Indiana Police Accused of Suppressing Evidence of a Rape

| by Sarah Siskind
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On April 3, 2012, an 18-year-old high school student from Frankfurt, Ind., claims three men raped her at a party. The teen had taken eight anti-anxiety pills before being escorted to a room with three naked men. She alleges that while two men took turns holding her wrists and ankles, a third would rape her.

The next day, through a swollen lip and welling eyes, “she said, ‘Dad, they took turns on me,’" her father reported, per the Indy Star. Her father had found her wandering down a street not far from their home. Based on the red marks on her wrists and anal tears, her doctor classified her injuries as “sexual assault.”

Yet a year after the assault, police and prosecutors have not filed any charges against the men. Undeterred, the teen has filed a federal lawsuit against the police department claiming the lead detective had a significant conflict of interest and should have recused himself from the case. One of the men accused of rape is reportedly the father of the lead detective’s stepdaughter's child.

The suit claims the teen’s case was botched even further by detectives conspiring with the accused to suppress evidence. According to the woman, the lead detective, Jason Albaugh, told her that women wearing provocative clothing “basically ask for it,” before asking her if she claimed she was raped because the man she had sex with was black. The detective’s Facebook account, which has since been deleted, also indicates a rather lenient perspective on consent arguing that marriage is “legal prostitution.”

While two of the accused men have remained silent one has adamantly denied the claim even suggesting he would counter-sue for false accusations. However, when his DNA was found on her body, he argued the sex was consensual.

In response, the city has argued on behalf of the police department that the detectives are immune from such claims. Other than that, officials have declined to comment on the allegations and have filed a motion for dismissal on the grounds that the suit should have been filed in state court. Officials have not produced evidence from the case.

This case is a distressing indication of a larger trend of sexual assault in Indiana. The state has the second highest number of sexual assault reports. Disturbingly, some have pointed to the lack of prosecution as possible encouragement for sexual aggression which is perceived as having little to no consequences.

Sources: Indiana Star, Indiana Talks