The woman who says she was raped at the Kennedy family compound could be further traumatized by the overwhelming publicity given the case, says the counselor who first interviewed her.
"When these kind of things happen, her picture's splashed all over the world, she can't get back in control, the first step in the healing process," said Denny Abbott, coordinator of Palm Beach County's victims' assistance program.Abbott was the counselor on call when the 29-year-old woman reported she had been attacked March 30.
William Kennedy Smith, nephew of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., has been identified by police as the suspect. No charges have been filed and Smith has denied any wrongdoing.
Police say they're still investigating, and Palm Beach County authorities said it may be another three weeks before a decision is made on whether to prosecute Smith.
Such a delay is hard on a victim, Abbott said Tuesday.
"I think it's clear that the longer the process is, the more painful it is for the victim," he said.