California News

Rape victim jailed to ensure court testimony

Friday, April 06, 2012
KABC-TV covers Los Angeles and Southern California.

KABC-TV covers Los Angeles and Southern California. (KABC Photo)

In an extraordinarily rare move, a Sacramento judge has ordered a rape victim be taken to juvenile hall to make sure she shows up at the suspect's trial.

Frank William Rackley is accused of kidnapping and raping the 17-year old victim. The girl has been held for more than a week on a material witness warrant. Attorneys were seeking the girl's release Friday.

The girl's attorney says her client is terrified and that she's being victimized all over again. Prosecutors say the victim has already missed two court dates, forcing the case to be dropped and re-filed. They say it's a matter of inconveniencing the witness for the protection of the community.

Prosecutors argue the girl is a foster child with a history of running away who said she would not testify.

"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," said Lisa Franco, one of the victim's attorneys.

"Certainly we don't like to be in the position of having to take a victim or a witness into custody to ensure we're able to prosecute the case," said Sacramento County Assistant District Attorney Albert Locher.

While the victim can't be forced to testify, she is required to attend court. One of the girl's attorneys says she is willing to testify. The case is scheduled to begin on April 23. Attorneys were seeking the girl's release Friday.

The Sacramento Bee reports Rackley is also charged with raping a prostitute who identified the swastika tattoo on his chest.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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