Serial Rapist on the playa

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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby sundancer » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:18 pm

I am so sorry this happened to your daughter... this is appalling from end to end. My heart goes out to you and to every victim and their families who have experienced sexual assault.

It doesn't matter that there are some 50K people out there
It doesn't matter that statistically speaking crime will happen in a group so large
It doesn't matter that Reno is hours away

It does matter that she was drugged and taken horrible advantage of.
It does matter that there was no advocate, no rape kit, and possibly presented with very uncomfortable choices. Most victims just want to forget and pretend that it didn't happen. They want to just go and hide.

It does matter is that a 19 year old girl has had her life irrevocably changed, as was every victim of the assault, and her only choice was to go to Reno, get examined, leave her clothing behind as evidence, and have no way to contact her mother or friends or to return to Burning Man. All of this facing her while she while she was likely still under the effects of an unintentionally-ingested date rape drug and likely scared out of her wits.

Rape kits are $15. http://store.sirchie.com/Sexual-Assault-Kits-C630.aspx
Several posters have written that collecting forensic evidence takes special training--a flimsy excuse for an event of this magnitude and age. So does being a paramedic, a law enforcement official, or a doctor. Rape kits are available and they are cheap. It doesn't take a tremendous amount of training to become certified, far less than becoming a paramedic.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby tinkerSEA » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:21 pm

Want It posted this on Facebook:

We are aware of the situation and in the process of responding publicly so that everyone has as much information on the matter as we do. We ask that the Burner community please hold off on judgement until all the facts are present as such accusations can ruin lives and reputations. This is all quite disturbing to us and we hope to get the air clear on the matter as soon as we possibly can. We have given all of the authorities full cooperation and access to our camp, campers, and are continuing to stay in touch with the Rangers for updates. The safety for our campers and all of our guests is our highest priority on and off the playa. We took special care this year to take care of our guests by cutting off those that were too intoxicated, making sure non-alcoholic beverages were available, and made our rounds to check on sleeping guests to make sure they were ok. There were an unusual amount of creepers out there this year and we chased out more than a few ourselves and reported them to the rangers. A lot of things are being said right now but there are some serious discrepancies in stories we've heard from the neighboring camp (Emerald City) where the girl was found and things told to us by the Rangers. Additionally, the accused individual's character is being called into question on a night where all of his time can be accounted for. We aren't disputing what happened to the poor girl, but in our defense the things being stated just aren't adding up or necessarily point to our camp. This very same night in question there were several acts of vandalism in camp where support straps of our shade and power cabes were cut, which could have easily endangered lives. We aren't sure if the acts are related but it's clear that the acts were malicious in nature. We wish the victim and her family strength and healing. Want It! is made up of mothers, daughters, sisters, fathers, brothers....and we consider ourselves family that look out after one another as well as other burners. It's the whole reason we brought camp to the esplanade. We got wind of several similar situations across the playa this year and are also cooperating with authorities on another case where information was made available to us about something that took place in another camp. Please bear with us as we get to the bottom of this. We want the playa and our camp to be a a safe haven for everyone. Peace to everyone.


Also make sure to read crstophr's post above.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby 666isMONEY » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:23 pm

Been to many bars in Tucson where I see passed-out women being taken outside, I always make sure a bouncer is aware of this. After reading about rapists on the playa, I will follow any person "helping" drunk/passed out ppl on the playa (never saw any passed-out women being "helped" in six years I attended but did witness an assault on a woman by a crazy meth-head).
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby Lord Of Ruin » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:50 pm

Seems like with the money coming into the Org, coupled with an insurance policy, that the Org stance could be that:

Any reported rape will be attended to by LEO and appropriate members of ESD. ESD has specifically trained members that can help offer support and outline the victim's options. One option, offered free of charge, shall be a helicopter trip to the nearest hospital staffed with an appropriate collection staff AND a return trip in the same manner.

There can't be that many of them annually for our population size. Gets the person out to Reno and back as quickly as possible, etc.

Just a thought.

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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby sundancer » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:18 pm

Isn't there a nursing home in Gerlach? Or a clinic? Surely they are equipped/trained for rapes.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby Savannah » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:25 pm

Hey, Everyone. Just a thank you for keeping a very dark matter reasonably civil and thoughtful, so far. I trust we can keep it that way (please). Nothing about this subject is easy.

If anyone wants to talk to Law Enforcement, ESD, or other Burning Man entities directly (as this message board is largely social, and not a direct line anywhere specific) please see my links on the first page of this thread, & be sure your opinion has been given to people with the greatest power to create internal organizational change.

Thanks again . . .
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby PinkJesus » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:48 pm

FYI: I posted a blog post on the Burning Blog talking about my camp's experience with Sexual Assault this year.

http://blog.burningman.com/2012/09/tale ... t-matters/

-Halcyon
(who can't figure out his old ePlaya login.)
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby knowmad » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:12 pm

PinkJesus wrote:FYI: I posted a blog post on the Burning Blog talking about my camp's experience with Sexual Assault this year.

http://blog.burningman.com/2012/09/tale ... t-matters/

-Halcyon
(who can't figure out his old ePlaya login.)

Thank you John.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby urvile » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:20 pm

maladroit wrote:Evidence collected against drug offenders at Burning Man certainly seems to have no problem remaining valid in Nevada courts.


Actually, you might be quite surprised at the success rate of getting evidence tossed for those that choose to try and fight the charges. Lawyersforburners has a very nice success rate.

And I can assure you the evidentiary requirements for drug testing is ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE different from the type of chain of evidence, certification (of personnel and facility and equipment) required for forensic medical evidence gathering and analysis required for SA kits. That means a defense attorney has many more avenues to either have the evidence excluded entirely, or have reasonable doubt cast upon its credibility as evidence. This is true even for collection kits done in major cities at state of the art facilities.

As a previous post pointed out, just the mere fact that it was done in the dust and grime at what would be described in court as a dirty hippy druggy orgy fest (not literally, but that would be the picture painted) could be enough to cast reasonable doubt. And then there goes your whole case unless you have witnesses or video.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby Token » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:26 pm

Real sad that we can get the FAA to certify an airport in BRC but we can get the county to administer a rape kit.

That's some fucked up priorities.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby maladroit » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:33 pm

"described in court as a dirty hippy druggy orgy fest"

Is that a reason to not try at all? Expect the court will throw out the evidence, so don't even bother searching for justice? A lot of achievements have been tried many times, and failed many times, before success. Working in a feedback loop with the legal system to settle on an approved method of remote SA testing would have lasting beneficial effects, and not just for Burning Man.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby mener » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:34 pm

A similar thing happened to my friend at Camp Want-It, but they were not camp members. Some wack job was rubbing his hard cock on his stomach and hanging on to my friend's sister. She was trying to get him off her and leave him alone. Some dudes from Camp Want-It intervened and got a ranger. Turns out he was a registered sex offender and the girl was 17. He got arrested and is still in jail.

On another occasion at the same camp, some incredibly drunk guy was not stealthy about dropping something in my friend's drink. Once again, camp members intervened, got some rangers and dude went to jail.

Seems the camp was just a magnet for creepers this year unfortunately.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby maladroit » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:36 pm

mener wrote:A similar thing happened to my friend at Camp Want-It, but they were not camp members. Some wack job was rubbing his hard cock on his stomach and hanging on to my friend's sister. She was trying to get him off her and leave him alone. Some dudes from Camp Want-It intervened and got a ranger. Turns out he was a registered sex offender and the girl was 17. He got arrested and is still in jail.

On another occasion at the same camp, some incredibly drunk guy was not stealthy about dropping something in my friend's drink. Once again, camp members intervened, got some rangers and dude went to jail.

Seems the camp was just a magnet for creepers this year unfortunately.


Thank you for some good news in this thread. No, seriously, not sarcasm...it's not easy to stop the creepers from showing up, but it's very good to hear that swift action was taken and further crimes were prevented.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby A Jester » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:59 pm

kittyrodriguez wrote:I think too much blame is being thrown around here. First, blame has been directed at the victim and her friends/relatives for not going to Reno for evidence collecting.
Second, blame has been directed at Emergency Services and BMORG
Blame has also been directed at local law enforcement and even the camp where the incident occurred.
You know whom I have not heard blame directed at? The perpetrator. That is the only sane place to direct blame.


I edited this down a bit, and I still think it's the best post in the thread.

Way to keep an eye on what's important, Kitty.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby BBadger » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:01 pm

It's not about priorities, it's about how certain facilities, operations, etc. can be certifiably implemented in an environment like BRC. Certifying an airport is nothing like setting up a forensics lab; even many universities and hospitals are not equipped or certified to handle such evidence gathering. It may not even be possible at all to set up a certified facilities at any temporary location for criminal evidence gathering, especially those involving biological samples. It's like setting up an autopsy lab on the playa. Such labs must have a chains of custody to ensure that evidence is not tampered with, that evidence was gathered in a certifiable and correct manner, that there are people willing to attest to such certifications if the issue is brought up in a court of law, and that evidence is stored, transported, handled, and guarded in certifiable manners.

Even if such a lab could be set up, it may end up hurting the case of the victim. BRC is not a permanent, traditional city, and viewed as an alternative hippy encampment. Questions of reliability, of certification, etc. will definitely come up. As Urvile pointed out this may aid the rapist in having the evidence tossed out of court. A rape kit is worthless if it is unusable as evidence, and may even act as an additional level of trauma for no additional value.

Instead of on-site facilities for rape-kit evidence collecting, a better solution would probably be to provide adequate and safe transport of the victim and caretakers to Reno for evidence gathering--as well as returning. It is about 2-hours away, assuming the person is given privileged access to leave, and then the victim can used legally established and certified facilities there. Once that has completed, the victim and others can return if desired. Providing means to streamline that process may be a much better use of resources than trying to have facilities established on-playa--if that is possible at all.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby maladroit » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:02 pm

Blame on the perpetrator is obvious and a given.

Not that they would give a shit if they knew.

Whereas...community members and org members might give a shit and attempt to do better.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby Savannah » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:03 pm

BBadger wrote:It's not about priorities, it's about how certain facilities, operations, etc. can be certifiably implemented in an environment like BRC. Certifying an airport is nothing like setting up a forensics lab; even many universities and hospitals are not equipped or certified to handle such evidence gathering. It may not even be possible at all to set up a certified facilities at any temporary location for criminal evidence gathering, especially those involving biological samples. It's like setting up an autopsy lab on the playa. Such labs must have a chains of custody to ensure that evidence is not tampered with, that evidence was gathered in a certifiable and correct manner, that there are people willing to attest to such certifications if the issue is brought up in a court of law, and that evidence is stored, transported, handled, and guarded in certifiable manners.

Even if such a lab could be set up, it may end up hurting the case of the victim. BRC is not a permanent, traditional city, and viewed as an alternative hippy encampment. Questions of reliability, of certification, etc. will definitely come up. As Urvile pointed out this may aid the rapist in having the evidence tossed out of court. A rape kit is worthless if it is unusable as evidence, and may even act as an additional level of trauma for no additional value.

Instead of on-site facilities for rape-kit evidence collecting, a better solution would probably be to provide adequate and safe transport of the victim and caretakers to Reno for evidence gathering--as well as returning. It is about 2-hours away, assuming the person is given privileged access to leave, and then the victim can used legally established and certified facilities there. Once that has completed, the victim and others can return if desired. Providing means to streamline that process may be a much better use of resources than trying to have facilities established on-playa--if that is possible at all.


Agreed 100%, BBadger.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby knowmad » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:20 pm

Savannah wrote:
BBadger wrote:It's not about priorities, it's about how certain facilities, operations, etc. can be certifiably implemented in an environment like BRC. Certifying an airport is nothing like setting up a forensics lab; even many universities and hospitals are not equipped or certified to handle such evidence gathering. It may not even be possible at all to set up a certified facilities at any temporary location for criminal evidence gathering, especially those involving biological samples. It's like setting up an autopsy lab on the playa. Such labs must have a chains of custody to ensure that evidence is not tampered with, that evidence was gathered in a certifiable and correct manner, that there are people willing to attest to such certifications if the issue is brought up in a court of law, and that evidence is stored, transported, handled, and guarded in certifiable manners.

Even if such a lab could be set up, it may end up hurting the case of the victim. BRC is not a permanent, traditional city, and viewed as an alternative hippy encampment. Questions of reliability, of certification, etc. will definitely come up. As Urvile pointed out this may aid the rapist in having the evidence tossed out of court. A rape kit is worthless if it is unusable as evidence, and may even act as an additional level of trauma for no additional value.

Instead of on-site facilities for rape-kit evidence collecting, a better solution would probably be to provide adequate and safe transport of the victim and caretakers to Reno for evidence gathering--as well as returning. It is about 2-hours away, assuming the person is given privileged access to leave, and then the victim can used legally established and certified facilities there. Once that has completed, the victim and others can return if desired. Providing means to streamline that process may be a much better use of resources than trying to have facilities established on-playa--if that is possible at all.


Agreed 100%, BBadger.


We can Life Flight out the Injured. Reno is 10 min by Air. Somewhere there has to be something.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby thirt33n » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:27 pm

^
after plenty of posts and time i believe this is the best answer as well BBadger...
...maybe(probably) a little much to be a fully citizen volunteer operation, especially because of the privacy that may be necessary...but yeah.

It all sucks, still, it should be a necessary process.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby maladroit » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:28 pm

Money, again. LifeFlight is super expensive, considering the vehicle and operator time, fuel, special emergency priority at the international airport, fast processing out of the airport, etc. A civilian-class flight from BRC to the taxi line at Reno would not be nearly so fast.

Edit: just realized LifeFlight is going directly to a hospital anyway, duh! But anything else would need to use the airport.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby Snow » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:40 pm

shouldn't something like this be be paid for from part of the police services that are collected (extorted) from us every year? They are there to protect us from more than what is in our cigarettes right?
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby knowmad » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:43 pm

Snow wrote:shouldn't something like this be be paid for from part of the police services that are collected (extorted) from us every year? They are there to protect us from more than what is in our cigarettes right?

Agreed!
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby aserendipity » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:53 pm

Please continue to consider the real world of BRC
People do suffer there and it is indeed an enormous dilemma with regulations posted about absurd restrictions rather than regarding the increasing
pain.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby grenadine » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:01 pm

maladroit wrote:Money, again. LifeFlight is super expensive, considering the vehicle and operator time, fuel, special emergency priority at the international airport, fast processing out of the airport, etc. A civilian-class flight from BRC to the taxi line at Reno would not be nearly so fast.

Edit: just realized LifeFlight is going directly to a hospital anyway, duh! But anything else would need to use the airport.


But still, there could be pilots of private planes at the BRC airport who would be willing to volunteer for flights to get sexual assault victims to forensic facilities. There just needs to be a system in place. Or make it part of protocol to ask pilots who happen to be on standby whether or not they'd be willing to volunteer. It could be a great way for some of the wealthier Burning Man participants to give back to the larger community, by making their planes available in such emergencies.

*edited for clarity
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby urvile » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:13 pm

Not to mention that then that service would not be available to be used by people who might actually be dying and in need of immediate medical treatment in order to keep breathing. And of course, the cost. It varies, but it's somewhere around $15k iirc. If you could even get them to do it, since this isn't a medical emergency type of situation.

Far easier to just either drive, or have someone drive you, or follow you to Reno. It's two hours away by car, probably even faster with a police escort.

maladroit wrote:Money, again. LifeFlight is super expensive, considering the vehicle and operator time, fuel, special emergency priority at the international airport, fast processing out of the airport, etc. A civilian-class flight from BRC to the taxi line at Reno would not be nearly so fast.

Edit: just realized LifeFlight is going directly to a hospital anyway, duh! But anything else would need to use the airport.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby Snow » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:20 pm

the police funds should pay for a ride to Reno for evidence collection and a return ride. I'd assume the victim would need to be in LEO presence the entire time to preserve chain-of-custody in order to stand up in court. The solution seems to be in place, the authorities just need to be pushed into actually doing their job which they are already paid to do. So what we might have to give up a few SWAT team officers, night vision spies or drug dogs, but what exactly is the priority here? Time to step up to the plate Pershing/Washoe County.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby scott_k » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:43 pm

I agree 100%, Snow.

I'm fascinated with how life on the playa is so conducive to finding truth. In this particular instance, the motives of the law enforcement agencies that patrol BRC are undeniably oriented towards generating revenue.

I don't really mind if Pershing County/ Washoe County writes thousands of marijuana tickets. Tickets should be issued to those who cannot keep it together and keep it discrete. It's just painfully disappointing that they're evidently not interested in helping a victim at the scene of a serious crime.

It will be interesting to see how this affects the BRC LLC vs. Pershing County case.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby thirt33n » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:19 pm

^
+10
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby BBadger » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:24 pm

I agree that life-flight is probably not necessary. Even if they were free, as terrible as the rape crime is, it'd probably be better to spare emergency transportation resources for dire, time-critical medical emergencies. The transportation costs should also not play a role in the decision to have the evidence collected.

Again, not to make any less of a rape crime, but while evidence gathering should be performed as quickly as possible, evidence collection using a rape kit is not emergency-class time-critical (assuming the victim does not need emergency medical attention). I think it can be as long as 96 hours from what I've read, though of course the sooner the better. The 2-3 hour drive to Reno--though long and no fun--would be short enough to provide adequate time to perform evidence gathering. The gate facilitating a speedy exit (for example at exodus) or even re-entrance for these special circumstances would probably be sufficient.

The important part is that evidence is not damaged or destroyed. Medical staff should ensure the victim is advised to not clean up, change clothing, or anything that could affect how evidence is gathered; they can also provide any medical or emotional support that might be needed in transit to the forensics center. Also providing the victim with new clothing and other resources in case such articles must be collected as evidence would be helpful.
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Re: Serial Rapist on the playa

Postby Snow » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:36 pm

BBadger wrote:The 2-3 hour drive to Reno--though long and no fun--would be short enough to provide adequate time to perform evidence gathering. The gate facilitating a speedy exit (for example at exodus) or even re-entrance for these special circumstances would probably be sufficient.

The important part is that evidence is not damaged or destroyed. Medical staff should ensure the victim is advised to not clean up, change clothing, or anything that could affect how evidence is gathered; they can also provide any medical or emotional support that might be needed in transit to the forensics center. Also providing the victim with new clothing and other resources in case such articles must be collected as evidence would be helpful.
..and a return ride to BRC if the victim so wishes.

I'm appalled that these weren't done in this (and other) cases. this makes it crystal clear to me that law enforcement is there simply to raise revenue and NOT to actually protect or aid the citizens of BRC. such a SHAME
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