State leaders look at SANE Program - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State leaders look at SANE Program

November 19, 2003
Albany-This sexual assault survivor boldly tells the story that is her life's nightmare.

She's doing it because she wants these state leaders to know the importance of the SANE program. As a SANE nurse, Rinne Tetrault conducts sexual assault exams, often the most important evidence in this kind of case. But before Q-tips and swabs, comes compassion.

"I come to them, you survived," Tetrault said. "You made it. You're here, you're still breathing, you're alive."

These state leaders were here to find out more about this program that has had such good results. Since 1998, the prosecution rate of sexual offenders in Dougherty County has gone from below 50 percent to 95 percent. The program is running off its second 4-year grant. Hopefully its success will generate more money when the grant is up.

"The SANE program, which costs very little money, less than $100,000 dollars a year to run here in Dougherty County, is such a win for the county and for the victims."

But the program's job is bigger than just Dougherty County. The SANE nurses serve a 20 county area.

"Our evidence, our exams and our pictures that we take show juries exactly what kind of person did this."

So every time Rinne performs an exam, she's helping put rapists behind bars and helping their victims become survivors.

posted at 9:45 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com