In July 2015, Taylor broke her silence and spoke to theafter a Senate investigation released details of other sexually charged texts Le Vota sent to an intern.Two days after the story broke, Le Vota, who was by then a state senator, announced he would resign his seat.“If additional information becomes available, the case will be re-opened at that time,” the report stated.So Taylor went back to her life as a working single mom.Taylor Hirth and I are curled up on a leather couch at the home of her friend in Kansas City, Missouri. She tells the detective about waking up and realizing a man she didn’t know was standing in her bedroom doorway.It is late afternoon, and the only light in the room is from the television playing a tape of Taylor, now 31, sitting in a police interview room. Before she could sort out what was going on, he ordered her to roll over on her stomach. “At one point, my daughter woke up,” Taylor tells the detective.“Ultimately, police are the largest obstacle to the prosecution and conviction of rapists in the United States,” Kansas University law professor Corey Rayburn Yung wrote in a 2016 analysis “Rape Law Gatekeeping.” “Police disbelieve rape victims far more often than the public and other agents involved in rape investigations.” Yung explains that, as a result of strong cultural biases against victims of sexual assault, police do not fully investigate the crime and that allows rapists to go free, thinking they can get away with additional sexual violence in the future.Taylor believes her case exemplifies the horrific way this can play out.
She didn’t look at her attackers, she played along, she said she wanted to make them feel “this chick is OK, she isn’t going to call the cops.”When it was over, Taylor did everything “right.” She notified the police.She kept the bra and panties they pulled off her — she couldn’t find the pants.She didn’t shower so the dried semen would remain on her thighs, her belly, her face, knowing she had to preserve the DNA for the SANE exam.Even if her attackers had been caught, chances of a conviction were slim.But four months after IPD closed her case, new information came to light and Taylor’s case was reopened. (He has not yet entered a plea.) I asked Taylor if she was hopeful in light of this development, and she said she wouldn’t use that word.