A lawyer for the woman who accused Nelly of raping her in his tour bus has released an open letter asking the police to halt the investigation of the incident because she believes the system is stacked against her, the letter says.
"We do not live in a society where a 21-year-old college student can feel safe enough to pursue criminal charges against a celebrity for an alleged rape," begins lawyer Karen Koehler, in the letter acquired by Buzzfeed.
Koehler's client, a college student, said last Friday that Nelly assaulted her on his bus in a Walmart parking lot after his concert in Auburn, Washington. She immediately called 911 and gave her statement to police before being administered a rape test kit. Police took Nelly into custody on October 7, booked him for second-degree assault, and released him.
According to Koehler's letter, her client immediately started receiving texts upon returning home from the police station. She also received a phone call from a reporter trying to "befriend her."
"How did this reporter get my number…will echo through her mind," the letter says. "As she cries alone in her apartment with mounting hysteria, she will learn that the celebrity and his lawyer are issuing public statements that her 'allegation is devoid of credibility and is motivated by greed and vindictiveness.' That her agenda is 'money, fame and notoriety.' That she is making a 'dangerous, fraudulent allegation to accomplish her own goals.'"
Koehler claims that though police assured her client that her subsequent meetings with the police would remain confidential, the department went on to issue public statements about them.
Nelly took to Twitter last Saturday to proclaim his innocence. "And I assure you, I will pursue every legal option to address this defaming claim," he wrote.
The threat of legal action against the alleged victim is part of what Koehler said made her client wish she had never come forward. Now, all she wants is to try to return to school so she can graduate. "And this she cannot do if she remains hidden in her room, crying her heart out," the letter said.
Koehler concludes with an allusion to the Harvey Weinstein case on everyone's minds right now. "One day, maybe our world will change and thirty women will not be needed to (eventually) speak out against a celebrity who has hurt them in order to be believed. But that day has not yet come."
A spokesperson for the Auburn Police Department told Buzzfeed that they would continue their investigation, despite the alleged victim's statement that she will not testify against Nelly.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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