In a strange twist of events, a 17-year-old rape victim has been jailed in Sacramento, California so attorneys can ensure she testifies against the ex-convict accused of kidnapping her and raping her on a residential street in July of 2011.
The unnamed girl is being held as a material witness against Frank William Rackley, who possesses a large swasticka tattoo on his massive chest.
The girl's lawyer has asked Judge Lawrence G. Brown to release his client -- but she remains locked up as of Friday afternoon.
"I think it's outrageous that the DA's Office wants to put a rape victim – a juvenile rape victim – in custody, as if she were the criminal, in a case where she is the victim," attorney Lisa M. Franco told the Sacramento Bee.
The attorney told CBS Sacramento: "What this is serving to do is only making victims out there – potential victims and future victims – not want to come forward because they’re going to have to go to jail, because they’re afraid to testify."
Prosecutors, meanwhile, say they have no alternative. The girl is allegedly a foster child, who has a long history of running away from homes -- and she failed to show up to a preliminary hearing for Rackley -- or at his initial trial Feb. 28.
That no-show caused prosecutors to re-file the case and take this drastic action.
"It's the last thing we ever want to do,' Assistant District Attorney Albert Locher told the Bee. "You never want to have a victim or a witness in custody. But you have to balance protecting the community. When you look at [Rackley's] background – multiple victims already – it's important that we try to prevent another victim from being harmed.'
According to the Daily Mail: "Rackley is also charged with raping a prostitute, who identified the swastika tattoo on his chest in a line up, in the same case. He has a criminal history in the area dating back to 1992 - three for robbery, one for stalking, one for stolen property and one for felony evasion. He also has a previous arrest for rape. However, those charges were dropped, according to court documents."
The girl's attorneys say she is now willing to testify in the case.