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Nevada Police Charged With Mocking Rape Survivor

A woman identified as Jennifer W. claims that officers in Nevada's Sparks Police Dept. laughed at her, called her a liar, threatened to prosecute her for making a false claim, and charged her for lab tests results after she reported that she had been raped. Timothy Mobly has since pleaded guilty in the crime.

Ms. W. charges that the two met via the Internet, and dated briefly. When she tried to end their relationship, Mobly said he wanted to meet in person, and Ms. W. agreed. When Mobly arrived, he and an accomplice, Aaron Cross, handcuffed her hands and feet, gagged her with a sock, forced her body into a suitcase and then put the suitcase in the back of Mobly's car. Mobly later cut her clothes off and raped her before he and Cross drove her home.

According to Ms. W.'s attorney, Mobly and Cross "thanked her for helping them live out their fantasy," and told her that no one would believe her if she tried to prosecute. She ignored their threats and went to police, where she was subjected to a three-hour interrogation. Police told her that they believed she was lying and threatened to prosecute her for making a false claim if she didn't withdraw her charges.

Ms. W. was also told that she would have to pay for lab fees if a test conducted at the local hospital indicated that no rape had occurred. Plaintiff's attorney Marc Picker said that his client was billed and believes that police lied about the test results.

Police also allegedly ignored Ms. W.'s pleas to investigate Mobly's trunk or a garage where her father said tire marks were left behind by his daughter's attackers.

Several days later, Ms. W. reported that she got an e-mail from Mobly that read, "I got away with rape." When she called police to inform them, she was again accused of lying and making false charges against an "innocent man."

Mobly his roommate and accomplice, Aaron Cross, also pleaded guilty to raping a 17-year-old in a separate incident. As with Jennifer, they befriended the teenager over the Internet and lured her to their apartment to rape her. The girl fled the next morning and went to police. Ms. W. reported that, even after the second victim came forward, police never apologized to her. She holds them responsible for the second rape, saying "There wouldn't be a second victim if the Sparks police did their jobs instead of calling me 'a goddamned liar.'"

Jennifer W. has filed a $200,000 lawsuit against the Sparks Police Dept., its chief and three other officers. She commented, "I hope what I went through will make things better for other women in future cases."

Media Resources: AP - March 23, 1999

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