Finger Lakes Times: Anna's Attorney Responds: Parsons disputes DA's explanations in HWS sexual assault case

Posted: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 10:20 am

By JIM MILLER jmiller@fltimes.com

The lawyer representing the William Smith College student who accused three Hobart football players of sexually assaulting her says District Attorney R. Michael Tantillo threw her client “under the bus” when he claimed the sex was consensual.

Attorney Inga Parsons issued a written statement Tuesday afternoon in response to Sunday’s Finger Lakes Times interview with Tantillo. In the statement, Parsons disputed virtually everything Tantillo said in explaining his decision not to bring charges.

The alleged assault became public knowledge July 13, when The New York Times published an interview with the alleged victim, whom it identified only as Anna.

“For me, one of the most critical and undisputable facts is that Anna’s statement to the campus police ... was made before there were any medical reports known or lab tests done,” wrote Parsons, who practices in Massachusetts and Wyoming. “Her statement is completely consistent with medical and lab evidence. Those same records are completely inconsistent with the statements of the senior football player. Does the prosecutor in this case believe that Anna made up the [sexual assault nurse’s] conclusion of sexual assault? Did Anna fabricate the evidence of blunt force trauma? Did Anna fabricate the conclusion of multiple partners, multiple intercourse acts or very forceful sex? Did Anna fabricate the sperm and seminal fluid?”

Told of Parsons’ comments Tuesday, Tantillo said he stands by his earlier statements and decisions. In his earlier interview with the Finger Lakes Times, Tantillo called The New York Times story unfair and characterized the alleged victim as uncooperative.

Parsons said she and her client had cooperated fully. She said Tantillo and local police failed to obtain DNA from the accused and compare it to Anna’s rape kit samples.

Parsons believes the evidence leads to just one conclusion - that the sex was not consensual.

“How can it be consensual sex when the football player denies having had sex saying he was too tired from football to get it up?” Parsons wrote. “The district attorney believes that because Anna was able to text in the frat bedroom that must have been consensual. It does not seem to matter that what Anna texted was that she was scared and he would not leave her and that he was trying to hook her up with multiple guys. Perhaps what the district attorney is really saying is that he thinks the football players did it even though they are still lying about it but that’s OK because she was drunk and not passed out and so it must have been consensual.”

Tantillo said state law allows him to prosecute a sexual assault case based on inability to consent only if the victim was either unconscious or unable to communicate.

Parsons said Tantillo told her he did not have enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

“It is quite another thing to throw the survivor under the bus by attacking her credibility in the press in order to justify a decision that has come under fire,” she wrote. “Little wonder that survivors hesitate to bring criminal charges.”



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