D.A. Showed Around Photos of Girl's Sexual Assault, Family Says
(CN) - A county attorney in Kansas violated a girl's privacy by showing around photos of her sexual assault, the teen and her mother claim in Topeka Federal Court. The Anderson County Attorney refused to prosecute the assailant, but showed other parents photos of the sexual assault, and was suspended from practicing law for 6 months for it, the family says.
The parents say their 17-year-old daughter attended an outdoor party in May 2007, where four men or boys forced her to take off her clothes. One of them had sex with her in the bed of a truck, despite her repeated pleas for him to stop, while others took photos of it, according to the complaint.
The girl says that she reported the assault to police, who referred it to County Attorney Frank Campbell.
She says Campbell "decided he would not pursue prosecution of the male" involved in the sexual assault, but told a local newspaper that he would share the pictures with parents of the minors at the party.
The girl's family protested, but says Campbell insisted he did not need permission to show around the photos, and photos of the girl allegedly drinking alcohol at the party.
Campbell did show the photos to parents, the girl says, and wrote a letter to her mother stating that "the photographs you refer to are evidence of criminal activity by several minors and as I cannot lawfully withhold evidence, I have allowed and will continue to allow the parents of the potential respondents to view altered versions of them in my office."
The family says they filed an ethics complaint against Campbell, and the state Supreme Court suspended him from practicing law for 6 months.
The girl says she has been "diagnosed with depression and has suffered from flashbacks, nightmares and severe mental anguish."
The family sued Campbell and the County Commission, which allegedly failed to stop Campbell from revealing the photos. They demand punitive damages.
The family is represented by Gregory Lee.