More Information on Reporting to the Police for Prosecution

It is the right of every survivor to pursue criminal prosecution and conviction of the perpetrator. This is done, most often, by reporting the assault directly to the Williamstown Police Department (413-458-5733 or 9-911). Reporting to the police does not commit you to further legal action but does make it easier for the police to investigate the crime if that is your wish. Early reporting will increase the chances of a successful prosecution.

The Williamstown Police Department has two officers who have special training and are certified by the state to investigate sexual assaults. During your initial meeting with a police officer,  you will be asked to tell what happened and what your attacker looked like or who your assailant was, if you know. You may have a friend or other supportive person with you during this or any other interview with the police. A SASS member will be glad to accompany you to the police station and to court.

The police are responsible for investigating and the District Attorney’s Office is responsible for prosecuting such crimes. If you decide to prosecute and your case goes to trial, it will be handled by a member of the District Attorney’s Office at the State’s expense. You will incur no costs. In Berkshire County there is a Victim’s Advocate Program which will work closely with you throughout the process.

 

Massachusetts law requires that your name be kept in confidence. Massachusetts General Laws-Chapter 265, Section 24C.

 

There is a period of limitation for filing criminal charges.  That period is currently a minimum of 15 years, and maybe longer depending on the circumstances.