Article by Bill Dolan Published on nwitimes.com June 3rd, 2018 – Click here for the full article. Image as shown – Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter Poses with deputy prosecutors of the Special Victims Unit, from left, Infinity Baulos, Nadia Wardrip, Samantha Wuletich and Maryam Afshar.
Photo by John J. Watkins, The Times
Fighting For the Victims
Lake County prosecutor takes on sex crimes with a new zeal and an all-female trial attorney team
CROWN POINT — Four women have been given the job of bringing Lake County’s sexual offenders to justice.
Lake County Deputy Prosecutors Maryam Afshar, Infinity Baulos, Nadia Wardrip and Samantha Wuletich have been called in to attend to law enforcement’s prior neglect of past rapes and ensure future investigations are more compassionate and zealous.
“From here on out, we have removed the discretion from police,” Wardrip said. “Previously, a detective could choose to bring the case to the prosecutor or not. We have removed that.
“Going forward, within 72 hours of the detectives concluding their key witness interviews and gathering crucial evidence, they have to bring us the case. One of the four of us will decide whether charges are appropriate or not.”
The office has filed an average of six felony cases a month in Lake Criminal Court since 2015. Wardrip said those numbers likely will rise now. “Because we’ve learned a lot of these detectives have not been bringing us cases that should have been presented to us,” she said.
One such case was a complaint by a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by three men with whom she had been drinking alcohol in a Merrillville apartment. The victim went to a hospital, underwent a medical examination, the evidence was put in a rape kit, which was put aside and gathered dust, untested, for three and a half years.
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