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Ala. to apologize for handling of 1944 rape

Recy Taylor had sought action. Recy Taylor had sought action.
Associated Press / April 22, 2011

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama Legislature apologized yesterday to an elderly black woman who was raped nearly seven decades ago by a gang of white men as she walked home from church.

The Senate gave final approval yesterday on a voice vote to a resolution that expresses “deepest sympathy and deepest regrets’’ to Recy Taylor, now 91 and living in Florida. She has said she believes the men who attacked her in 1944 are dead, but she still wanted an apology from the state of Alabama.

The House approved the resolution last month. It now goes to Governor Robert Bentley, who said yesterday that he is not familiar with details of the case but sees no reason why he would not sign it.

The resolution by Democratic state Representative Dexter Grimsley of Newville says the failure to prosecute the men was “morally abhorrent and repugnant.’’

He has said police bungled the investigation and harassed Taylor, and local leaders recently acknowledged that her attackers escaped prosecution in part because of racism.

The AP does not typically identify victims of sexual assault but is using her name because she has publicly identified herself.

Taylor was 24 when she was confronted by seven men who forced her into their car at knife- and gun-point and drove her to a grove of trees in southeastern Alabama, where six of the men raped her.

Two all-white, all-male grand juries refused to indict the suspects after the attack.

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