How To Prove A Rape Happened

Rape is often difficult to prove. Many times, it's a he-said-she-said type of situation, with no witnesses and no real physical evidence.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are some cases that appear to have strong evidence and witnesses, like the situation last week in which two cops are accused of raping a woman on the north side.

According to news reports, she was walking down the street at night when the officers offered her a ride home. She accepted, and apparently they went back to her apartment to play strip poker, stopping on the way to buy alcohol. She alleges that one of the officers raped her at her apartment. She ran to a neighbor's apartment, and the police fled, leaving parts of a uniform and a cell phone behind.

This sounds like a tough situation for the cops to overcome. They left stuff behind, plus their car likely has a GPS that will show where they were and for how long. One article mentioned that the liquor store surveillance video has them on tape buying alcohol as the woman stated. It's unclear whether they were in their district when they picked the woman up. So much of this shouldn't have even happened in the first place.

In acquaintance rape, the defense may argue that there was consent, which can make the prosecutor's job extremely difficult Again, it's he said, she said. And if the alleged rapist is a random attacker, it can be difficult to find the person in the first place and then prove they were the one who committed the crime. But it seems none of the typical obstacles are present in this case.

The case against the Chicago cops is under investigation. The two officers will probably have a story to contradict what this woman is alleging, and who knows, it may be true, but the prosecution certainly has a lot to go on. If they were on duty at the time this all happened, even if they claim it was consensual it's going to look really bad against them.  It will be interesting to discover what they first said happened and what might be contradicted by some of the evidence that they weren't aware of.

If you are a victim of a sexual assualt, the best thing you can both legally and personally speaking is to call the police and head to a hospital.  Proving rape is really a challenge and you can bet that you will be personally attacked.  I am certainly no expert on it though and would be curious if any readers have advice for what a victim can do to help get an arrest and a conviction.

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  • Couple observations...

    1. Get Gloria Allred on the phone. She's the Obi-Wan Kenobi of "He Said, She said."

    2. Mike Tyson has a better Rape Face.

  • Hi Michael. I work for the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation ( We're a non-profit and we offer free legal representation to survivors of sexual assault. Often, we help victims of sexual assault pursue civil remedies against their perpetrators

  • In reply to kclaes82:

    Thanks for the post Kristin. All valuable info.

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