A college student shares a story of sexual assault reporting, trial, and closure

BISMARK, ND (KFYR) — After a rape case went to trial this fall and a district court judge ruled that the evidence did not show beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crime, the student who reported the events said she felt the court had failed. order her. In an exclusive interview with Your News Leader, the Bismarck woman now shares her story… what it was like to bring the case to trial and why she’s still happy it’s progressing.

When Sidney Dollinger was recruited to play football at Minot State, she was, like any freshman in college, eager to make new friends, learn new things, and become more independent.

“When [the recruiter] Call me, I was a senior in high school, so I was like, “Oh my God, this is so exciting,” said Sydney Dollinger.

“She was very focused when she started college. She had her own plan designed for herself, so I was excited to watch her reach those goals and continue to grow,” said Suzanne Dollinger, Sydney’s mother.

Not long into her first semester, she takes a trip to NDSU to catch up with friends who are starting their careers in college.

“It was an innocent little gathering, just drinking and catching up with girlfriends,” Sydney said.

This is when everything changed.

“I knew that with all the pain and the bruising and the blood, and all the physical pain I was going through, I had been raped,” Sydney said.

She said she told the professor, her parents, and the police. This is what started two years of legal battles.

“I was a criminal justice student, so I knew very vaguely what I was getting into. But I was afraid,” Sydney said.

“She was only 18, barely 18 when she went to college. So, as an adult in the eyes of the system, she had to do all the support herself,” Susan said.

“It hurts so much not to have control. You know the only thing you want to do is protect your kids and make sure they are happy and healthy,” added Suzanne.

Her parents and the lawyer she got under Marcy Law supported her through every episode in the legal system as the case became complicated. She said her name was published in court documents and she offered up her personal life.

“It was hard. Every time she had her own fight, her own set of tears, her own screams. She said,” Sydney said.

Her family, friends and dogs were also there for other ordeals, as she quit football and moved home to Bismarck.

“When something like this happens everyone asks, ‘What can we do, what can we do?'” “There is nothing but her love, honesty and support,” Suzanne said.

Sydney says that if she went back in time, while it was very difficult, she would still make the report.

“I think the desire for justice and the desire to make sure other women don’t have to face what I’m doing will prevail, but it’s hard for you,” Sydney said.

As she looks at photos taken before the ordeal, she says she is once again hoping for the future. The outcome of the trial wasn’t what she wanted but she said it was final.

Sydney added that her future may include a career in law enforcement helping others in similar situations.

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