CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

DPS offers apology to family of rape victim from more than 50 years ago

Dec 6, 2022, 7:30 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:17 am

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(Utah Highway Patrol)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Public Safety issued an apology Tuesday to the family of a woman, who was allegedly raped by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper more than 50 years ago. 

John Miller spoke Tuesday about the courage his late wife, Valerie, had to bright this incident to light.

“If you can imagine having suffered what she went through for a lengthy period of time,” Miller said. “The abuse itself and the threats. And then having the courage to go to the state and present to the state in detail what had happened to her. And then for the rest of her life, never deviate.”

Apology to the family

Professor Paul Cassell, criminal law attorney at the University of Utah College of Law says this whole process took about a year.

He says the notice of claim was produced to the Attorney General’s Office last November. Subsequently, the Attorney General’s Office brought in the Utah Department of Public Safety. The DPS then started its own investigation with 60 interviews.

“Then yesterday, December 5, we got a letter available here as well,” Cassell said. “Which is quite extraordinary. I think its unprecedented in the history of Utah, maybe unprecedented in the annals of justice for victim’s rights. The state of Utah apologized to Valerie for what happened.”

Mark Jones contributed to this article. 

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DPS offers apology to family of rape victim from more than 50 years ago