The upside of having sent hundreds of emails to people during the course of my case is that I have a timeline of pretty much every step I took. I wish I could just dump my email files into this blog and spare you my narrative. But I’m not that tech savvy. Apologies.
A quick check to my email folder tells me that on January 7, 2009, my papers to the Public Prosecutor of Rome, finally arrived and were submitted and processed. Thus, my attorneys were officially recognized as my representatives by the courts.
The papers took almost a month to arrive. I had paid $35 and mailed the signed documents from Colorado when I was home for the holidays. Yet they didn’t arrive. Of course, my attorney’s offices were closed for practically that long, because hey, it’s Italy. So, I went back and mailed the papers again, overnight for $141. They finally got there. And almost as soon as they did, I learned a piece of bad news for me. The officer who had typed my police report and had investigated my story the entire time I was in the Rome police HQ, had been in a bad accident and taken off the case. That was hard to hear. It unnerved me and filled my head with all manner of worry and suspicion.
The incident spurred me to begin a proactive search for information which included research and outreach to colleagues and friends. And it made me worry that if I didn’t act quickly, the case would go away entirely. In early 2009, here are some of the efforts I made:
- Inquired with a journalist living abroad in Italy about the pubic view of sexual assault in Italy; he said Italians are fine with crimes against the state and are rather used to it: tax evasion, corruption, etc. But crimes against the person are considered abhorrent.
- Asked several friends in publicity about the possibility of bringing attention to my ongoing case in hopes of someone coming forward to help me or tell me where I could find help; one of the publicists whom I have great affection for was so kind as to inquire about Marco’s family and criminal history with the Italian security team for one of his clients. The background check turned up nothing, and that put me at ease a bit.
- Wrote to the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women interim director asking her for information and/or assistance on finding experts or other women who successfully prosecuted their attackers overseas (I will provide that letter soon so you can see the director’s response).
- Searched for books I found at: http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Italian-Law-INTRODUCTION-Laws/dp/9041117075 and http://www.italiansrus.com/resources/law.htm and read up on Italian law at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Italy2.htm.
For almost three months, I did not hear from my attorneys, and that was a blessing. The time allowed me to get back into some semblance of a routine and attempt to focus on my life outside of the assault. I performed repairs on my new home, dug deep into my work, and attempted to get back to a normal social life. The first wave of this experience had ended. And I welcomed it.