Letter to the editor: Failing victims, community

To the editor:

One of the victims of serial rapist Cory Elkins has shared her thoughts with me in what she calls an open letter to Jean Gilles Phillips, director of the University of Kansas School of Law’s Innocence Project, Douglas County District Attorney Suzanne Valdez and Senior Assistant District Attorney David Greenwald. I believe, with her permission, that it’s worth sharing with your readership:

I am disgusted with the lack of professionalism displayed by the law school and the district attorney’s office. Did either of these entities do any due diligence? I think not. Had either done a proper investigation, they would have found a number of criminal violations including assaults on women beyond the two that faced Elkins in court. In fact, Elkins was found through CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) because of a domestic violence charge in California.

Had his rape victims been given notice of the resentencing hearing, as directed by the Kansas Constitution and Kansas statutes, would matters have turned out differently? We will never know.

You say you chose not to notify the victims because it might re-traumatize them. It is you who have re-traumatized them by not notifying them and giving them a chance to process the fact that their rapist is getting out 20 years early because you fought for his release.

Be prepared. Elkins will be out of prison in 2025 and you may have a serial rapist in your community once again. You have put your community, the students at the University of Kansas, yourselves and all citizens in danger.

Sarah Spellman,

Medford, New Jersey


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