Special Olympics named in lawsuit over alleged rape

A plaintiff says her daughter was assaulted at a Boise event in a case Ada prosecutors say won't be pursued.

Idaho Statesmankmoeller@idahostatesman.comJune 21, 2013 

0211 so ski medals15

Medals awarded to athletes at Bogus Basin ski area at the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

DARIN OSWALD — Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

The suit, which cites multiple defendants, was filed in Lewiston's 2nd District Court by Diane McIntyre of Lewiston and the alleged victim's husband.

According to the lawsuit, McIntyre's 27-year-old daughter, who has Asperger's syndrome, was raped by a 26-year-old Lewiston man July 16, 2011, during a Special Olympics event in Boise where both were competing.

No criminal charges will be filed, according to the Ada County prosecutor's office. Attorney Jean Fisher screened the case.

"I determined we couldn't prove the elements beyond a reasonable doubt," Fisher told the Statesman Thursday.

The alleged perpetrator was a sex offender as a juvenile and was listed in the state's sex offender database, according to Dawn Peck, manager of the Idaho's Bureau of Criminal Identification. When juvenile sex offenders turn 21, they are expunged from the juvenile registry unless the court orders the person continue to be listed in the adult registry, Peck said.

MULTIPLE AGENCIES INVESTIGATED

Lewiston Police Capt. Roger Lanier said Lewiston police assisted the Boise Police Department in the investigation and all their information was forwarded to Boise.

Boise Police Department spokeswoman Lynn Hightower declined to release any information about the case.

The Clarkston, Wash., Police Department also was involved in the investigation because McIntyre took her daughter to be examined for evidence of rape at Tri-State Memorial Hospital in Clarkston.

Clarkston Police Sgt. Dan Combs said Thursday that he took a report about the incident that the family said occurred at a dance at Timberline High School in Boise.

McIntyre told the Statesman this week that none of the investigating agencies did an in-depth interview with her daughter, and they were too slow to follow up with witnesses - all of whom are mentally challenged.

"I wasn't expecting 'Law & Order SVU.' I was expecting a little more diligence on their part, a little bit more understanding of what type of people they were dealing with," McIntyre said.

She said the alleged perpetrator told many people that he'd raped her daughter and that he'd done something similar in the past. Her daughter has since gained 50 pounds and has been prescribed an antidepressant.

"It has affected her relationship with her husband," McIntyre said of her daughter, who was engaged at the time. "She still has panic attacks in public. She has a therapy dog and doesn't go many places on her own."

The Statesman has filed public record requests for reports from all three police departments involved.

SAFETY POLICIES

The lawsuit says Special Olympics was negligent in not protecting vulnerable adults.

Special Olympics is a nonprofit that provides free athletic training and competitions for adults and children with intellectual disabilities.

Laurie La Follette, CEO of Special Olympics Idaho, said Wednesday that the organization hadn't been served with a complaint. She said via email that the group has safety policies in place, including background checks on volunteers.

LaFollette said the athlete in question is not currently listed as a sex offender "nor have any criminal charges been filed against this athlete."

Other defendants in the suit are the accused rapist, Lewis-Clark Special Olympics, Michelle Allen of the Lewis-Clark Special Olympics and Special Olympics Inc.

The suit seeks more than $10,000 in damages, or an amount to be determined at trial.

Katy Moeller: 377-6413; Lewiston Tribune reporter Kevin Gaboury contributed to this report.

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