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Their advocacy for victims also leads them to educate.
Lisa Friel conducted a training session for sexual assault forensic examiners and told them, “Please don’t use the word alleged. “If I walk into a hospital saying I have a stomach ache, you are not going to write in your medical record she alleges she had stomach pain.” Alexenko, the victim whose case was solved 15 years later, felt it was her “karmic duty to help other people.” She started Natasha’s Justice Project, an organization to empower provide financial support for the processing of rape kits, many of which still lie untested in cities around the country.
“There was no model for this work anywhere in America,” says Fairstein.
“We were teaching ourselves how to do this.” When they set up shop, the state of New York didn’t recognize marital rape as a crime, a victim’s account of the crime had to be corroborated [PDF] by an eyewitness and her sexual history was often used to undermine her complaint.
In the film, she shared her own story of being gang raped because “it happens to women everywhere,” she said.
The prosecutors Jackson profiles are every bit as dedicated and passionate as their fictional television counterparts.
Instead of indicting a suspect, he’d indict the criminal’s DNA.
Such a John Doe indictment meant that “if that person is subsequently picked up, he could be prosecuted,” said Morgenthau.
Jackson featuring the work of the unit of the New York County District Attorney's office dedicated to the prosecution of rape and sexual assault. The film "examines the history of injustice toward rape survivors, trails the unit through its investigations, tracks the case of a prostitute who dared cry rape, and follows one survivor's 16-year journey to justice".
Jackson and Alexenko bonded in the process of making the film.
“We are part of a survivors’ brigade that will never have a parade,” said Jackson.
as the film follows members of the unit dealing with several rape cases, notably a 20-year-old case which became the first "John Doe" conviction in which archived DNA from a rape kit was matched to a perpetrator later arrested for another crime.
Sex Crimes Unit has been widely praised by critics, with John Anderson of Variety calling it "the real thing" and continuing that "Sex Crimes Unit has drama, suspense, terrific personalities and a great deal of heart".
In 1974, former Manhattan District Attorney Robert M.