Behind the Headline: ‘Groping victim feels let down by system’

Disillusioned by the justice system, Jillian Miller turned to journalists. She hoped that sharing her story with reporters at the Jackson Hole News&Guide could bring her some closure. In December 2018, Miller was working her manager…

by | Sep 13, 2019 | Courts, Health, News

Disillusioned by the justice system, Jillian Miller turned to journalists. She hoped that sharing her story with reporters at the Jackson Hole News&Guide could bring her some closure.

In December 2018, Miller was working her manager shift at Hole Bowl when a patron there groped her breast. Miller told the News&Guide: “I was continually pushing him away, and he kept trying to come back and do it.” The man was eventually charged with “breach of peace.” That meant he paid a $500 fine and avoided any jail time. Miller was devastated. She told the News&Guide that police and prosecutors should have investigated further, pushed for a harsher charge.

Reporters Emily Mieure and Allie Gross spent months reporting this story, which came out in late August. Both felt a responsbility to honor Miller’s story. After all, as a reporter, “it’s unusual to have a victim come to you and want you to tell their story,” Mieure explained. That meant, for example, leaving the perpetrator’s name out of the article, a request Miller made to the newspaper.

Since the story came out, local women have taken to social media to voice their disappointment in how authorities handled Miller’s case. One such woman is freelance writer Meg Daly.

Daly was so moved by the story, she created an informal Facebook poll. She asked how many women of her Facebook friends had endured some form of sexual assault. Daly heard from roughly 15 women from Jackson and other places. They ranged in age from their 20s to 60s. The common thread among the responses she received: “it’s so common, we end up forgetting the number of times” it happened.

Listen to the full conversation above.

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About Robyn Vincent

Robyn launched KHOL's news department. She has worked as a reporter and editor in Wyoming for the last decade and her work has aired on NPR stations throughout the West. When she's not sweating deadlines, Robyn sustains her nomadic heart by traveling the world with her notebook and camera in hand. Follow @TheNomadicHeart

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