Ghosts of rape past: Can a survivor find solace in return to the crime scene?
Updated 12:31 PM ET, Mon November 16, 2015
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Tallahassee, Florida (CNN)On game day, 70,000 football fans pack Doak Campbell Stadium to watch Florida State roar to victory. I wait for the post-party quiet of the following morning to wander through campus with Maria, knowing that a return to this place could be risky.
This narrative of a gang rape on the campus of Florida State University in 1988 was pieced together through hundreds of pages of documents and more than a dozen interviews.
CNN reporter Moni Basu contacted the survivor of the rape through her former attorney, Dean LeBoeuf. Then Basu began a series of conversations with her that culminated in the survivor's return to the FSU campus in Tallahassee for the first time since the attack 27 years ago.
Basu interviewed the district attorney who oversaw the case and an assistant district attorney who prosecuted it; the attorney for defendant Daniel Oltarsh, a Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity member who served time for the rape; FSU professors; the lead police investigator; and the victim's counselor. Basu requested an interview with Oltarsh but his lawyer did not respond to follow-up calls. She also reached out to a fraternity brother who cooperated with the police in exchange for immunity and to two other fraternity members who were indicted. The attempts to reach them were not successful.
Basu also examined hundreds of pages of case files at the Leon County Courthouse in Tallahassee, including the grand jury report and the rape survivor's deposition, as well as archival material at FSU's Strozier Library.