Vistain case ends in plea - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Vistain case ends in plea

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CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) -

The case of a Southern Illinois woman accused of falsely reporting sexual assault ended Friday with a plea. 

Melisa Vistain entered an Alford plea, meaning she maintains her innocence and stands by her account of the sexual violence, but realizes prosecutors might have been able to make a case against her. 

Here's a release from The Women's Center in Carbondale, IL. 

"For months, The Women’s Center in Carbondale, IL has publicly protested the felony charges against rape survivor Melisa Vistain, who was arrested in May 2012 for allegedly falsely reporting sexual assault. The case ended on Friday, June 28, 2013 with Vistain entering an Alford plea to avoid the potential trauma of a pending jury trial. Through this plea, Vistain maintains her innocence of the charges and stands by her account of the sexual violence she suffered when she was drugged and held captive for three days during March 2012. The Women’s Center continues to stand in support of Melisa Vistain and respects her decision regarding this plea.

Many times, rape victims do not report the violence committed against them due to the fear that they will not be believed or the threat of negative repercussions; Vistain’s case provides a prime example of the realities of these fears. Although the case against Vistain has ended, The Women’s Center continues to protest the hostile environment that exists for sexual assault survivors in Southern Illinois and wants all survivors of sexual violence to know that they are believed and supported.

The Women’s Center provides comprehensive services to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. All services are free and confidential. Crisis services can be accessed 24 hours a day by calling the hotline at 800.334.2094. For more information about The Women’s Center, including the shelter program, counseling, advocacy services, educational programming, community events or volunteer opportunities, or to make a financial contribution, please contact The Women’s Center at 618.549.4807 or visit www.thewomensctr.org."

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