SACRAMENTO, CA - A 17-year-old alleged rape victim was released from custody Monday after Sacramento County prosecutors had her detained in juvenile hall to ensure her testimony as a witness.
The teen, who was detained for nearly a month, must now wear a GPS device on her ankle to to make sure she appears at future court dates.
"This case has charted, thankfully rare, legal territory," said Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lawrence G. Brown.
"It represented the difficult balancing of protecting the community against an alleged violent criminal and ensuring the integrity of the court subpoena process of a critical witness," said Brown.
During the court appearance, Brown apologized to the teen.
"I hope that you've been strengthened by the outpouring and support and concern for you by the community in recent weeks," Brown said.
"You've demonstrated great courage for a young woman and may you continue to do so in the upcoming trial of Mr. Rackley."
Frank Rackley Sr., 37, is charged with sexually assaulting the teen in July 2011.
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Amina Merrett, who is a law guardian for the teen in a juvenile dependency case, said the teen should not have been detained.
"I do believe that there were less extreme measures to obtain her statement. When we have witnesses, who are minors in juvenile court, we're able to preserve their testimony right away when something happens and not have them have to
come in person and testify," said Merrett.