Rape Survivor Pushes Changes In Oklahoma Law

Monday, February 13th 2017, 6:51 pm

A survivor of a high profile serial rape case is trying to change laws in Oklahoma. 

Danielle Tudor moved to Oklahoma last year to be closer to her grandchildren, and said she was shocked to find out how lax laws are here regarding rape.

In November 1979, Tudor was raped in her own home by the Jogger Rapist; a serial rapist in Portland, Oregon, who police think may have targeted as many as 100 women and teenage girls.  

She heard him coming in and hid in a dark room.

"And he was listening for my voice, trying to find me in the darkness. When he did, he beat me and raped me and he was gone before law enforcement ever got there," Tudor said.

Tudor was able to give police a description of her attacker. 

Richard Gillmore was caught seven years later when he applied for a job as a police officer. He’s been in prison ever since. 

Tudor said when she moved to Oklahoma, she was surprised to find out how common sexual assaults are.

"We are 35 to 45 percent higher in incidents of rape and attempted rape than the rest of the country. I was shocked. I really thought I would be safer moving here," she said.

So Tudor is pushing several bills. One would require an audit of police rape kits.

"You don't keep track of when a rape kit comes in and gets put on a shelf in storage," she said. "We don't even know it's there now."

Another would end the statute of limitations on rape cases. 

"It is a big one, it's been run before,” said state Sen. Kay Floyd, R-District 46. “Actually, the last two years. Some of my colleagues in the House that I served with in the House before this that it had run them and they've gotten some good response. But not been able to go the distance. So we can try again this year."

Tudor said this is important legislation.

"There's a heart, there's a soul of a survivor who showed strength and courage to report their assault. Have that rape kit done. And we need to make sure the system is worthy of that courage," she said.

Representatives of both the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Oklahoma City Police Department said that because they have their own labs, there is no back-log of rape kit testing.