Do I have a selective non-prosecution claim?

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Do I have a selective non-prosecution claim?

My 8 (almost 9) year old daughter was sexually assaulted on the school bus by a 15 (almost 16) year old boy. He was touching her on the outside of the pants and then started unzipping her pants; they arrived at the school so that is all it went. There were witnesses and the boy even admitted to doing this and yet the assistant county attorney refused to file the charges. What he told me was that he was not going to ruin a 16 year old boy’s life. Well what about my 8 year old daughter? She doesn’t matter? What recourse do I have since they have the discretion as to file charges or not?

Asked on March 4, 2011 under Criminal Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Selective prosecution is a claim made by the victim of prosecution, if he or she can show that his or her prosecution was motived by improper motives, such as racial animous or a personal vendetta. I do not believe that the victim of a crime has legal recourse to compel prosecution. What you can do--

1) You can sue the boy and his family, for monetary damages (e.g. relating to emotional distress or counseling costs); you can also get a protective order against him.

2) If you think the bus driver did not sufficiently monitor or supervise the children, you may have a claim against the bus company and/or school district.

3) Nothing stops you from trying to exert "political" pressure to get a prosecution. Speak to the ACA's bosss (the County Attorney); to county executives; to state legislators; etc. Go to the media with your story (though be careful of not defaming anyone). Basically, get things stirred up to make the ACA do his job.

4) You may also be able to get the boy expelled from your daughter's school.


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