advice for how to take legal action for a rape victim who relocated abroad

what should i do if i know the identity of the rapist, want to help convict him, but the victim moved out of the country to get away from him? is the only chance of getting a case opened to wait for her to come back, if ever?

Asked on May 24, 2009 under Criminal Law, New Jersey


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should report any information you have to the police or prosecutor's office, in the place the crime took place.  If the victim never reported the attack, there may be no open investigation.

There really is not a whole lot more that you can do, until and unless you are asked to testify, or to identify someone in a lineup.

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Pracically speaking, the police in the state where the rape took place or where the rapist lives will probably be the ones investigating it.  I would contact the victim and ask her to make a report asap.  If you know where the reapist lives, contact the police in his town and have them call the victim to talk and get her statement.  you can coordinate this while the vitim is away, but she will have to take come affirmative steps towards reporting.  Rape charges are very hard to make stick, especially when more than a 2 weeks have past.  I would make sure the victim reports it asap.

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