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Fruehauf understands challenges

I am a 14-year veteran of the Superior Police Department assigned as a detective. I have primarily investigated domestic violence and sexual assault cases for the last six years. Working sensitive crimes, I often get to know victims well.

Several recent letters complimented Dan Blank on his community involvement. While I also commend Dan for his community service, I fail to see how this reflects his effectiveness as district attorney. I am unaware of any letter of support written by a victim of a crime that Dan prosecuted. The lack of support from former victims is no surprise to me.

In my experience, victims frequently become discouraged by Dan. Domestic violence and sexual assault victims that feel strongly about offender accountability are too often met with the harsh reality of deferred judgments, charges dismissed, a reduction of charges to lesser crimes, delayed prosecution or decisions not to prosecute at all. I believe Dan’s "smart on crime" approach often leaves victims feeling frustrated and unheard.

In early June, I attended a meeting in the DA’s office with a juvenile victim of human trafficking and multiple sexual assaults. The victim wanted us to meet with Dan to learn how the state’s case would proceed and to voice concerns and questions. The meeting took place; however, the victim witness coordinator explained that Dan had not planned to attend. We were advised that he was busy, but in a few weeks Dan would have two very serious cases behind him and a meeting may be rescheduled at that time. We understood and waited until after the cases were resolved. On July 11, I contacted Dan to reschedule. Dan advised me that he could try to reschedule, but not until after Aug. 15 because he was now too busy with other cases to meet with this victim. I immediately responded with possible meeting dates after Aug. 15. He has yet to respond.

Serious cases go through the district attorney’s office every day and I understand the need for prioritization. I believe a child victim of violence and sexual exploitation deserves to be a priority and to be treated with respect. This is just one of many examples. It takes a great amount of courage to come forward in cases like this. Victims deserve answers to their questions and to feel like their voice is being heard. They deserve a prosecutor who will work hard with them and for them.

I’ve known Mark Fruehauf since he was an assistant DA. I have heard Mark speak about his plans for office if elected and I believe he has a firm, realistic grasp of the many unique challenges of the DA’s office. Mark has a strong work ethic, a commitment to justice and sincere compassion for victims like the child in this case. Mark Fruehauf will make an excellent district attorney.