GREENFIELD, Ind. (June 29, 2015) — A startling statistic is leading a central Indiana prosecutor to ask for more help to prosecute crimes against women.
According to Hancock County Prosecutor Brent Eaton, there hasn’t been a rape conviction in the entire county for nearly a decade.
“I think the last rape conviction we found a record of was May of 2006,” said Eaton. “Our county’s got about 70,000 people… that live here. Statistically it seems very unlikely that that offense has never actually been committed in that… decade.”
He wonders how many crimes against women are happening without justice being served. That’s why he wants to hire a deputy prosecutor focused only on fighting for women.
Just this year, his office created a victims assistance program. One advocate works out of a tiny office to help countless people; not just women. Eaton said it’s time for more help.
“We can have better evidence. Then we can be more effective in bringing forth prosecutions to hold people that may commit these offenses accountable.”
He’s already found a $100,000 grant from Stop Violence Against Women. Now he needs the county council to put in about $25,000 in order for him to use it.
He said the numbers on rape prove the county needs help.
“You look through the years and a number of cases have been pled down to other offenses or either dismissed or they’ve been acquitted in trial. And it’s something that bothered us a great deal,” he said. “These cases are important. Our office is committing towards doing everything we can to effectively prosecute these kinds of cases.”