The entry below is written in correlation to the recent outcomes of the Jacob Anderson case. On October 15th, 2018, Anderson plead no contest to a lesser charge after being indicted to four counts of sexual assault. This is my letter to Judge Strother, who was the Judge on my sexual assault case.
To the Honorable Judge Strother,
I am writing to you in a place of empathy, and concern, regarding the court proceedings of the Jacob Anderson case.
Before you disregard this letter, I want you to be aware of who I am: the Jane Doe from a sexual assault case you were assigned to on October 23rd, 2017.
Much like the survivor in the Anderson case, I reported my rape immediately. What began as an anonymous police report on October 20th, 2013, turned into a 4-year-long ordeal.
Now, I understand that you have no control over how long the process takes to hear a case. However, it is imperative for me to bring attention to the numerous opportunities I had over 4 years to remove myself from my case. Despite the scheduling conflicts, the multiple plea bargains, and the judgement from people I knew and didn’t know, I pursued justice.
Though my rapist and I were the only ones in that room on October 20th, I knew the truth about what happened. Understanding this truth, I made the decision to have officials gather evidence from the scene and my body to support that truth.
You sentenced my rapist to 8 years of probation, to register as a sex offender, and to pay $2,200 in damages. I left the courtroom that day feeling defeated. Much later, I came to have a peace in understanding that you exercised your professional judgement with the evidence provided to you.
Judge Strother, I humbly ask you to continue to use your best judgement. This is not a letter to have anyone else make this decision for you. I only offer my perspective as someone who has been in court with you, sitting before you just as this young woman is.
I urge you to reflect on the courage it took this young survivor to not only report this crime, but to continue to fight these past two years.
I want you to consider what this plea will speak about justice. I want you to consider the new reality that this survivor has had to endure: to give this everything she had, because she believed in the hope that her school and community would support her.
Again, I understand that I lack the ability to make this decision for you. But I pray that you will lay privilege aside, and see what truly stands before you on December 10th:
- A survivor of sexual assault, who was able to bravely report what was so wrong taken from her.
- A rapist, who underneath the mask of status and prosperity, is still a rapist.
This crime does not discriminate. I hope you will not do the same.