The article “Police: Desperate notes in Walmart, Fallingwater led to woman held captive” (July 16, TribLIVE) described incidents of violence that shocked the thoughts and the soul.
Like others all through our group, I used to be horrified to learn concerning the intensive abuse this sufferer survived, together with being held captive, a number of bodily and sexual assaults, and ongoing threats to hold out bodily hurt to her and her youngsters.
Corey Brewer, the alleged abuser on this case, is charged with violent crimes towards the sufferer, together with strangulation, sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual activity, illegal restraint and easy assault. Regardless of the seriousness of those crimes, Brewer was launched from the Allegheny County Jail the day after his arrest and arraignment, after posting solely $500, a bond set by District Decide Robert Ravenstahl Jr.
Traditionally, when setting bond, courts primarily give consideration to at least one issue: whether or not the defendant will seem on the subsequent court docket continuing. Nonetheless, in home violence instances, the court docket should set bond underneath the steering of Pennsylvania Crimes Code
§ 2711, which requires that the court docket look at whether or not the defendant poses a risk of hazard to the sufferer.
Whereas it’s pointless for the court docket to incarcerate many defendants pre-trial, the seriousness of Brewer’s alleged crimes and the protection threat to this sufferer make the nominal money bond imposed on Brewer each illogical and alarming.
We’ve witnessed too usually how the pre-trial launch of harmful abusers has resulted in deadly tragedies. One heartbreaking native instance occurred in 2017, when Matthew Darby murdered Pitt student Alina Sheykhet whereas launched on two separate $10,000 bonds for prison costs: rape of an ex-girlfriend in Indiana County and prison trespass after he beforehand climbed up Sheykhet’s gutter and broke into her condo.
On this case, instantly after Brewer posted bond and was launched from jail, the district lawyer’s workplace filed for a bond evaluate within the Court docket of Frequent Pleas, requesting the revocation of his bond and his return to jail. Slightly than granting this request, the court docket modified Brewer’s bond to digital monitoring.
Whereas an enchancment, the sufferer’s security remains to be in danger. Equally harmful abusers have violated the phrases of their bond, leading to lethal tragedies.
The prison justice system, each the court docket and regulation enforcement, continues to fail home violence victims, refusing to grasp the dynamics of intimate companion violence and prioritize sufferer security. One may ask why the Scott Township Police would merely depart the abuser’s residence, regardless that they may hear motion coming from inside. This lack of motion pressured the sufferer to threat her life to go away a second be aware with a purpose to acquire assist.
Considering what has already occurred on this case, it’s exhausting to see something aside from an entire indifference for the protection of home violence victims. Whereas the actual failures on this case are particularly egregious, they’re, sadly, not unusual. For extra victims to hunt assist and for our society to keep away from extra devastating tragedies, the prison justice system should decide to a tradition of believing survivors and prioritizing their security.
Nicole Molinaro is president and CEO
of the Ladies’s Middle & Shelter
of Larger Pittsburgh