Montgomery County Police Not Investigating Ford’s Allegations, Here’s Why

The Daily Caller reports that the police department with jurisdiction over the town where Christine Blasey Ford claims Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her says it has not opened an investigation into the matter because Ford has not requested one, among other reasons.

Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her more than three decades ago during a summer in the early 1980s, when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. She alleges that Kavanaugh and a friend corralled her into a bedroom during a gathering of teenagers at a house in Montgomery County.

The Montgomery County Police Department says it stands by its “victim-centered” approach to launching investigations, despite Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s call Thursday for a full investigation of Ford’s allegations and a Wednesday letter from 11 Democratic Maryland state lawmakers with a similar request.

A police department statement in effect as of Thursday explains its position, reported The Washington Post.

“At this time, the Montgomery County Police Department has not received a request by any alleged victim nor a victim’s attorney to initiate a police report or a criminal investigation regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The department recognizes that victims of sexual assault may not want to involve law enforcement and/or initiate a criminal investigation, and we respect that position. The department, however, stands prepared to assist anyone who reports being the victim of a sexual assault.”

So while numerous Democratic state lawmakers have asked Hogan to initiate an investigation within Maryland, he is not planning to do so. Instead, he is calling for an unspecified independent investigator, who would presumably report back to federal officials.

Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault executive director Lisae C. Jordan pointed out that an investigation into Blasey Ford’s claims would be legally tricky because attempted rape was not a felony without a statute of limitations in Maryland when she claimed the assault happened, according to the WaPo.

“Maryland laws on sex crimes have evolved significantly since the early 1980s,” Jordan told WaPo. “In 1982, there was little awareness of the impact of sexual violence, assaults that did not involve vaginal intercourse were not even considered sex crimes, and many viewed sexual assaults by acquaintances as inconsequential. It’s astounding that any woman ever reported rape.”

Attempted rape was classified as a misdemeanor with a one-year statute of limitations in the state before 1996, according to WaPo.

“Launching this kind of investigation without input and cooperation from victims is looking at it from the wrong direction,” Jordan told WaPo. “You’re risking re-traumatizing them again. It would be an even worse idea in cases like this, where detectives would know they’d have very serious legal issues to overcome. What would be the benefit?”

Other possible charges, such as second-degree assault, remain misdemeanor offenses in Maryland, subject to a one-year statute of limitations, John McCarthy, Montgomery County’s longtime chief prosecutor said.

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