Further evidence, if any were needed, that rape victims maybe ought to just keep their mouths shut comes in the form of the Dane County District Attorney's official response to Lorraine Cook, a Madison woman who courageously came forward to report being raped on Jan. 8 of this year.
Not only was Cook arrested on a probation warrant and jailed for nearly three months after reporting this rape (see "Raped, Then Thrown in Jail" on March 7, and "Rape Victim Jailed Again" on March 21), last week she was told the DA's office would not be prosecuting her alleged rapist. (It's at least his second free ride; Ch. 27 reported that this same man was arrested in 2005 for "raping a child repeatedly" but never prosecuted.)
The decision was explained in a six-page letter to Cook from Deputy DA Judy Schwaemle. It proceeds to give accounts of two incidents - one in which Cook's shoulder was broken and another in which she was raped - that get numerous details wrong, right down to its mistaken belief that the same man allegedly committed both acts.
"That just flabbergasted me," says Cook, whose account of these incidents has on several tellings to Isthmus been perfectly clear and consistent. This suggests the multiple inconsistencies cited by Schwaemle - which she says would almost certainly produce a "not guilty" verdict - likely owe to errors made by police in their reports or by the DA's office in reading them.
Cook has just completed several weeks of court-ordered alcohol treatment and is hoping to go home. "I still have a broken shoulder, and I was brutally raped," she says of the two incidents, committed by different people. "And they're both loose."