Life is not black and white. Sometimes you need to take a step back and carefully consider your actions. This story just makes me shake my head.
TAMPA, Florida (AP) — A college student who told police she had been raped was jailed for two days after officers found an old warrant accusing her of failing to pay restitution for a 2003 theft arrest.
While she was behind bars, a jail worker refused to give her a second dose of the morning-after contraceptive pill because of the worker’s religious convictions, the college student’s attorney said.
The 21-year-old woman was released Monday only after attorney Vic Moore reported her plight to the local media.
“Shocked. Stunned. Outraged. I don’t have words to describe it,” Moore said. “She is not a victim of any one person. She is a victim of the system. There’s just got to be some humanity involved when it’s a victim of rape.”
Moore said the young woman was not allowed to take the second emergency contraceptive pill until Monday afternoon, a day late, after reporters called police and jail officials.
Tampa Police Chief Steve Hogue said the arrest led to a new policy Tuesday that tells officers not to arrest a crime victim who has suffered injury or mental trauma whenever “reasonably possible.” The agency also apologized to the student.
“Obviously, any policy that allows a sexual battery victim to spend a night in jail is a flawed policy,” police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.
The woman is not being identified by The Associated Press because she reported being the victim of a sex crime.
Tampa attorney Jennifer D’Angelo, who represents the jail worker, said Tuesday that her client is prohibited from giving inmates any medication without specific orders. The worker insists she never discussed religion with the woman who reported being raped.”