Wasilla charged rape victims for their own forensic exams under Mayor Sarah Palin?

(NOTE FROM JOHN: Seems some right-wingers are already out there saying that the Frontiersman isn’t a real paper, and that this is a Web site pretending to be a news site in order to attack Palin. Well, there’s this new thing out there. It’s called “the Google.” If one uses it one would find that the Frontiersman is the local Wasilla paper, and has been around since 1947. This article was published in the year 2000, so it wasn’t a swipe at Palin at all – that was 8 years before she was chosen for VP. It just so happens that the article inadvertently gives us a rather nasty window into Sarah Palin and the priorities of her city government.)

I couldn’t even believe this article, it’s so creepy and out there. But in fact, Palin was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska from 1996 to 2002. And according to an Alaskan news article in the local Wasilla paper in the year 2000, the City of Wasilla, under Mayor Palin, charged rape victims for their own forensic tests. Most Alaskan municipalities picked up the tab themselves, but not Wasilla, the article notes. You see, the city of Wasilla, the article notes, didn’t want to “burden” taxpayers with having to support victims of rape. Yes, they were more interested in lowering taxes. It would have cost the city between $5,000 and $14,000 a year to pay for the rape victims’ police medical exams. And if the City of Wasilla, circa the year 2000, wants to go there in terms of balancing rape vs, burdening taxpayers, you should know that each and every Alaskan gets a check from the state government each year, it contains their portion of that year’s oil revenues. The latest check, I read, was for over $2,000. I think the citizens of Wasilla had the money.

From the Frontiersman:

Gov. Tony Knowles recently signed legislation protecting victims of sexual assault from being billed for tests to collect evidence of the crime, but one local police chief said the new law will further burden taxpayers.

The governor signed House Bill 270, sponsored by Rep. Eric Croft, D-Anchorage, outside the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) exam room at Alaska Regional Hospital. In attendance at the signing were members of victims advocate groups, law enforcement agencies and legislators.

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 weve charged the cost of exams to the victims insurance company when possible. I just dont want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer, Fannon said.

According to Fannon, the new law will cost the Wasilla Police Department approximately $5,000 to $14,000 a year to collect evidence for sexual assault cases.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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