Created: July 01, 2020 06:13 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — At the end of a five-year wait to have her rape kit tested, Bailee D’Arcangelis -Elton said her justice was denied.
D’Arcangelis-Elton said her attacker, who she said she knew, bit her hard enough to leave scars on her body.
“I did what you are told to do within a matter of hours. I made a rape kit, I agreed to everything you needed at SANE. I complied with the detectives,” she said.
D’Arcangelis-Elton's kit was finally tested in 2019 and suspect Christopher Teufel was arrested, but his charges dwindled down during the prosecution process.
Teufel pleaded no contest to one charge of attempted criminal sexual penetration and received only supervised probation and therapy.
“During the course of discovery, the forensic expert reversed her opinion and concluded she did not have any evidence of genital injuries. The state was therefore concerned it could not establish the second degree charges,” said Spring Schofield, Assistant District Attorney Senior Trial Attorney.
What does it mean to reverse an opinion?
“When an expert reverses their opinion as is what happened in this case five years went by between the time of the examination and now. Technology has changed. Information changes over time. That’s why the rape kit backlog cases are so difficult,” said Lee Hood, Deputy District Attorney and supervisor for the Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Backlog Reduction Project.
Hood said many of the backlog cases, this one included, were not really investigated to begin with, which makes prosecution more difficult.
“Everyone is trying to do better. I think there have been, there has been a real change over the last couple of years for our investigators to do better in law enforcement and I think the country recognizes that,” Hood said.
As for D’Arcangelis-Elton’s case, she said that justice has been denied.
“It seems you can put a price on what’s supposed to be priceless,” she said.
Copyright 2020 - KOB-TV LLC, A Hubbard Broadcasting Company