Wasilla Paper: Under Mayor Palin, Rape Victims Charged for Own Forensic Tests

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An interesting catch by the folks over at AMERICAblog. They found an article from the Wasilla newspaper dated May 23, 2000, that notes the city of Wasilla was one of a few Alaskan municipalities that charged women claiming to have been raped for their own forensic tests. As you probably know by now, Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla from 1996-2002.

[Governor Tony Knowles] signed House Bill 270… The new law makes it illegal for any law enforcement agency to bill victims or victims insurance companies for the costs of examinations that take place to collect evidence of a sexual assault or determine if a sexual assault did occur…

While the Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies have covered the cost of exams, which cost between $300 to $1,200 apiece, the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests.

Wasilla Police Chief Charlie Fannon does not agree with the new legislation, saying the law will require the city and communities to come up with more funds to cover the costs of the forensic exams.

“In the past we’ve charged the cost of exams to the victims insurance company when possible. I just don’t want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer,” Fannon said.

In the article, Fannon admits that halting the practice of charging alleged rape victims for their own tests would cost the city… wait for it… $5,000 to $14,000 a year.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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