actually "no"? The perpetrator recognised she had said no and even apologised and said he felt ashamed and regretted what he did immediately afterwards, even to the point of trying to get her to regain consciousness to apologise.. The police, in their initial report, recommended that he be prosecuted for what he did and what he had admitted to in the incident report. Mr Buck, on the other hand, decided that it was not worth his time and then went on to accuse her of not only inviting her own rape and sexual assault, but then threatened her about going public and to make matters worse, accused her of having an abortion... Should he, as a prosecutor, have allowed his own personal feelings to cloud his judgement? I'd say no. But when is no, actually no? And do you think he should have prosecuted the case back in 2005? Was he ethical in refusing to take on the case?