Limburg police apologize to rape victim for not believing her: report

Dutch police
A sign hanging in front of a Dutch police post. April 30, 2006Photo: M.M.Minderhoud via Michiel1972Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA

The police in Limburg sent a letter of apology to a woman who was raped by a patient of a psychiatric prison who was on unaccompanied leave in December 2016. While being questioned after reporting the rape, the then 21-year-old woman was put under pressure by two sex crime detectives who did not believe her, The Volkskrant reports.

The victim told her story to the Volkskrant on Saturday and the newspaper also studied the official documents on this case and transcripts of her questioning. The detectives doubted her statements and repeatedly asked her if she really wanted to go through with the declaration, according to the newspaper. They questioned her for over 6 hours.

"Sometimes it is also a cry for attention", one of them said. "Or you see that something is going on mentally." She was also asked: "What kind of experience do ou have with penises? You said the penis was limp, but you're going to gag." And: "Or are there other things going on? With you or someone else. Then try to indicate that now. The police will do further investigation. If it turns out that something is not true in your story, then I am afraid that it will have real consequences for you, but also the investigation."

In a letter of apology to the woman, the detectives' team leader wrote that the two detectives acted "within the framework", but also that the victim's interests were "insufficiently taken into account" and that he "deeply regrets the course of events". 

The perpetrator was arrested in psychiatric prison De Rooyse Wissel in Oostrum for this rape, based on a DNA match. After his arrest, the police asked the victim and her family to keep quiet about the rape, because the involvement of a psychiatric prisoner "is very sensitive", according to the newspaper.