New rape crisis center will open soon - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New rape crisis center will open soon

April 2, 2007

Albany--  The Dougherty County District Attorney's office says sexual crime happens more than you think. A new crisis center in the works could help the victims of those crimes cope and catch the criminals faster.

The SANE Program has been in existence in Dougherty County since 1998. Nurse examiners perform exams on victims of sexual assault. About 200 exams a year have to be performed on victims ranging in age from 6-months-old to 67 years old.

Those services will soon be expanded to a building at the corner of 3rd Avenue and Jackson. The Lily Pad SANE Center will be a regional sexual assault center with 24-7 advocacy and counseling.

The center will also give victims a more centralized private place to be interviewed and examined.

"Everything will be on site. Exams will be on site. Forensic interviewing will be on site. Interviews are included in a sexual assault exam anyway. It's just that currently they're not audio taped or videotaped. This facility will allow for that," said SANE Program Director Rinne Tetrault.

"The wonderful thing about the SANE Program is the evidence that it provides speaks a lot louder than the victim's silence later on," said Dougherty Assistant District Attorney Christopher Cohilas.

The evidence helps prosecutors get convictions for some of the worst offenders. They hope to open the center by July 1st.

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