SACRAMENTO (CBS) – In an extraordinarily rare move, a judge ordered a rape victim taken to Juvenile Hall after prosecutors said they had no other choice.

Weighing more than 220 pounds and covered in tattoos, including a swastika, Frank William Rackley sits behind bars accused of kidnapping and raping a 17-year-old girl who’s now behind bars herself just to make sure she shows up to the suspect’s trial.

Attorney Lisa Franco represents the teen. She’s outraged after a judge ordered her client jailed to make sure she helps put Rackley away. His case is scheduled to start April 23.

“It is extremely rare to have a sexual assault witness who is a victim in a case be imprisoned,” Franco said. “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.”

Franco says her client is too terrified to take the stand, and under state law sex assault victims are not required to do so, but still she’s behind bars.

Assistant District Attorney Albert Locher says even if she doesn’t testify, the victim is required to attend court. But so far she’s missed two court dates and several meetings with the district attorney’s office, forcing the case to be dropped and refiled.

“Certainly, we don’t like to be in the position of having to take a victim or a witness into custody to ensure the successful prosecution of a case,” he said. “It becomes a balance of inconveniencing the witness – we’re talking about a relatively short period of time – against the protection of the community.”

Community safety. But Franco asks, at what cost?

“You can’t stomp all over her rights and put her in jail when she’s a victim, revictimize her and treat her like she’s the criminal,” she said.

Comments (34)
  1. joann orff says:

    i think its outrageous to put an innocent 17 yr victim in juvenile haal ,if the state has to have her attend court,which i also think is unjust,they should put her in protective custody not juvenile hall.the public shpould be outraged.

    1. Trace Farley says:

      Protective custody is a good idea, but she coulc get away. She missed two court dates and numerous appts w/the D/A. She has a responsibility also which she did not uphold, and they have to do what they have to do.

      1. Stacey says:

        “She has a responsibility also which she did not uphold”

        Which is what? Any one of us is NOT required to speak in court or be present. She can decide not to move forward with charges. THIS is W-r-o-n-g. No amount of arguing about it will make it right to force someone to testify in a case where they are the victim. ESPECIALLY a child!

      2. J_H_M says:

        Rape victims have a special right not to testify. The right is good public policy. Knowing that she can always decline to testify if she is treated badly by the prosecutor makes it much more likely that a victim will come forward promptly and report the rape while it is soon enough for her to be tested for the accused’s DNA.

        Prosecutors do sometimes treat crime victims and witnesses to crimes with a considerable amount of contempt. Being treated as a non-person by a prosecutor would be especially offencive to a women who has been treated as an object rather than a person by, in this case, a person raping her.

    2. bumpkin says:

      This is cruel and unusual punishment, and illegal jailing of a non-criminal. that judge should be put behind bars WITH the girl. Jerk! This is just as cruel as the rape itself. I hope she sues the hail out of that Judge! You cannot force someone to do what you WANT them to do. -unless you are a complete JERK! KARMA is coming!

  2. Guest says:

    She should be in protective custody and perhaps juvenile hall is providing that but it does seem extreme. On the other hand, if she is as terrified as the article implies, this could be the safest place for her. She may need additional protection after the trial and should be protected from the defendant and his lawyer as much as possible during the proceedings. She is still a child under the law and deserves special accommodations that might not be available, even if deserving, for an adult. The case has to stand up to appeal and that is no doubt a consideration for the prosecution.

    1. Mike says:

      There`s nothing in the law that says she has to testify or even attend the trial! He commited this crime against her-not the State. If she chooses not to testify she shouldn`t have to. Once again, Big Brother is stepping out of bounds. Talk abouit ones constitutional rights being violated. This judge needs to be tarred and feathered and run out of town. I guarantee this is what would have been done to him 100 years ago.

  3. sissyh20 says:

    what ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?? this is traggic…
    there are two sides to every story..they failed to mention the 17 year old ran away several times from a group home,,,was out drinking and drugging and had sex volentarly with the guy..and thats why she dosent want to testify…because it wasnt rape…and they fail to mention the guy has a faimly and just because he has tattos..dont make him a rapest…the DA is mad because they had to drop the case against once for lack of evedence and now is turning this into a circus and getting bad publisity on this guy for the upcomming trial..this is our justice system at its worse….

    1. Jason Keiter says:

      Huh. She does not want to testify because she had sex voluntarily??? How do you know? Reporter and girls attorney made it seem she was afraid for her life.

    2. Mike says:

      It`s the judge and DA that should be jailed in this case, as in soooo many others. DA`s don`t care if YOU`RE guilty, they just want a high conviction rate. They`ll convict anyone!

      1. SMARTER THAN YOU says:

        so true i been saying that its a high for them to try and be on top… they dont care for real

    3. SMARTER THAN YOU says:

      just cause she ran away dont mean get raped just cause she do drugs dont mean get raped… his dna was found in her he has ben to jail before and thats how the have his dna… and he was jailed for rape before….. oh but his time will come when he hit the big house…. and he big nice butt to be f—–

    4. Stacey says:

      It doesn’t matter if she was drinking. She is underage. When drinking, without the ability to consent.

      If she reported it, it is more than likely true as MOST victims do not report this crime. However, she shouldn’t be forced to pursue the charges. If she is afraid, or doesn’t want to testify, that should be up to her.

  4. Martin says:

    I’m so glad she is locked up ,she should be it’s an allegation…where is the evidence? She hasn’t shown up to court other times! If the person being charged has to be locked up…then the child should be locked up in juvenile hall. If the child is a victim…who is to say the one being charged isn’t a victim too…till there is evidence…and court takes place, no one should be.locked up! We are innocent till proven guilty…yet we are guilty till proven innocent because we are adults…really! This world is so messed up!

    1. Jason Keiter says:

      Martin, unless you know more about this story than I do then you are messed up. Story made it out that she was afraid for her life.

    2. Mike says:

      I think you should be locked up for your comment. That`s pretty much the same thing you moron. Why should she be locked up? She didn`t do anything. There`s no law that says you have to testify. She commited no crime, nor is she being charged with one. Your right though in one respect, his tatoos don`t make him guilty. However: he is being charged with a crime and he can get out on bail, so if your inocent until proved guilty, you should get your 10% back you pay the bondsman. It sucks if your broke. I`ve been jailed innocently before and had to wait for court to be released. Big deal!

    3. SMARTER THAN YOU says:

      they do have evidence they has his dna in her fool! he is a known rapest thats how they got him from the dna in her… he has been to jail before for this and felonys.. so when you commit a crime you have to give up your dna!

  5. lyniepooh says:

    Hey sissyh….sex with someone under 18 whether consentual or not is statutory rape…so yes it is rape.

    1. J_H_M says:

      Statutory rape probably is provable even without the girl’s testamony, given that the rape kit revealed his DNA. This would seem to have more to do with a prosecutor being upset that a juvenile witness didn’t do as she was told.

      Since she has the right as a rape victim to not testify–this even though she reported the rape–there would seem to be some serious lawlessness on the part of the two judges, who in separate hearing ordered her to be held as a material witness even though she has the right to refuse to testify.

      Although her tame assigned attorney claimed she was afraid to testify, a better argument would have been simply that she was exercising hor right not to testify.

  6. sissyh20 says:

    so your saying all guys that have had sex with a 17 year old are rapest?? and there for should be sent to prison?? ..i

    1. JMHO says:

      Check out the law. Minors do not have the legal right to consent to sex, so that’s where statutory rape comes in.

  7. Whitey says:

    Martin, I’m fairly certain a 220 pound man with swastika tattoos isn’t a victim.

  8. thehomelessdog says:

    Why don’t we do like the Iranians and take her to a football stadium and stone her. To protect her honor we should at least set her on fire or throw acid on her.

    The moral of this story is: Never trust law enforcement or the judicial system.

    1. SMARTER THAN YOU says:

      stone her for what??? smh

      1. thehomelessdog says:

        My bad. It was Somalia. It happened in 2008. Here is the link. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7708169.stm

  9. sabrina says:

    im rape suviver and if the judje j wold have done that me to m i wold have never came fower think what is going thrue her mind right now i waz only 11 amd skerd out of mind and if i waz taken in to custudy … i waz alredy crying non stop seeing him in my head every time i slept im more worryed about her shes all alone nobody with her for support…..

  10. cleopatra says:

    I think it is extreme to jail a victim, but you are required to stand trial if subpoened to do so. It is rare for rape victims to be jailed, usually the cops just root you out and drive you into court. It sounds to me like she has adults who are helping her make the choice to not go to court.

    Being a victim and seeing someone go to trial is not the hope of the Da or the justice department. Seeing justice through is not for the victim alone, but for all of society. So, even though this victim is having her freedom being taken away; the courts have decided that her testimony is important enough for a jury to hear, that they must jail her to protect society from any other victimizations from happening.

    Unlike other posters, I wont guess about alcohol or the relationship of the girl to the alleged rapist, it is wrong to do so.

    At least we can surmise that the courts are going to make sure that this girl gets treated as a juvenile since she is a victim, and she will have a counselor to help her go through the process.

    1. J_H_M says:

      Responding to “cleopatra” “…the courts are goig to make sure that…{she] gets treated a a juvinile.

      According to other news coverage she was kept in a cage when her hearing authorizing her to be held as a material witness was held in regular adult felony arraignment court room.

  11. Gordon Lynch says:

    DO NOT TRUST THE COUNSELORS IN A JUVENILE ( PRISON ) THIS IS WHAT IT IS AND THEIR DOCTORS ARE WORSE THAN ONE WHO HAD NEVER STUDIED MEDICAL AT ALL. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE OF HER CIVIL RIGHTS AND SHOULD BE RELEASED. IT’S THE JUDGE WHO WANTS ATTENTION SO FIRE HIM OR HER OR SOMETHING AND FIND SOME ONE WHO RESPECTS THE RIGHTS OF EVERY ONE.
    IS THE ACCUSED A FAMILY MEMBER OF THE JUDGES? IN THE ACCUSED THREATEN THE JUDGES FAMILY ? IS THE JUDGE A PC. OF S*%@#T WHO LIKES TO DOSE NOT KNOW THE LAW? IS HE ON THE TAKE ? IS HE A DRUNK ON THE BENCH? HIS MOTIVE TO DO WHAT HE DID IS NOT WORKING AND HE SEEMS TO NOT CARE SO WHY HASN’T THE LAWYER CRY FOR THE CASE TO BE BROUGHT BEFORE ANOTHER JUDGE SINCE THE OVER POWERING MENTAL CASE IN CHARGE JUDGING IS INCAPABLE OF SAVING ONE VICTIM.

  12. Gordon Lynch says:

    DO NOT TRUST THE COUNSELORS IN A JUVENILE ( PRISON ) THIS IS WHAT IT IS AND THEIR DOCTORS ARE WORSE THAN ONE WHO HAD NEVER STUDIED MEDICAL AT ALL. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE OF HER CIVIL RIGHTS AND SHOULD BE RELEASED. IT’S THE JUDGE WHO WANTS ATTENTION SO FIRE HIM OR HER OR SOMETHING AND FIND SOME ONE WHO RESPECTS THE RIGHTS OF EVERY ONE.
    IS THE ACCUSED A FAMILY MEMBER OF THE JUDGES? IS THE ACCUSED THREATENING THE JUDGES FAMILY ? IS THE JUDGE A PC. OF S*%@#T WHO DOSE NOT KNOW THE LAW? IS HE ON THE TAKE ? IS HE A DRUNK ON THE BENCH? HIS MOTIVE TO DO WHAT HE DID IS NOT WORKING AND HE SEEMS TO NOT CARE SO WHY HASN’T HER LAWYER CRIED FOR THE CASE TO BE BROUGHT BEFORE ANOTHER JUDGE SINCE THE OVER POWERING MENTAL CASE IN CHARGE JUDGING IS INCAPABLE OF SAVING ONE VICTIM.

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