The investigator who’s been handling my assault case has a thick accent and I haven’t yet been able to catch his last name – Sgt. Something-or-other.
“How are you?” he asks.
Because of his accent, I don’t know if he’s asking, “How are you?” or “How are you?”
I answer tentatively, “I’m okay,” and wonder why I’m so mistrusting of him. Maybe it’s because I know what he’s going to say.
“I heard from the prosecution and they are recommending that we don’t press charges. I kind of thought they might say that…” I did too.
“Do you have any questions?” I hear him ask.
I’m a journalist and I can’t think of one single question to ask him.
I could have asked him anything – what he had for breakfast that morning or the last thing he did before making the phone call. That way I could have painted a picture with my narrative like: Sgt. Something-or-other set down his coffee and scoured his to-do list. Call File 183652 [Name pronouncer: RA-KEL FLET-CHER]. He picked up the phone and dialed the number. No answer. He left a message, then went down to the vending machine for a bottled water and a granola bar.
“No,” I say. “I’m just ready to move on at this point.”
I’ve done what was supposedly the “right” thing – nothing came from it and now I need to go back to not freaking out every time my phone rings.
“Thank you,” I say.
I detect something like relief in the voice of my anonymous inspector.
There just wasn’t enough evidence…not enough to prove anything other than a lack of sexual integrity. You can’t prosecute someone for lacking sexual integrity, just like you can’t prosecute someone for having bad table manners.
But damnit, when you take advantage of someone who’s drunk and barely conscious you make the world a scarier place. And making the world a scary place is by definition a crime.
And crimes should be punishable by law.