NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - After a mishandled sexual assault case, Norfolk's police chief announced changes to the division's sexual assault procedure last week.
10 On Your Side interviewed the victim and her mother last year when the incident was reported. The women accused Norfolk Police of dropping the ball, saying detectives did not believe the victim and ruled her case unfounded.
Several months later, the victim saw the man who raped her on television -- he had been arrested for raping two other women in Virginia Beach. She called Norfolk Police and they reopened her case.
In a letter to Norfolk city officials last Thursday, Norfolk Police Chief Mike Goldsmith outlined a revised sexual assault procedure where sexual assault cases can no longer be classified as unfounded unless that is proved they are untrue.
"As soon as I became aware of the inappropriate treatment of the rape victim, I undertook a review of the Special Crimes division and the procedures investigators use to assist sexual assault victims," wrote Goldsmith in the letter. "The development of a revised sexual assault plan took place in March 2013."
The new policy also includes making sure victims are taken to a hospital and given a sexual assault exam within 72 hours of the incident. It allows victims to have a rape crisis advocate and a family member or friend present during the police interview.
Goldsmith also outlined a change in the department's police training. Part of the training will now include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and rape trauma.
"Most of these have been happening, but this is just a reminder," said Norfolk Police spokesperson Chris Amos.
WAVY.com asked Amos what happened to the detectives who mishandled the rape case last year.
"That's a personnel issue, so we can't say what's happened to them other than they aren't investigating sexual assault crimes anymore," Amos said.
Amos also said that in his 26 years on the force, no police chief has ever come down harder on an issue than Goldsmith has on this one.
The victim did not want to speak about the revised procedure, but her mother told WAVY.com on the phone they believe this is just something he said to appease people.
The suspect in the case is Roy Laredo, who is serving 36 years in prison for the Norfolk rape.
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