A Houston, Texas rape victim jailed for almost a month because prosecutors feared she wouldn’t return to testify after having a mental breakdown on the stand. Why on earth would a rape victim need to be jailed?
“Jenny” began suffering from bipolar disorder after high school. Soon after, she became homeless living on the streets and was unfortunately raped and choked by Keith Hendricks.
Hendricks was sentenced to two life sentences for raping women. Jenny couldn’t make it through her testimony, broke down, and ran from court saying she would never return.
After a brief stay in the hospital, Jenny was handcuffed and taken to jail without due process. For nearly a month, she remained in jail while her mother fought to have her released. She was punched by another inmate, and then after hitting a guard, she was punched in the face by that guard.
Jailing a witness is legal in the state of Texas – it’s called an attachment order. Although legal, it has never happened. However, this young woman is not only a rape victim, but suffers from a mental disorder.
Why couldn’t district attorney Devon Franklin have placed her in a mental facility or a hotel? She stated in a video to the public that there was no other option.
This is the most outrageous thing I’ve ever heard. What message is this sending to other rape victims? Jenny’s rapist received more respect than she did.
To make matters worse, there was a mistake with her paperwork. Not only was she jailed and placed in general population, the jail staff marked that she was the sexual assault suspect rather than the victim. If prosecutors had asked a judge to order that Jenny be placed in specific housing in the jail, jail staff would have had to comply with the order.
Even after she testified in the trial, Jenny still had to wait three more days before she was released in case she was called back in court for additional testimony.
This case is hard to imagine even taking place. Jenny, a rape victim jailed and mistreated. She is the victim! Is this what rape victims have to go through now? Justice despite the cost?