While many protested Santa Clara District Attorney Dolores Carr’s decision not to file charges regarding the alleged gang rape involving the De Anza College baseball team and an intoxicated minor, local advocates are working to educate the public on the importance of supporting victims who come forward to report.

Local sexual assault advocates say they do not feel there was any misconduct involving the decision of the DA’s office not to file charges. Says Leandra Peloquin, Prevention Services Coordinator of the YWCA of Silicon Valley:

“We believe that a sexual assault (crime) was committed and are hoping that other people will come forward with information. There were men in that room who know what happened and we are challenging them to come forward to help us find the truth.”

From a legal standpoint, the decision not to file charges is by no means the end of this case. By choosing not to prosecute the case right now, the DA has still maintained the right to prosecute upon the discovery of new evidence, such as other witness statements.

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith has indicated that the case is still under investigation and that she certainly believes a crime had occurred. Peloquin adds: “These men have not been exonerated nor have they been proven innocent.”

People across the country asking how this case will impact victims coming forward in the future. Peloquin agrees that it is disheartening when any case involving a sexual assault is not filed but that does not abrogate the community responsibility to support the victim and work to prevent future sexual violence. “There is someone who has experienced a horrific victimization whose life will be forever impacted by the behavior of those baseball players that night. This is not over for her.”