After 14 years, rape victim gets justice

August 22, 2008 4:39:48 PM PDT
For more than 14 years, a rape victim has been waiting for justice.

Friday her justice came in dramatic fashion in a Wake County courtroom as the victim confronted her attacker, an attacker she hadn't laid eyes on since January 4, 1994.

ABC11 would not normally identify a rape victim, but in this case, the victim said she doesn't want anonymity. She wants the public to see and hear her tell her story.

Jeanie Friar had been waiting 14 years for the moment to confront her attacker -- to tell him about the hell her life has been since he kidnapped and raped her on a January night in downtown Raleigh.

"Hope you enjoyed the part of my sole that you stole from me," Friar said during Friday's court proceedings. "I'm taking it back now."

She read her statement to Danny Chavis.

Not long after the rape, Chavis abandoned his relatives in Raleigh, moved to Richmond, Va. and started a new life with a new family -- free of crime.

But changes in fingerprint technology helped Raleigh Police track him down.

Friar found out about his arrest in the parking lot of the apartments where she currently lives.

"I literally fell to the concrete and started sobbing with relief," Friar said. "I've had plenty of time to recall that night repeatedly. I even wrote down what I could remember after years of being locked in my own prison."

Chavis apologized in a statement to the victim. "I've also been living that same nightmare, but today I'm here to tell her that I truly am sorry."

He wasn't the only rapist that night.

Christopher McLamb was his accomplice and has been serving a life sentence since pleading guilty shortly after the rape.

McLamb has not seen Chavis or Friar since the night of January 4, 1994.

"I would like to apologize for my behavior, my act on you," McLamb told Friar in court Friday. "And I would hope that God give you the heart to forgive me. I really am sorry for what I done."

McLamb pleaded guilty to first-degree rape and kidnapping 14 years ago and isn't eligible for parole for another 12 years.

Friday Chavis pleaded guilty to second-degree rape. Judge Ripley Rand had to set a sentence between 12 and 40 years.

"I think he should receive the maximum -- as much as you can give him," Friar said.

Friar got her wish. Chavis was sent to prison for 40 years.

It was a tearful solution to a rape case that for Friar will never truly end.

Also in the courtroom Friday was the detective who worked the case in 1994. C.M. Mise is now a patrol captain with the Raleigh Police Department.

Friar's rape was his last unsolved case and the 30-year veteran said wrapping up the case will make his impending retirement all the better.


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