Rape survivor hopes to change Indiana law

Jenny Wendt
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Nearly nine years after she was raped by one of her IUPUI instructors, a woman spoke out Monday hoping to change Indiana law.

Jenny Wendt was a 26-year-old nursing student when she was attacked in 2005 at an off-campus apartment. At the time, she said, she was afraid and confused and did not call police.

Late last year, the now 39-year-old Bart Bareither walked in to the Marion County Sherriff's Department to turn himself in for the unreported crime. IUPUI Police investigated the case but no charges were filed because in Indiana. Unless it's especially violent, rape has a five-year statute of limitations. Bareither was not arrested and, despite his confession, will face no charges.

"I was shocked; I was angry; I was amazed," said Wendt. "It gave me a spark inside to do something about it."

So she started talking publicly and, agreeing with experts who say it can take years for rape victims to come forward, she started a petition on the website Change.org to get the statute raised to 20 years or eliminated entirely. Nearly 1,500 people have signed in support.

"I've heard a lot of stories from friends and strangers who said they felt guilty [after they were attacked]. But it doesn't matter what you do, it's not your fault if you get raped."

Wendt hopes her story will compel lawmakers to increase or eliminate the statute of limitations for rape.