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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of September 3 - 9, 2003


Police: arrests imminent in rape case

Express Staff Writer

Three suspects have been identified, but not charged, for their alleged involvement in the Aug. 25 rape of a Hailey woman.

Hailey police conducted one police lineup and are planning more this week, said Hailey Police Chief Brian McNary. Arrests are pending the results of the lineups, along with results from forensics tests.

A Hailey woman told police last week that she was abducted on River Street in Hailey and raped by three men in the bed of a pickup truck near the old Ironwood Racquet Club in Woodside.

The woman was driven by her assailants to an area adjacent to the city limits near the old Ironwood, McNary said. The woman told police she was driven in a late model green or black pickup truck with a rack and tool box in the bed.

On Tuesday, the day after the rape was reported, a local man purchased a pickup truck matching the description and was afraid to register the vehicle when he heard radio reports of the incident, McNary said.

The man’s employer called the Hailey Police Department, and the truck checked out as the suspected vehicle, McNary said. The man who sold the truck was identified, and samples were taken from the vehicle for lab tests.

McNary said the police investigation should be wrapped up this week, but lab results could take longer to procure.

The rape was reported to Hailey police at approximately 4 a.m. on Aug. 25. The victim, who had been dropped off near the post office in Hailey at around 3:30 a.m., was taken to St. Luke’s Wood River Regional Medical Center for treatment and was released.

Though rape is not often in the public eye in the Wood River Valley, it is more common here than some may think, according to Brooke Bonner, client services manager for The Advocates, a local nonprofit organization that works with domestic violence and sexual assault victims.

"During the last fiscal year, The Advocates served almost 40 women and children who were victims of rape and sexual assault," she said.

That jives with national statistics indicating that many sexual assaults go unreported to law enforcement agencies.

According to The Sex Offender, a book penned by Bart Devlin, approximately 25 cases of sexual exploitation go unreported for every one case that is recorded with police.

"The Advocates strongly believe that society should be a safe place for women in which we enjoy the same freedoms and safety as men, where we shouldn’t have to be afraid to walk home alone or go running after dark," Bonner said.

"However, as this is an important goal, the fact is that the world is still unsafe in many ways. While sexual assault is never the fault of the victim, there are things that we can do to increase our safety."

Bonner said one of the best things women can do is to trust their instincts. In addition, men and women need to watch out for one another.

"Speak up when you hear or see something inappropriate and let people know we want to build the kind of community in which violent behavior is unacceptable," she said.



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