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Wednesday, June 20, 2007 02:05 am

Judgment for the defense

Rape victim’s lawsuit against Frazier, others, is no more

The woman whose rape triggered the Renatta Frazier controversy told her story to Illinois Times in the March 3, 2005 edition, available at www.illinoistimes.com.
Untitled Document In a court hearing lasting less than half an hour and attended by only one spectator, the lawsuit filed by the woman at the center of one of Springfield’s biggest scandals ended Tuesday. “Jane Doe” was just 18 when she was raped by two men who came to her apartment in the middle of the night. When the men returned, a few hours later, she dialed 911 and reported only that she wanted these men to stop knocking on her door — not mentioning the sexual assault, for fear that her father, a Springfield police officer, would find out what had happened to her. The incident mushroomed into a scandal that resulted in the ouster of Renatta Fraizer, the then-rookie officer who responded to Doe’s call. Falsely accused of failing to prevent the rape, Frazier later won a $650,000 settlement from the city of Springfield. In 2005, Doe sued Frazier, Frazier’s attorney Courtney Cox, and another black police officer, now-retired Rickey Davis, for intentional infliction of emotional distress, portraying her in a false light, and defamation. Last month, Doe offered to dismiss the lawsuit, leaving open the option of rekindling the case later, and not paying defendants’ attorney fees. The defendants refused [see “Last word?” May 3]. Doe’s attorney, Stephen Hedinger, then requested a continuance.
On Tuesday, Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Patrick Kelley seemed open to Hedinger’s motion, saying he couldn’t rule on summary judgment with “facts still dangling out there.” But defendants’ attorney Don Craven told Kelley that Doe had admitted in her deposition that she couldn’t point to any statement any one of them had made defaming her. Her claim was based on their participation in a WICS(Channel 20) series in which the convicted rapist proclaimed his innocence. “You mean if an accused person says he’s innocent, that somehow defames the crime victim?” Kelley asked Doe’s attorney. “In some cases, yes,” Hedinger replied. “Here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to deny your motion to continue, and grant the defendants’ motion for summary judgment,” Kelley said. And with that, the rape victim’s lawsuit ended. 

Contact Dusty Rhodes at drhodes@illinoistimes.com.
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