Caltrain Sex Assault Claim: Should These Videos Have Negated Woman’s Case Against Conductor?

Jane Anderson, a former prosecutor in Florida, said authorities who investigate cases that involve intoxicated victims should “take a broader view of who are potential witnesses…This type of crime takes place in private spaces, so very likely there’s not an eyewitness. “But is there a taxi driver, Uber driver, someone at a bar who was with her an hour before the assault?” asked Anderson, who now advises prosecutors in cases of violence against women for a Washington, D.C., organization called AEquitas. “Or a family member saying she doesn’t come to Sunday family dinners anymore? Anyone that might talk about a change in her behavior — all of that is indicative that something traumatic happened.”

Bill Cosby’s Conviction Was Hailed as a #MeToo Victory – Advocates Say More Needs to be Done

Advocates said the Cosby trial put the spotlight on persistent myths about sexual assault and did much to dispel them.

“The case represents a rejection of what is a very old, tired and common defense of blaming and shaming victims for their own rape and assault….hopefully defense attorneys will think twice before they pull that out.” – Jennifer Long, former Philadelphia prosecutor, CEO of AEquitas

Once Reluctant, Nassar Victims Lead Each Other Out of Shadows

Sexual assault hotlines have already seen an uptick in calls in recent months, after a slew of scandals involving powerful men from Hollywood to Washington. Jennifer Long, whose non-profit AEquitas advises prosecutors on sexual violence, said she hoped the Nassar case would emphasize the need for law enforcement and the justice system to improve its handling of sexual misconduct allegations. “This has to be a moment of encouragement, where victims’ voices are being heard and these crimes are being pulled from the shadows,” she said.

At Yale, Trying Campus Rape in a Court of Law

The case has dragged on for more than two years, prolonged in no short degree by the mistrial. The plodding pace of prosecutions is a frequently cited deterrent to reporting. The trial has also made the incident far more public than an internal investigation would have. Public court records lay out in stark detail the victim’s account of the night, her friends’ names, and details such as how much she had to drink and what she was wearing.


Jennifer Long, chief executive officer of AEquitas, a group that advises prosecutors on trying accusations of violence against women, said victims often fear that those details, if publicly disclosed, would invite attacks on their credibility.