Dig

Dig

Author: Louisville Public Media

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A woman told Louisville police she was raped in January 2018. She expected them to quickly try to arrest the suspect. But an officer on the scene that night didn’t seem to believe her. The detectives weren’t convinced that a crime occurred. And a prosecutor rejected the case well before an arrest was even under consideration.


In the first season of Dig, a new podcast from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, we bring you the results of a yearlong look at how rape cases are investigated in Louisville. What we’ve learned: here, the police defer to prosecutors on rape cases -- and prosecutors reject the vast majority of cases presented to them. Due to this unusual relationship, most people accused of rape here will never face consequences. Most won’t be arrested or convicted. And the case will be closed anyway.



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6 Episodes
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Dig Season 1 Trailer

Dig Season 1 Trailer

2019-11-2000:01:351

A woman told Louisville police she was raped in January 2018. She expected them to quickly try to arrest the suspect. But an officer on the scene that night didn’t seem to believe her. The detectives weren’t convinced that a crime occurred. And a prosecutor rejected the case well before an arrest was even under consideration. In the first season of Dig, a new podcast from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, we bring you the results of a yearlong look at how rape cases are investigated in Louisville. What we’ve learned: here, the police defer to prosecutors on rape cases -- and prosecutors reject the vast majority of cases presented to them. Due to this unusual relationship, most people accused of rape here will never face consequences. Most won’t be arrested or convicted. And the case will be closed anyway. Donate to support this and future seasons of Dig.
Prosecution Declined

Prosecution Declined

2019-12-0500:25:171

Episode 1: Jen Sainato reported a rape to Louisville police in January 2018. She didn’t feel like they believed her. Jen’s case puts a spotlight on police response to rapes, the prosecutors’ unusual role in rape cases here in Louisville, and how it feels to the people who report. (Note: There are descriptions of a rape, and audio from a police body camera on the scene of a rape investigation, throughout this episode.) Donate to support this and future seasons of Dig.
The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

2019-12-0500:23:252

Episode 2: Jen Sainato reported a rape to Louisville police in January 2018. In this episode, we hear about her attempts over the next two years to follow up on her case. And we ask LMPD why cases like Jen’s seem to be taken to the prosecutor’s office so early - sometimes before suspects have even been interviewed. (Note: This episode includes brief descriptions of multiple rape reports.) Donate to support this and future seasons of Dig.
Harder to Prove

Harder to Prove

2019-12-0500:22:211

Episode 3: Louisville officials say rape cases are hard to prosecute. They are not wrong. But we talked with police, prosecutors and experts from around the country who told us it’s not impossible — you just have to be willing to lose a few trials. (Note: This episode includes a series of brief descriptions of sexual violence from courtroom recordings throughout the 14th and 15th minutes, and again in the 17th and 18th minutes.) Donate to support this and future seasons of Dig.
Cleared By Exception

Cleared By Exception

2019-12-0500:20:391

Episode 4: In the final episode of this investigation, we learn more about Jen Sainato’s rape case - why it was closed, and how much evidence the police really had against the man she says raped her. (Note: This episode includes description of a rape and injuries sustained from a rape.) Donate to support this and future seasons of Dig.
It’s been two months since we released the first season of Dig. And a lot has changed: city leaders are calling the police department to account, and there have been some changes in Jen Sainato’s rape case that we did not see coming. Visit kydig.org and donate to support this and future seasons of Dig.
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