The Baldwin County Commission has filed a civil complaint in Baldwin County Circuit Court against the female victim of an alleged sexual assault that took place in December 2015 at the county’s Residential Wilderness Program facility in north Baldwin County.
The complaint, filed June 13, alleges that the commission’s investigation into the allegation, as well as the defendant’s medical records, do not support the claim that she was raped by a 15-year-old camper. The complaint says the defendant — an employee at the camp — should not be entitled to the workers’ compensation benefits she sought after the incident. The complaint alleges the defendant fraudulently filed for workers’ compensation and asks the court to order her to repay the County Commission for the treatment and benefits she received.
“The commission felt very strongly that the medical evidence did not substantiate the claims she made,” Commissioner Chris Elliott said. “Our suit says, frankly, we don’t believe it happened and that a fraudulent claim was filed.”
Elliott said the county has compensated the alleged victim through its liability insurance carrier since the incident.
“With every claim there is an investigation, doctor visits and treatment and as we went through the process we felt more strongly about filing suit,” Elliott said.
Baldwin County District Attorney Hallie Dixon said her department continues to investigate the case as a rape. She said the evidence she has received from investigators substantiates the victim’s allegations enough for her office to continue to prosecute the case. She would not comment on whether or not the accused 15-year-old male remains in jail.
“I have a case in which senior law enforcement investigators with years of experience found it substantiated enough to make an arrest,” Dixon said.
“I’ve always been adamant that if the evidence shows allegations aren’t true, then we won’t continue to prosecute,” Dixon continued. “I’ve always honored the principal that as long as evidence shows it to be true, we will prosecute. If the evidence showed that it didn’t happen, we would not continue to progress with the prosecution.”
Dixon said she could not comment on specifics about the lawsuit, but did say they may be relying on initial emergency room records as a basis for the suit. She said the District Attorney’s office is waiting for its forensic evidence to come in.
“In general there are many instances of rape, sodomy or sexual assault where the victims don’t show physical trauma in the places a regular person would expect,” Dixon said. “Often we are talking about people with little to no experience investigating a rape from a law enforcement perspective. I have a case file that appears to substantiate what the victim has told us. I’m looking at all the evidence closely and very personally because I don’t want to prosecute someone who isn’t guilty. But I have not seen any proof the allegation was a lie.”
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