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Providence Journal | Police Did Not Question Suspects In Sex Assault

(02/13/2016) In sexual-assault cases, it’s common for victims to be reluctant or even refuse to participate in an investigation due to trauma or feeling overwhelmed, said Jane Anderson, a lawyer with AEquitas: The Prosecutors' Resource on Violence Against Women, in Washington. But that shouldn’t prevent police from pursuing an investigation.

"So much other evidence gathering can take place outside the victim’s participating," she said, including "interviewing witnesses and possibly interviewing the offender."

If privacy concerns are the main barrier to the victim cooperating with the investigation, she said, the police need to balance those against public safety concerns.

"An allegation of sexual assault," Anderson said, "means there is a potential sexual offender out there; someone who … poses a significant risk to public safety."

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