Claremore Daily Progress

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February 19, 2013

Rape victim’s mother angry with DA

(Continued)

CLAREMORE —

McConnell completely disagrees with the mother’s statement. 
“That is not how the conversation went,” McConnell said.
He also explained that he had multiple meetings that lasted more than two hours with the victim and her mother. 
“There are parts of the law that needs to change. It is my disappointment that it has come down to this, I thought we the victim’s mother and I, had a pretty good understanding of what the law allows,” McConnell said.
The 13-year-old victim tried to contact Steidley herself last week, according to her mother.
“I received a call from Nan Pope, victim coordinator for the District Attorney. I was told that my daughter was not to contact Janice Steidley. She [Pope] said, ‘who does your daughter think she is,’” the mother said.
The mother is outraged and questions if the victims bill of rights apply in Rogers County. The victim’s bill of rights is a list of statutes that provide certain protections to the victim.
This includes notification of court hearings, plea bargains and protection from harassment or threats.
The victim’s mother tried multiple times to get the District Attorney’s office to help protect her from the stalking and harassing behavior her daughter was receiving.
The suspect lives across the street and would wait for the victim to come outside to get on the school bus or take out the trash, in an attempt to harass her, the mother said.
Additionally, the suspect was spreading rumors and bullying the victim at school and on social media websites, the mother said.
“My daughter is a human being and they need to respect her rights as a victim,” she said.
The mother wrote to Steidley directly. “Please consider this, my daughter is a honor roll student, never had any problems with the law, used to believe in the law, this has darkened her sweet soul. The adults who have handled this case so far have not given her much hope only despair. Is this what my tax dollars are paying for?”

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