12-step rape case investigation on hold
Eight months after a prosecutor in what's become known as the "12-step rape case" announced in court that William N. Beebe was not the only assailant in a 1984 sexual assault in a UVA fraternity house and strongly hinted that other arrests would follow, the investigation has been put on hold.
"There is not enough evidence to prosecute at this time," according to Liz Seccuro, who was a 17-year-old first year UVA student in October 1984 when she was sexually assaulted in the Phi Kappa Psi house by then 19-year-old Beebe. He pled guilty to sexual battery in December 2006.
Seccuro says in an email to the Hook that she learned the status of the investigation during a conference call this morning that included Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo and Charlottesville deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Claude Worrell. Worrell confirms the investigation is on hold but declines further comment. Longo did not immediately return the Hook's call.
Seccuro, who has long contended that more than one person assaulted her, says investigators believe there was a "roomful of people who witnessed one of the rapes, but we cannot put together a timeline."
The news came hours after the Hook sent its July 5 issue to press. In an article in this week's print edition, Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman says that while conducting a national– or international– investigation is a financial strain for a small locality, money does not play a role in the decision to pursue or terminate an investigation.
Seccuro says she will now focus her energy on advocating for other victims of sexual assault, but she points out that the case remains open and– as Mr. Beebe learned the hard way– that there is no statute of limitations on rape or any other felony in Virginia.
"We remain hopeful," she says, "that one person with ethics and a conscience will one day come forward."