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Rape Verdict

November 26, 1989

In response to "Judge Negates $7.5 Million for Victim of Rape," Metro, Nov. 16:

Let me get this straight. A man rapes a severely brain-damaged woman and she becomes pregnant. Her case goes to trial, the jury finds in her favor and then the judge negates the verdict.

Judge David M. Schacter admits wrong was done to Andrea Nerpel but says her attorney couldn't prove she suffered damage. Since when is a rape not damage to a woman? She may not have been mentally aware that she was raped, or able to tell about it. But she was physically violated nonetheless. This physical violation of her body resulted in a pregnancy. This is in itself proof that she was raped. Possibly she was raped on more than one occasion when one considers the probability of a pregnancy occurring from one rape.

Schacter states there was not enough evidence to prove negligence on the part of the nursing home. This may be debatable but, there is no lack of evidence that Andrea Nerpel suffered damage from the rape. She was violated and became pregnant by a man who did not have her consent.

I ask Judge Schacter, can all women who are either temporarily or permanently unable to say no expect the same verdict? Suppose his daughter passed out, was raped, couldn't remember the incident and then became pregnant. Would she also have suffered no damage?

CAROL A. JOHNSON, Long Beach

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