A judge ordered that a 17-year-old alleged rape victim continue to be held in a juvenile detention center while the option of fitting her with a GPS monitoring device is being investigated.
The unidentified girl has been at the Sacramento County Youth Detention Facility for nearly two weeks. A judge ordered the girl to be locked up on a material witness warrant in order to ensure she will appear in court for her alleged rapist’s trial.
“I can’t tell you how terribly sorry I am you’re in the circumstance you’re in,” Judge Lawrence G. Brown told the girl, who stood inside of a courtroom cage, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Brown told the girl he needed “to have every confidence you would in fact make your court appearances.”
The alleged victim did not show up at a preliminary hearing for Frank William Rackley or at the Feb. 28 trial, causing prosecutors to re-file the case and set an April 23 trial date.
A judge signed off on the teen, who is reportedly in the state’s foster system and has a history of running away, being held on a material witness warrant on March 14.
“The last thing we ever want to do is put a victim or a witness in custody, but when you have serious crimes of violence and a multiple offenses, you have to balance the protection of the community here,” Sacramento County Assistant District Attorney Albert Locher told ABCNews.com.
Rackley’s DNA was found on the girl after a rape examination, prosecutors said, according to The Associated Press.
The ex-convict has a criminal history in the area dating back to 1992, including a previous arrest for rape. Those charges were dropped, according to court documents.
Locher said the girl’s testimony was imperative and cited the potential public safety issue if Rackley is let go on the charges.
Material witness warrants are subject to judicial review every 10 days.
The girl’s next hearing was moved up to April 16 while authorities consider whether she can be released under the alternative scenarios proposed by her lawyer.