Rape Victim Learns her Attacker has been Released from Prison
“I was raped on October 12th, 2015 in McCormick Park by a homeless man whom I had befriended,” began Jenkins. “I went through the whole legal process of trial and then spent the last four years putting my life back together trying to make lemonade out of lemons and trying to turn it all around and do something positive for other people.”
Jenkins had been traveling around the country trying to help other rape victims find their voices when she received some troubling information.
“I had that panel discussion in February this year at the University of Montana, and about three weeks prior to that they (the suspect and his attorneys) had filed an appeal about two weeks after the sentencing which we were not aware of, and it was only three weeks before oral arguments at the Montana Supreme Court,” she said. “My husband and my son attended the oral arguments and heard the judges making jokes about our washing machine which I thought was pretty tacky.”
Jenkins explained that after the shock of the rape she showered twice and washed the clothes she was wearing that day.
“To make a long story short, the Montana Supreme Court reversed the conviction on August 5th and released him back into this community on August 15th,” she said. “I’ve had a couple of months to somehow figure out how to live with the fact that there is a convicted rapist here who no longer has a record. He doesn’t have to register as a sexual offender and I don’t even have the benefit of knowing where he’s at, so it’s been pretty hard.”
Jenkins paused and then made this comment.
‘This Saturday, October 12th, is the fourth anniversary of the attack on me, and it’s been really hard coming up on that day,” she said.
Jenkins said her attacker was severely beaten while he was in prison, so she does not fear another attack, as his mobility has been limited due to his injuries.
“I’m so different than how I used to be,” she said. “My kids mourn for me, my husband mourns for me and I still mourn for myself. Rape victims and survivors are tormented by the justice system even more than they are tormented by the rape. The things that I experienced at the hands of the defense attorneys was pathetically awful, and to have the Supreme Court do what it did, I feel very much like I was raped again, and it’s just super hard.”