PALO ALTO (KCBS) – The district attorney in Juneau, Alaska will not bring charges in a high profile sexual assault case involving a Stanford student.
District Attorney James Scott told the Juneau Empire newspaper there is insufficient evidence in the case involving Stanford University student Leah Francis. The 21-year-old senior went public with her story in June, alleging she was raped by her ex-boyfriend, another Stanford student, over winter break in his Alaska home.
She reported the incident to the university and also filed a police report, but the case was passed on to Scott. Earlier, Francis said she went public with her story after becoming frustrated with the process.
“He’s a dangerous person. He raped someone, myself, who knew and trusted him,” she said. “I have no reason to believe he will not do it again.”
Scott announced his decision last week and told the Juneau Empire, “there’s absolutely nothing about the screening decision that suggests that Ms. Francis’ genuine feelings of victimization aren’t valid. It’s simply that in order to convince 12 people beyond a reasonable doubt that a sexual assault occurred, I have to be able to prove every element (of the crime). And in this case, I can’t.”
Francis told the Palo Alto Weekly she was not surprised by the decision, and adds the focus on whether or not she adequately communicated her unwillingness to engage in sex amounts to victim blaming.
The case has stirred heated protests on the Stanford University campus and has also added to the growing debate over how colleges and universities respond to reports of sexual assault.
The defense attorney hired to represent the accused said her client is innocent and he had consexual sex with Francis that night.