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."
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2 comments

"money does not play a role in the decision to pursue or terminate an investigation." Why don't you give me a break already. "Money plays no role..." ... who are you kidding?

Cletus - you are so right. I think Dave Chapman has had the crap scared out of him due to the Duke/Nifong mess and the city doesn't want to pay to finish this off. But here, we have a real rape. A gang rape, at that. They obviously have some evidence, but don't want to spend the money to investigate further, leaving a gaping hole in this case. As for Beebe, he got a deal to cooperate. So, where's his cooperation? This smells rotten all the way around and this victim will never find the peace she deserves.

Perhaps the University is pressuring Chapman and company to drop this thing.