A 13WHAM News Investigation revealed that the case traveled from desk to desk within the D.A.’s Office from 2006 to 2011. One prosecutor claimed her case load was so large that her approach was “more like dealing with a triage type of thing."
Another prosecutor argued in court that McFadden’s arrest was delayed because the victim was not emotionally prepared to prosecute.
"She wanted justice but she wasn't ready to go forward at that time,” A.D.A. Alyssa Truelove said this week when asked about that argument.
But the victim maintains she was always prepared to put her attacker behind bars and that she was never given the information to do that until 2011.
She praises the team that carried the case from arrest to conviction beginning in earnest in 2012. "I mean I'm not upset with (A.D.A.) Alyssa (Truelove) or (A.D.A.) Sara (VanStrydonck) or (Investigator) C.J. Dominic because this case didn't hit there desk until just recently."
But even now, the unknown lingers.
QUESTION: “Has anybody given you answers as to what happened with this case for five years?
QUESTION: “Did you learn a lot even from my report (Wednesday) yesterday?”
VICTIM: “Yes I did actually. Like I didn’t know how many different D.A.’s my case’s desk has gone across.”
In court Thursday this victim, who A.D.A. VanStrydonck called a survivor, described the impact this life-threatening rape had on her. She said, “Part of me wished I was a murder victim instead then I wouldn’t have to live with what happened to me.”
This survivor described sleepless nights full of nightmares, checking to see if doors were locked, a need to “always look over my shoulders to make sure I wasn’t followed,” and a bout with substance abuse brought on by coping with this trauma.
“The one place where I am supposed to feel safe was my home,” she told the judge. “He ruined that for me.”
This week justice finally arrived but this survivor can’t help but remember the feeling that also arrived when she learned the path this case took through the justice system.
"Well I was upset because I could've been all done with this years ago, and moved on with my life,” she said. “Now I have to re-live everything all over again."
McFadden maintains his innocence and plans to appeal. He said in court, "for six years they did nothing now they're making me out to be the villain."
Judge Piampiano later told him, "DNA found you, even five or six years later."