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Oregon woman raped after police refuse to send out response unit

Local police in Oregon, USA fail to respond to emergency calls and advise residents to "consider relocating to an area with adequate police services"

by The Commentator on 28 May 2013 11:08

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A woman was choked and raped following a 911 call to police in which the dispatcher told her to ask her attacker to "go away".

The incident, which occured late last August but was only widely reported last week, took place in Josephine County, Oregon, when a woman's ex-boyfriend tried to break into her home.

Instead of sending an officer to the scene, the police dispatcher advised, “I don’t have anybody to send out there. You know, obviously, if he comes inside the residence and assaults you, can you ask him to go away? Do you know if he’s intoxicated or anything?”

The man eventually forced entry to the house, wherein he proceeded to "brutally rape" the woman before fleeing. After the attack, police went in search for 29-year-old Michael Bellah, and arrested him.

The Sheriff's Department blamed the lack of resources due to recent public funding cuts. “There isn’t a day go by that we don’t have another victim,” said Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson. In Josephine County, 80 percent of sheriff’s deputies lost their jobs when the cuts were made. The few that remain cannot respond to emergency calls during the evening or on weekends.

“How is it that there were no officers available to assist the woman who was about be raped, but they did have officers available to go and arrest the man after the rape? The police department should be sued for their failure to protect a tax paying citizen,” Julia Mason, 28, of Portland, Oregon said after she was asked what she thought about the police who failed to help a woman who was about to become a rape victim.

After the government budget cuts, which occurred before the rape incident, Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson said in a press release that victims of domestic violence should "consider relocating to an area with adequate police services."

Bellah was charged with Kidnapping, sex abuse, stangulation and theft among other things. His bail was set at $437,500.

Read more on: oregon, Police cuts, and rape
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