The Provability Gap An in-depth news series about the handling and mishandling of sexual assault cases in Austin and Central Texas. Travis County law enforcement responded to more than 600 adult sexual assault allegations in 2017, according to the Travis County District Attorney. That same year, only one person was found guilty by a jury. And that case wasn't from Austin. Even though an overwhelming majority of these assaults – 496 – were reported to the Austin Police Department, none made it to trial in all of 2017. Community advocates have long argued the number of prosecutions for sexual assaults is too low, but it was only after a swell of negative news – from DNA lab closures to misclassified police reports to class-action lawsuits – that city leaders began to take a deeper look. More people are starting to question whether the criminal justice system is really set up to protect rape victims. KUT's Nadia Hamdan spent the last few months speaking with more than a dozen people within the sphere of sexual assault, interviewing victims, advocates, detectives, prosecutors, lawyers and academics. One thing was clear: Creating a system that is survivor-focused won't be easy.
The Provability Gap
KUT

The Provability Gap

From KUT 90.5

An in-depth news series about the handling and mishandling of sexual assault cases in Austin and Central Texas. Travis County law enforcement responded to more than 600 adult sexual assault allegations in 2017, according to the Travis County District Attorney. That same year, only one person was found guilty by a jury. And that case wasn't from Austin. Even though an overwhelming majority of these assaults – 496 – were reported to the Austin Police Department, none made it to trial in all of 2017. Community advocates have long argued the number of prosecutions for sexual assaults is too low, but it was only after a swell of negative news – from DNA lab closures to misclassified police reports to class-action lawsuits – that city leaders began to take a deeper look. More people are starting to question whether the criminal justice system is really set up to protect rape victims. KUT's Nadia Hamdan spent the last few months speaking with more than a dozen people within the sphere of sexual assault, interviewing victims, advocates, detectives, prosecutors, lawyers and academics. One thing was clear: Creating a system that is survivor-focused won't be easy.

Most Recent Episodes

The Provability Gap, Part 4: The Public

Should all the responsibility for the poor track record of getting justice for rape survivors fall on police and prosecutors? Or should city leaders ... and the community at large, also carry some of the blame?

The Provability Gap, Part 3: The Prosecutor

Even though it can sometimes take more than a year for a sexual assault case to make it through the system, many in the community, including the district attorney, believe the number of cases making it to trial is far too small.

The Provability Gap, Part 2: The Police

Hundreds of adult sexual assaults are reported to the Austin Police Department each year, but only a tiny fraction of these cases will make it before a jury. The question is: why? It's something we're exploring in our series, The Provability Gap. In the second part of the series, KUT's Nadia Hamdan looks at some of the ways police may be failing sexual assault victims.

The Provability Gap, Part 1: The Victim

Hundreds of rape victims report to Austin police each year. But most of them never make it past the interrogation room – let alone to a courtroom. In the age of #MeToo, a growing number of people in the community are questioning why so many of these crimes go unpunished, and they're pressuring local leaders for an answer. In a new series, KUT's Nadia Hamdan will try to help us understand what it is about sexual assault that makes it so difficult to prosecute.

Series Trailer

This new series explores how sexual assaults are investigated and prosecuted in Central Texas and why many of these crimes go unpunished. KUT's Nadia Hamdan has frank conversations with victims, survivors, detectives, prosecutors, lawyers and others as she explores the reasons for the provability gap in sexual assault cases.

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