One of the most significant healthcare issues in the county is a lack of a trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) on the staff of Jefferson Healthcare. Behind the scenes a number of women have been meeting with our elected officials and members of Jefferson Healthcare to address this problem. While the following court case has more issues than just a lack of a SANE staff member, it does point out that without one, a man convicted of rape might be freed even if the victim knows him and can make the claim that he did the rape.
The problem with attempting to do what Mr. Haas said to do, is that the closest SANE trained staff is in Kitsap county. It is not likely that a victim is going to feel like driving or being driven just after being raped, to a distant county to be treated by staff and perhaps police who may or may not be supportive of her claims is not a reasonable request.
It seems that this case should be a reason that the public come to an upcoming Jefferson Healthcare Commission meeting and demand that JHC implement a SANE as quickly as possible. It could be your child, grandchild or partner next.
On April 26, Jefferson County Superior Court Judge Keith Harper ordered those charges be dismissed without prejudice, after Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Haas moved to dismiss the case April 25, “due to a number of evidentiary problems,” according to Haas’ declaration of counsel filed with the court.
In the declaration, Haas wrote the alleged victim should have been sent to a sexual assault nurse examiner “almost immediately” after law enforcement received reports of sexual assault on her.