Letter To The Editor: Rapist Allegations

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My name is Tori Yamato. I am eighteen years old and while I haven’t always made the best decisions in the short time I have been alive, I have always at least tried to be a good person. I have gotten myself mixed up with the wrong people at many different stages in my life, but I have always found a way to hold onto my integrity and morals.

My grandfather once told me that life is full of injustices, but when those who really deserve it are in need of it, justice always has a way of finding them. I believed him and I believed that there are people out there that will fight for those who need it. I had always thought this was the job of the police…

I was so wrong.

I am writing this now to the editor of the Hathian Observer, to express how deeply I and others like me have been wronged since the recent changes that have taken place at the HPD. I have seen the article concerning the recent assault on one of the Reapers and the response of the HPD to her claims. I was there when this happened, however, and a witness to a second assault on a different Reaper. I had never seen anything that churned my stomach more.

I was not prepared to see something like that and so I turned away and covered my ears, wanting to pretend that I wasn’t watching a police officer assault an inmate like that. I had heard horror stories of this type of thing happening in the Isolation cells, but I wondered how much of it could be true. But there it was, not even happening in Iso but happening right there in the cell next to mine for all of us to see. Little did I know that my response to what I saw would make me his next target.

In the response to these types allegations, [a higher authority] tried to discredit the Reaper’s claims against the HPD in his interview with the Hathian Observer by stating that the people making these claims are hardened criminals and gang members.

Perhaps that is sometimes true. I, however, am not a gang member or a hardened criminal. While I will admit that I have been arrested a couple of times for doing very stupid things, I am not someone that most people would describe as a criminal. That did not stop what happened to me on my most recent visit to the jail cells of the HPD.

While I did not start trouble with other inmates or disrespect any of the officers while serving my time, I was still targeted. I was targeted for being too weak I am told and that I made myself stand out by crying over what happened to the other girl and covering my ears. My rapist said he was doing me a favor and that I needed to learn to grow a thicker skin.

And so I found myself face to face with [a higher authority], who called me over and told me that it was time for me to be released. But letting me go wasn’t his intention, instead he began to assault me right there, for everyone else to see, much like he had done to the Reaper. I was then dragged, handcuffed, into the inmate showers were my rape took place. Afterward, I was left in my cell handcuffed and naked until I was finally released that night. But this is not even the true injustice of my story. No, that came next.

Most people in my shoes would have sought revenge on [a higher authority]. I, however, as naive and foolish as I was told I am, sought to actually seek justice and press charges against my rapist. The hospital had performed a rape kit and DNA evidence is on file for my case. The extent of my injuries and the DNA found should have cemented my case. However, upon trying to report my rape to another officer of the HPD, I was told once again that I was a fool and needed to grow up, that not one cop would even look at my case, let alone help me press charges. This coming from a cop who others claim to be one of the good ones, as if there is such a thing.

With this letter, I have included a copy of the official medical report and of the evidence for my case, as the police don’t seem to have any use for it. Perhaps with this at least what was done for me will not be ignored or swept under the rug.

I wish that my voice heard and the injustice inflicted on me to be known. Revenge will get me nothing and justice is out of my reach for now, but I’ll be damned if I lie down and keep quiet. I want my rapist to know that I am not defeated and that, despite what he is, he had no right to take from me what he did nor will he ever take anything for else from me again. With that stated, I have a final question for the other citizens of Hathian…

Justice is not something that comes without a price. Nor will it find you when you most need it. But will you lie down as a victim and watch it slip away or will you stand up and fight for it?

Tori Yamato

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