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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: Contact: March 7, 2014 Rose Luna Communications Program Director TAASA 512-659-8065 Chris

ris Kaiser Staff Attorney TAASA- 512-740-1317

Texas Association Against Sexual Assault Stands With Survivor: Files Amicus Brief With The United States Supreme Court Washington, DC The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA), along with a coalition of civil rights and victim advocates, has asked the US Supreme Court to rule that a law enforcement officer cannot legally allow a minor to be repeatedly raped as an investigative strategy to gather more evidence against the perpetrator. "In drug cases, police routinely allow an illegal transaction to occur before

making an arrest. But it should be obvious that they can't do the same thing with rape," said Chris Kaiser, Staff Attorney at TAASA.
The case, Whitley v. Hanna, was filed by Natasha Whitley, who was 15 years old when she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a 55-year-old police officer and leader of a youth engagement program. During the Texas Rangers investigation of the officera known sexual predatorinvestigators witnessed the abuse but opted not to intervene. I believe the general public would be stunned and appalled to know that any peace officer would consider using a teenage rape victim as bait in an investigation. Its never acceptable to put a child on a collision course with a sexual predator, said Annette Burrhus-Clay, Executive Director at TAASA. TAASA has issued its request to the Court as part of its mission to serve sexual assault survivors. According to the amicus curiae brief, TAASA emphasizes the need for compassionate, evidence-based practices by first responders, including law enforcement professionals. Sexual assault is one of the least reported crimes in the country, and perceptions of mistrust and maltreatment by law enforcement are among the most common reasons victims choose to remain silent. According to the University of Texas Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, 82% of sexual assaults in Texas are never reported. The Texas Civil Rights Project (Austin), the Victim Rights Law Center (Boston), the Texas Advocacy Project (Austin), and the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (Portland) partnered with TAASA on the brief as co-amici. TAASA is the statewide organization committed to ending sexual violence in Texas. It supports and advocates for survivors of sexual violence, their families, and advocates. TAASAs membership extends throughout Texas to the approximately 80 rape crisis centers across the state, which operate support hotlines, connect survivors with vital community resources, and provide victim advocates for hospital and courtroom accompaniment. Additional information about TAASA can be found at ####