There are some things that are simply antithetical to any standard of human decency.
A 21-year-old pre-med student parked her car at the University of Tampa campus around 1:30 p.m. to go to the Gasparilla parade on Saturday. As she was walking north on Howard Avenue near Swann Avenue, a man grabbed her, raped her and fled.
The woman returned to her car and called the police, who assisted her at first. But when they discovered that she had two outstanding felony warrants in Sarasota County – for failing to pay $4,585 in restitution after a 2003 juvenile arrest – the police arrested her , handcuffed her and took her to jail.
The judge set no bail, leaving her in jail for two days. The medical supervisor at the jail on Sunday refused to let her take the required second dose of Plan B, which needs to be taken 12 hours after the first dose. The woman did not get the second dose until Monday afternoon, almost two days after she was given her first dose, soon after the rape on Saturday.
Of course, when the media got involved, things changed. On Monday, Virlyn “Vic” Moore III, the woman’s attorney, successfully petitioned the court to allow a change in bail, which Hillsborough Circuit Judge Walter Heinrich ordered on Monday. The woman was then freed.
Police spokeswoman Laura McElroy told the St. Petersburg Times, “As soon as the chief’s office found out about it Monday, detectives were assigned to get her out of jail. Obviously, we’re very concerned about this young woman.”
Apparently, the police were not concerned enough to give the woman her second dose of birth control until after the media started asking questions, however.
The police were also so “concerned” that they used handcuffs on a female who was wanted for nonviolent crimes and called the police herself. They were so concerned for her well-being that they denied her doctor-prescribed medication until media inquiries compelled them to treat her. They were so concerned about her welfare that they “stop(ped) the rape investigation and instead victimize(d) her again,” according to Moore.
Moore told the Times, “I’m aghast, astonished and outraged.” Well, so is this newspaper. The woman may have faced felony charges, “but we always have to balance that with compassion for the victim,” according to McElroy. No one showed any compassion to this woman: Not the medical supervisor at the jail, who was apparently more concerned about the woman’s potential unborn baby, not the authorities who helped and then arrested her and certainly not her rapist.