Analysis: Some Rape Cases Tough To Prosecute

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A newspaper analysis of court records in the county where the University of Kansas is located has found that alcohol-fueled acquaintance rape cases are challenging to prosecute.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that in the past 10 years, Douglas County juries convicted three rapists. In the cases, the rapists overpowered their victims, threatened them with weapons or broke into their homes.

But in the few rape trials involving a drunken victim who had been socializing with her alleged attacker, juries acquitted the accused rapist each time. More cases of this sort never went to trial, and defendants either pleaded to lesser crimes or saw their charges dismissed altogether.

One challenge is witness accounts blurred by booze. Another issue is victims' unwillingness to rehash a personally violating experience in public.