Lynn contacted me at the beginning of the month about this article and sharing Kelly Lowe’s story with the world. Rape kits are collected at the time of the assault and when tested, DNA evidence contained inside rape kits can be an incredibly powerful tool to solve and prevent crime. It can identify an unknown assailant and confirm the presence of a known suspect. It can affirm the survivor’s account of the attack and discredit the suspect. It can connect the suspect to other crime scenes. It can exonerate innocent suspects.
To accomplish these things, however, rape kits must be tested.
The federal government estimates that hundreds of thousands of rape kits sit untested in police and crime lab storage facilities across the country in what is known as the rape kit backlog. Our local news channel was running a story at the time on the amount of rape kits that were waiting to be tested in Virginia. The numbers are absolutely staggering.
Join with us and help ALL women in the United States get the justice that they deserve. End the back log. Here is Kelly’s story as told by Lynn Hardy.
Mark Jernigan, the only DA in Roscommon County, Michigan, told Kelly Lowe, “No jury will convict this man of rape when you (Kelly) left your husband and two boys at home to go out drinking with your sister.”
Kelly asked, “Are you saying that if a married woman goes out and gets drunk without her husband that she deserves to be raped?”
The prosecuting attorney chuckled and said nothing.
Despite the compelling evidence, Kelly is refused a trial:
- Rape kit verifies assault
- Blood on clothes because Kelly punched him in the nose
- Eye witnesses who came running when they heard Kelly yell and saw the rapist running from the room with a bloody nose
- The rapist confesses as the police record the conversation
- The lieutenant of the reporting officer asks the DA to prosecute
Can this really be happening in the twenty-first century in one of the most progressive countries in the world? This is the time people have dreamed of for centuries: It is 2015, yet this injustice continues.
This is Kelly’s story:
In 2014, Kelly and her sister gathered at their mom’s house for the first time in many years. On Dec. 26:
- The kids were all tucked in bed
- The bags were all packed
Kelly and her husband had been fighting during the week. Her sister suggested they go out for a girls’ night and get a few drinks. This upset Kelly’s husband and they had an argument.
Kelly and her sister went out…Kelly got really hammered. Not wanting to witness another argument, her sister insisted on going to the house of some guys she knew from high school. Kelly puked on the front lawn. Her sister helped her into the only bedroom downstairs where she helped Kelly puke in a bowl. Other people were in the living room as Kelly was passed out cold in a bedroom while her sister went upstairs with a friend.
Kelly woke with a guy on top of her and inside her. She screamed and punched him in the nose. The guy got off and said, “I think you broke my nose,” and ran out of the room.
Her sister and the other owner of the house heard Kelly yelling and came running downstairs. They saw the rapist running from the room with a bloody nose.
A rape report was filed and a rape kit confirmed the attack, along with the eye witnesses who saw the assailant fleeing the room with a bloody nose. Blood on Kelly’s clothes provided DNA evidence identifying the attacker. The police have a phone call recorded with the rapist admitting to his crime.
After the conversation with Mark Jernigan, the prosecuting attorney in Roscommon County, told Kelly pursued this with the state attorney general, who said, “The prosecuting attorney is just making a strategic opinion.”
“That’s not justice,” Kelly said.
The state attorney general replied, “That’s your opinion.”
“I would hate for the press to get a hold of this story…” Kelly said.
“Go right ahead,” said the state attorney general, sounding cocky as hell.
When discussing her attack with me, Kelly Lowe said, “I proudly served in Afghanistan because I believed in this country. To come home and be told that my case wasn’t going to be prosecuted because ‘no jury would side with a woman who leaves her husband and son to go drink with her sister,’ was more devastating than the actual rape itself. They were saying that because I was a wife and mother who had drinks with her sister, I deserved to be raped, and I didn’t deserve a trial or justice. The man who raped me walks away free.”
Kelly also said, “Going through a rape kit and detailing the events to policemen was one of the most humiliating things I’ve had to do in my life.” True to her fighting spirit, Kelly is willing to tell her story in public as she fights for justice for all women!
Surely there is something we can do to help Kelly fight this battle. I have added my voice to hers in the only way I knew how: I created a Facebook Event as a rallying point with the hope of gathering enough support that the media will pick up the story.
Will you join the fight for a trial for Kelly?
Click Here to find the “Hold HIM Accountable” event on Facebook.
About Lynn Hardy
I am a #1 Amazon Kindle Bestselling author for my fantasy romance series, Prophecy of the Flame. Last year, I was led to write a nonfiction book, Angels Believe in You.
At lunch the day after I started the Facebook event, my husband asked why I was willing to put so much effort into something like this. At first, I insisted that it was because it was the right thing to do.
Moments later, as we continued discussing this, it hit me like a ton of bricks: I was a victim of DATE RAPE – it is how I lost my virginity. It is the darkest part of my journey illustrated in the book Angels Believe in You. I didn’t want to start the book out that way, but I was led to add it after I had already completed most of the manuscript. If I hadn’t written about it so recently, I may not have connected the two events.
After hearing Kelly’s story and talking with her, all I knew was that somewhere deep inside a strong urging compelled me to do all that I could to help get justice for Kelly – thanks to the questioning of my husband, now I know where that came from. Not only because it is right, but for VICTORY for EVERY WOMAN who has been raped and who didn’t get justice.
I hope you will join with us: Together we can shine a light helping women across this nation! Click here to join the Facebook event and add your voice.