In Brief: Louisiana's Rape Problem Is Also a Cop Problem

"You performed oral sex on him the night before. So the thing is this: What motive would he have to put a date rape drug in your drink?"

That's what East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office Sgt. Jacques Jackson told Lyndsi Lambert. Lambert had asked the police officer why he didn't take a urine sample or do a toxicology test on her blood to determine whether or not she had been drugged the night she said she was raped. The New Orleans Times-Picayune is publishing a series of stories by Diana Samuels about Lambert's case, and it will make you feel skeevy.

That quote up top from Jackson is from a recording Lambert made of her October 15, 2014 interaction with the cop when she was following up to see what he was doing to arrest the man she accused of rape. Unlike other fucked-up things Jackson said while initially interviewing Lambert at Woman's Hospital of Baton Rouge on September 26, this is not Lambert relating what Jackson said. It's Jackson. It's a cop telling a possible rape victim that she couldn't have been raped. You can hear the recording at the newspaper's website.

Lambert angrily tells Jackson that she gave him a motive in their first meeting: "She said she had told the [alleged rapist] after the one time they had sexual intercourse, about a week and a half before the alleged rape, that the sex wasn't good."

On the recording, Jackson argues, "You didn't tell me that." The report that Jackson filed on the case on September 27 reads, "She indicated that a possible motive...was because he was upset that she told him that he was not good in bed."

Let's put aside whether or not the rape took place. Ask yourself: Should Lambert have been treated like this? Should she have been accused, as she was, of lying because she had exchanged sexy texts with the man? Should it have taken five months to test her blood for potential drugs that would have impaired Lambert? And, really, what the fuck is wrong with Louisiana?

As columnist Jarvis DeBerry points out, to say that this was a case of police doing their jobs in the course of an investigation is bullshit at best, insidious at worst: "If police routinely did their jobs, we wouldn't have seen the story last year about five New Orleans police officers who failed to even write reports for 86 percent of the almost 1,300 sexual assault or child-abuse calls they were assigned.

Lambert says that, in the hospital that first day, she broke down crying while talking to Jackson. "Are you done? Can we move on?" she says Jackson asked her. Obviously, that's what the cops around Baton Rouge want to do.

Check out the series so far. Tomorrow, Samuels writes about how arrests for rapes have declined in East Baton Rouge parish. It wouldn't be wrong to wonder if it's because women know how they'll be treated by the cops.