Sexual violence : our war against rape
For more than fifteen years, Linda Fairstein has directed the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit within the Manhattan D.A.'s office. The first such organization in the country, this unit is charged with supervising every sex crimes prosecution in Manhattan. As a consequence Linda Fairstein and her associates have been at the very center of the massive changes in sex crimes law and procedure that have occurred over the past two decades. Emulated in most other major cities, New York's SCPU and its counterparts throughout the country have had extraordinary high success rates in prosecuting these violent crimes. Through their efforts, a victim of rape now can expect sensitive treatment from the police, can expect to be believed and supported, and has some reasonable expectation of winning in the courtroom. In Sexual Violence, Linda Fairstein shares the wisdom she has accumulated on the front lines in the war against rape, from her beginnings as a corporate law-bound female graduate of a prestigious law school to her job in the D.A.'s office at a time when criminal prosecution was "no place for a woman." Over the years, Linda Fairstein has personally tried or been involved in scores of nationally prominent rape cases, including the Robert Chambers Preppy Murder Trial and the case of the Central Park Jogger. She has been called upon to comment on virtually every significant sex crimes investigation in the country. Through the story of the Midtown Rapist case and other major investigations, she shows here how the system works to protect victims and punish criminals: how evidence is gathered, how witnesses are interviewed, how indictments are produced, and, finally, the nuts and bolts of trial, verdict, and sentencing. Sexual Violence is a living document of the transformation of our notion of sex crimes, an up-to-date commentary on the vital issues of stranger and date rape and the struggle to expunge the traditional stigma that has for too long been attached to victims of sexual assault.