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Lancaster Online | Editorial: A Terrible Price Was Paid When Man Charged With Sexual Crimes Allegedly Killed His Accusers While He Was Out On Bail

(06/16/2015) Tragically, when there’s a connection between victims and the accused, the courts sometimes minimize the potential danger that the accused poses, said Jennifer Long, director of AEquitas, an organization that seeks to improve the quality of justice in cases involving violence against women.

There is, sometimes, a “lack of understanding of the dangerousness of the perpetrators,” she said, speaking not about this case in particular but generally.

There’s too little understanding of how perpetrators “select victims, how they groom them … and how sexual violence can escalate over time,” Long said.

And when, she noted, the alleged sexual assault doesn’t include traditional force — a weapon or physical violence — there’s a tendency to downplay the seriousness of that crime, even though it has a devastating effect on victims.

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