Prosecutor to Ford: I'm 'Very Sorry' You Feel 'Terrified'

Posted September 28, 2018

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and a woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her when both were high school students will be questioned Thursday by a longtime sex crimes prosecutor.

Instead, Rachel Mitchell, a female prosecutor from Arizona whose "life mission" has been to investigate sex crimes, is interviewing Ford on behalf of the Republican party.

But each of the 11 Republicans on the committee are male, and there was said to be an awareness that having 11 men grill a woman who says she was a victim of sexual assault may not be a good idea.

Even Mitchell took a shot at the format in an aside while asking Ford about studies that recommend procedures for questioning sexual assault victims. But quickly into the Kavanaugh's testimony, senators pulled her away and began questioning Kavanaugh directly, with an unabashedly partisan, sympathetic bent. "Yet earlier today the Majority Leader dismissed Dr. Ford's experience as a 'smear campaign, ' claiming mistakenly that the witnesses" statements to the Committee constitute 'a complete lack of evidence, ' implying that there has been a thorough investigation.

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"It also tells people who have been victimized by people in authority that someone is listening and will do something about it", she said, Reuters reported at the time.

All eyes nationwide will be on the Kavanaugh, Ford hearing Thursday, and at center stage in the midst of the brightest spotlight, is the calmest prosecutor that Cindy Nanetti knows. Mitchell was tapped to ask only a few questions before being sidelined.

Maricopa County attorney Bill Montgomery told the Arizona Republic that Judiciary Committee staffers contacted him about Mitchell over the weekend and commended his deputy, referring to her as a "professional, fair, objective prosecutor". Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery told the Post that Mitchell has a long history of investigating long-ago sex crimes and allegations that are hard to corroborate. During her 12 years heading the sex crimes bureau, Mitchell aggressively prosecuted crimes like rape and child molestation. She asked the California research psychologist to recall trivial details from the night in question, trying to poke holes in her story.

"My expectation of Rachel and again, I'm speculating because I have not talked to her about this, is she wants to find out the truth", she said.

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"It intrigued me", Mitchell said.

"It struck me how innocent and vulnerable the victims of these cases really were". He was sentenced to 30 years in prison with lifetime probation. People think that children would tell right away and that they would tell everything that happened to them.

Rick Romley, the former top county prosecutor in metro Phoenix who was once Mitchell's boss, praised her for a career devoted to helping victims.

He also noted that she's not a politician and will now be in the spotlight: "It can throw your game off", Romley said.

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One deals with family violence, while the other deals with sex crimes-and the latter was where Mitchell worked for 12 years. "She just doesn't look at anything politically".