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Rape survivors face jail if they won't testify in Louisiana

Friday, April 21, 2017

"A Louisiana district attorney has said he will jail rape survivors who choose not to testify against their assailants.

Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said he would use material witness warrants to compel victims in some rape and domestic violence cases to testify, despite criticism from advocacy groups.

'If I have to put a victim of a crime in jail, for eight days, in order to... keep the rapist off of the street, for a period of years and to prevent him from raping or harming someone else, I'm going to do that,' Mr Cannizzaro told Morning Eyewitness News on 13 April.

Louisiana law allows law enforcement to jail so-called “material” witnesses until they testify or pay bail. In domestic abuse and rape cases, the victim is often the only witnesses with material information about the crime in question.

The DA’s office reports six alleged victims were jailed in connection with their own sexual assault or domestic violence cases last year."

Read the full article here.