Investigator: Suspected rapists escape prosecution

10:46 PM, Jul 11, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- A former suburban police chief and Cleveland rape crisis consultant estimates thousands of accused rapists have walked away scot-free due to ineffective drug testing in Ohio.

"A lot of the cases where substances have been used to incapacitate victims, that information has never come out," Dan Clark said.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine admits there's been a breakdown in the system to detect the presence of date rape drugs.

"The system simply didn't know what to do with the evidence," said DeWine. "Why in the world haven't police, prosecutors and attorney generals been doing this (proper testing) before now, I think is a very legitimate question."

DeWine is in the process of alerting all law enforcement in Ohio to use forensic labs, which have the equipment sensitive enough to test for these drugs in small amounts.

In the past, police have been sending urine samples to ill-equipped labs, unaware they're not able to detect the drugs.

A rape victim we'll call "Mary" says she believed someone slipped the date rape drug GHB into her drink at a Cleveland bar.

"The next thing I remember was being in the bathroom with bruises and no clothes on," she said. The lab could not find any drugs in her urine. The suspected rapist was not prosecuted.

In Ohio, dropping a drug into someone's drink for non-consensual sex carries a mandatory five-year prison term. It's a crime that DeWine says happens with disturbing regularity.

"This is no laughing matter. This is dead serious, " he said.


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