Editor’s note: This piece contains accounts of sexual assault.
A recent article regarding the Alec Cook sentencing mentioned the inadmissibility of notebooks found by Madison Police Department. More specifically, these notebooks were inadmissible because a Madison Police Department detective opened them despite the fact he was aware he was operating with a limited scope of consent.
This lack of evidence played an enormous role in Alec Cook’s brief, three-year prison sentence. Additionally, six women’s sexual assault allegations and 18 charges were dismissed — a clear result of MPD’s incompetence.
Like any other University of Wisconsin student, I frequent bars. After losing memory of an entire night despite normal alcohol consumption, I suspected I was drugged. I had a vague memory of coming home with a man, but I woke up alone and naked in my own bed, covered in bruises, hickeys and cuts.
I reported this to MPD and let them take the reins. The MPD detective assigned to my case — the same detective who worked Cook’s case and was responsible for opening Cook’s notebooks — kept me updated frequently. Everything appeared to be investigated to my satisfaction. It wasn’t until I obtained the police report that I found several things awry.
MPD officers had asked me if I regularly participated in rough sex — a question that is neither appropriate nor relevant to my assault. I noticed that the detective assigned to my case told the DNA analyst processing my evidence to cease investigation due to a “lack of probable cause” — something that should instead have been determined by the district attorney.
I also noticed that upon my complaint, another detective reinvestigated my case and noted that my detective did not document all of my paperwork. The detective assigned to my case failed to provide photographs from my forensic exam to other analysts, instead opting to provide photographs I had taken myself. The detective also stated in his report that he could not understand when I had stopped providing consent to the man.
These shortcomings appear to show a pattern of irresponsible and inept policing — not only on this detective’s part, but also by MPD at-large. A private employer holds their employees, if not themselves, accountable. Yet when I asked my detective’s supervisor who would be taking responsibility for my mishandled situation, he said that my detective was no longer employed by MPD and therefore could not provide a sanction, such as suspension or a warning.
MPD’s claims of “performing [their] work with the highest degree of honesty, integrity and professionalism” is preposterous. Congratulations on encouraging women to come forward to receive the consequential equivalent of a middle finger.
MPD’s biggest fan
This student’s name has been left anonymous to protect the identity of sexual assault survivors.