Following the Chronicle publication of a story about the Austin Police Dept.'s investigation of Virginia Glore's rape case ("Raped Twice?" Oct. 12), we received a phone call from Austin Police Association President Mike Sheffield, suggesting that the story contained an inaccuracy (provided by the APD): The APD, Sheffield said, does have several Drug Recognition Experts among its officers.
APD Public Information Manager Paul Flaningan confirmed that the department indeed has 11 officers certified as DREs. The Chronicle had repeatedly been told by APD officials there are no APD DREs; apparently, we were misinformed. According to APD training academy DRE instructor, officer Bill Petty, Austin's DRE certified officers identify "drivers who are impaired on drugs other than alcohol, and ... drivers who are suffering from a medical condition that resembles drug or alcohol impairment and get them medical attention." However, from what Petty told us, it is not clear that officers are supposed to do anything with their DRE skills other than reinforce a pending decision to make a DWI arrest. Under the implied APD policy, it's uncertain that a DRE evaluation of Glore would've done anything to help bolster her claims of involuntary drugging and subsequent rape.
It took the APD more than a week to supply information regarding its DRE program. It took less than a week for the department to reply to a concerned citizen who wrote a letter Oct. 15 after reading Glore's story in the Chronicle. The letter, addressed to Mayor Kirk Watson and "forwarded to the Austin Police Department so we could respond on [Watson's] behalf," makes clear that the APD is taking a proactive stance in this case -- that is, by continuing to blame Virginia Glore for what happened to her.
According to the APD reply, Detective Tim Kresta did such an "excellent and thorough" investigation that Beth Young, the sex crimes detective on-call, "had good reason to doubt that [a rape] exam would produce any evidence." The APD's official stance remains that whatever amount of alcohol Glore ingested on Aug. 4, 2000 was the cause of all her subsequent troubles. "It is clear from the criminal DWI investigation that Glore became voluntarily intoxicated and had no intention of having someone sober drive her home," reads APD's Oct. 15 letter.
Glore's next court appearance on the DWI charge is scheduled for Nov. 22.
Copyright © 2021 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.