Earlier this month, Philadelphia organizer and Pennsylvania Bernie Sanders delegate Gwen Snyder told Jezebel that she had been sexually assaulted by a fellow delegate during the Democratic National Convention. Frustrated by the convention’s lack of clear guidelines for handling sexual assault between the delegates and unable to have her attacker’s convention credentials revoked, Snyder filed a police report with the Philadelphia Police.
Snyder met with Philadelphia’s Special Victims Unit earlier this month. In an email to Jezebel, Snyder said that there wasn’t “much concrete” that SVU could tell her about her case, but said they would forward it to the District Attorney. On Monday, Snyder said that District Attorney Seth Williams declined to prosecute her case. She said that the office declined to prosecute because her attacker was “drunk and they ‘can’t prove’ he knew I wasn’t consenting.” She described Williams’ decision as “terrifying” adding that the DA’s office was “essentially...claiming that alcohol consumption is a get out of jail card for sexual assault.”
In a petition on Action Network, Snyder wrote called on Williams’ office to apologize for “your office’s choice to use alcohol consumption by a perpetrator as a factor in deciding whether or not to prosecute cases of sexual violence.”
We have reached out to the District Attorney’s office for comment. We will update when we receive a response.
Update: In response to Snyder’s petition, Communications Director for the Philadelphia’s District Attorney’s Office said, “That investigation is currently under investigation so until that has been completed it’s not appropriate to comment.”