To the Editor:
Lost in the publicized accounts of former State’s Attorney Clay Campbell’s and others’ attacks on NIU Police Chief Donald Grady concerning the rape case against former NIU police officer Andrew Rifkin is the victim’s feelings and mental state.
The law clearly states that if a sexual partner says no, that means no. This includes even married couples. The victim in this case does not deny a previous consensual relationship with Rifkin, but she maintains that, for the particular act he wanted to perform, she said “no.”
Hence, in the case of his forcing himself on her at that time to perform that act, their previous relationship is irrelevant.
Much is made of the “missing testimony” of two students who went to the NIU Police Station to report that Rifkin had an ongoing relationship with the victim. Irrelevant though that might be to the charges against Rifkin, we are told that Grady instructed Lt. Kartik Ramakrishnan, the officer with whom they spoke, to have the students make a formal statement, which they did. The lieutenant maintains that his subsequent failure to file this information with the court was an unintentional oversight. Nevertheless, his failure to do so has resulted in both himself and Grady being placed on the leave.
When the case came to court, Presiding Judge Robbin Stuckert chastised the university police for what she called egregious behavior in withholding evidence. However, the judge did not find sufficient cause to dismiss the case. Ramakrishnan took a lie detector test that verified he was telling the truth in his statement about his failure to file the students’ statements was accidental.
One wonders whether former State’s Attorney Clay Campbell, in dropping these charges, gave any consideration to the feelings of the victim and her family. It took courage for this young woman to come forward, risking that her name would become public and drawing unwanted attention, plus the stress that would be put on her family.
We applaud the actions of State’s Attorney Richard Schmack for re-opening the case. We believe that when justice is done, Chief Grady and Lt. Ramakrishnan will be restored to their positions immediately and their reputation restored as the most diverse, educated, and best trained police force in the county.
LaMetra and Regina Curry, Bruce Ghoulstein, Keyalo Gray, Leonard McCal, Cecile Meyer