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Star-Telegram | In Tarrant County, Acquaintance Rape Cases Often Die In Grand Jury Room

(08/19/2012) Rape victims rarely tell their stories in that forum. A program to educate grand jurors about the myths of acquaintance rape was discontinued several years ago because some state judges believed that panel members were being "brainwashed" in favor of the state.

The Tarrant County no-bill statistics stunned some national criminal justice experts.

"If you're telling me there are photos and a confession and there is a no-bill, that's shocking to me," said Jennifer Gentile Long, a former prosecutor and director of AEquitas, a Washington-based group that trains prosecutors about sexual assault cases. "That seems like an outlier. What's that old saying: 'A grand jury would indict a ham sandwich if a prosecutor told them to?'

"Certainly at trial it can be difficult, because myths get in the way. But at a grand jury hearing, when you're putting forth evidence and putting up elements and there is no defense? Those should be going through."

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