tv America Tonight Al Jazeera April 16, 2015 10:00pm-10:31pm EDT
verts. he and his colleague were outside preparing for the arrival of two docking adaptors. that's it for this edition of al jazeera america. thank you for watching "america tonight" is up next. see you again in an hour. on "america tonight" - a university school. in our series sex crimes in court. sara hoy on campus, and a university shamed. >> walk on water. they can do no wrong. they get away with murder almost can a scandal force a university to follow a blueprint
for change. also - spreading sickness how the law in indiana helped to create an h.i.v. epidemic. >> no one wants to go to gaol. they'll share, the h.i.v. is going to continue to be in scott county on a high bases. >> thank you for joining us i'm joie chen. infectious disease experts imagined the major h.i.v. outbreak would trike a big city. instead the hot zone is rural indiana, where an unprecedented outbreak is under way. the ingredients don't have to be large population centers, and risky sexual beforehands. what is behind this outbreak is in part the actions of state lawmakers. as jonathan betz found in austin indiana. >> i have the track mark here.
most of this is oxikotin track marks. same over here. the part with my neck, that's new, that's opana. >> reporter: kevin admits he's an addict hooked on opana. . >> ain't nothing like it. it's safe. >> reporter: he's the face of a new epidemic, one thought was on the decline in the united states. >> a friend of mine and myself went down and got tested for h.i.v. came back positive. blew me away. last thing in the world i expected to hear. >> reporter: he lives in austin, in scots county, indiana. it's the epicentre of the outbreak. >> every day i here a story of someone tested and they are elated they are negative. or you see the look in their face you don't have to ask what the results were. austin is facing the worst outbreak of h.i.v. ever. more than 100 cases since
december. 20 times more than a typical year. jennifer with the indiana department the heated is in charge of the response she was in austin to help clean up discarded needles. >> we want project what the total number would be we haven't reached the peak we are hopeful it will be soon. >> reporter: the virus is spreading largely by sharing infected needles. >> it was nothing to share a needle. as long as we got the opana. >> reporter: users say clean needles are hard to find because of the law. they can face up to three years in prison. >> we had to use the same needle. you couldn't find them. indiana governor suspended that law. >> today i declared a public
health emergency in scott county, indiana. due to an outbreak of h.i.v. virus that reached epidemic proportions. >> reporter: teams of workers arrived to provide testing, doctors, counselling and a needle exchange in an attempt to contain the outbreak. . >> help yourself take what you need. >> reporter: with little experience of its own indiana turned to an established needle exchange in chicago for advice. >> we began syringe exchange in january '92 and have done it since. it has grown to exchange 3 million a year. doug is a master mechanic, fixing everything and anything. >> the chicago alliance relies on addict like doug that bring in used needles, and they may
get arrested at a government site. >> if it helps me from getting aids. >> reporter: though controversial, decades of research shows needle exchange is effective in reducing h.i.v. inyections. dog who has been injecting says it's not the needles. >> if you take the needles, some would cut their arm open and pore it in. >> reporter: when big brought the programme to austin, he almost immediately ran into resist sans from authority. >> participants were ready to be part of the solution, breathing life into the governor's state of emergency and the health department came. >> reporter: he said local health officials were uncomfortable when he passed syringes to users, no question asked. >> the scott county health
department is limiting syringes huge mistake. what we know from all evidence gathered is that you feed to be generous with syringes and embour people to reach others. >> reporter: he heard reports that law enforcement cracking down on needle possession. . >> seems the austin and state police are confiscating syringes taking new syringes away. i heard a couple of reports from that that is disturbing. >> reporter: "america tonight" was there as the county prosecutor clarified the executive order. >> as i read the order i think it says we can't enforce the possession of paraphernalia, not just needles. >> reporter: days later, last wednesday, officers showed up at kevin poly's house. >> i received 1500 syringes a week before that that i was
giving out to people in the community that are afraid to get help for repercussions like this. i was down to about 130 of them. they confiscated those from me. >> polly says a woman snt house was arrested and charged with possession of a syringes. many addicts believe those that use the needle exchange are targeted by police. >> no one wants to go to gaol. they don't want to go to gaol with an unused dirty syringe. they'll continue to share and h.i.v. will continue to be in scott country on a high basis. >> reporter: the scott county sheriff's accident and jinned state troopers didn't return our request for comment. it was confirmed however that a woman was arrested on polly's home and held for tches of a hypodermic syringe, one that contradicts the prosecutor's own
words. >> right now you shouldn't arrest for paraffin ailia or needles. >> reporter: needle exchanges are banned in half the states and austin's police chief is torn. >> the needle exchange programme - you support or don't support. >> both. chief spicer is used to arresting drug users, not helping their habit. >> if it's going to save lives, i have to support what they tell me will work. they know more than i do. from the law enforcement side i can't support it, we ain't able to do what we need to do. we are giving these people things to use drugs to. i'm torn between both side. >> reporter: it bothers you you can't arrest at the moment. >> absolutely. >> reporter: dan big says such an attitude could lead to a public health disaster. >> unless we get serious about public health in southern indiana, we'll suffer from this.
>> reporter: the state's statistics show that based on a spike in help tight us c, that prevent the presence of h.i.v. up to 25% of indiana's counties are at risk for a similar outbreak. >> the numbers have been increasing weekly. we don't know how far this has spread. that's why it is important to get in front of it now. republican state representative chairs the house public health committee and is pushing it expand needle exchanges to 22 more high-risk counties. >> the fact it no one is far from scott county. no one in indiana, or anywhere especially recognising that scott county is on i 55, a major north-south thorough fare. >> reporter: the plan faces resistance in the legislature,
but he says politicians have to wake up to the threat of h.i.v. spreading. >> where there's smoke, there's fire. if we identify the areas where there's smoke, we can keep the fire from spreading. >> reporter: as for kevin poly, his doctor warns if he doesn't stop using drugs, he'll die. >> i'm going to start. starting inpatient next friday. looking forward to it. i hope it anti-too late next - a high flyer, and another low blow. we fast-forward to new questions about the future of the military's most complex and controversial aircraft. later our sex crimes in sport series - "america tonight" sara hoy on campus and community schools. after being labelled the nation
with pentagon insider. >> reporter: so far the pentagon bought almost 150 f-35s, with more on the assembly line. seven though the plane is not cleared for combat. eventually the air force is expected to buy more than 1700 f-35s. with the navy and the marines purchasing 700 more, ones modified for them. why buy so many f-35s when they are not cheer for battle? >> congress and the military believe the plane can be refined is more being built. >> from the futuristic shape to the lines of computer code acting as artificial intelligence it's a complicated beast. miller is one of the places it is being tested. ltcol bishop is a test commander. how do you compare the f-35 to
the f-15e. you are licensed on both. >> the f-35 is a monumental leap in capability. it is something our air force needs to secure the national defence. >> from a military man, that may be what you expect to here. other reviews are less positive. the plane has been plagued by flaws and setbacks rarely a week goes by out a head line. the latest this report by jay michael gilmore, the tester and evaluator, a pentagon watchdog. his report details so many problems a defense industry always the g 35 a hot mess. >> let's look at why the airplane is dangerous to the pilot. >> reporter: it doesn't make for easy reading. we asked him to take us through
it. an engineer that evaluated planes. he designed the f-16 in the '70s. he has left the defense department he has spoken with pilots that flew the f-35. she have among their concerns is the plane's safety. >> think of the engine as a blow torch surrounded by fuel. that is what it really is fast-forward to another downer for the high flyer. the pentagon warping capitol hill that for call superior technology the f-35 will not be able to protect ground forces as well as the ageing f 10 the war hort. the air force is aiming to retire it. next - the blueprint for a way back. a campus called the rape capital and our look at sex crimes in
spot. friday - back on the water. five years off the bp oil spill, is the gulf catch safe to eat. the line and the critics response. >> to say that it's well and good and we should go home is a great talking point. that is not the truth. what happened after the spill, and whether the community can make it in the long haul. that's friday on "america tonight". look at the most important issues out there that get you the answers that you deserve. >> real money with ali velshi only on al jazeera america
after case in which the system on and off campus failed to protect students. increasingly survivors reported their attacks to the u.s. department of education, hoping that federal scrutiny can force change, where they could not. at the university of montana "america tonight"s sara hoy looked to the blueprint for change in our series sex crimes in sports. >> reporter: the university of montana in missoula. home to the beloved grizzlies. in the fall scores of fans poured into town filling the stadium. growing up we came here for a game. we came here to visit family. i loed coming up here for a -- loved coming up here for a football game. i was going to live here. >> reporter: for this senior that changed the night she says four university of montana football players raped her.
it was december 2010 when kelcey and a friend went to a party at an off-campus apartment where they played a drinking game. >> next thing i know i'm in a bedroom, don't know why, and then someone walked into the room and there was a crotch in my face. and i was like "i don't want to", and i pushed him away. and he grabbed me by my jaw and i blacked out after that. >> reporter: it didn't stop there, before the night was over kelcey says the four football players took turns raping her. >> after what seemed like hours, i got really sick, called a friend to take me to the hospital and realised what had happened. and told the nurse that i would like to talk to a police officer. >> reporter: kelcey reported her rape to police and had a rape kit performed. she kept the incident to herself
at first. who told you not to talk to anyone? >> the police said keep hush-hush about it. >> reporter: you were told by missoula police to keep quiet. >> yes. >> reporter: at the time did that seem suspicious to you? >> it didn't. i thought maybe, you know this is how they do things i don't know i don't know how the law works, i'm not in law school i don't know. i was listening the to authorities. listening to people that i thought i could trust. >> eventually university vetted her case leading to the punishment of three players and the expulsion of another. no criminal charges were filed. >> football is king. the boys walk on water. they can do no wrong, and they can get away with murder almost. it seems. >> reporter: kelcey's attack was one in a string of sexual
assaults involving university of montana football players, earning them the title of rape capital in america. a low rate of prosecution led to that 2012 department of justice investigation into how rape cases were handled. the university signed an agreement with the d.o.j. agreeing to policy change including training employees on how to investigate and conducting surveys on students. the university fired the football coach and athletic director. in a letter the d.o.j. said the agreement would serve as a blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country to protect students from sexual harassment and assault. >> the president doesn't like us to be considered the blueprint. it's because this is something that is happening across other universities. >> university of montana
christine advices the school on addressing sexual violence and oversees the survey. >> the school has been criticized and there's headlines - this is the rape capital, rape campus. it's egregious in terms or how the university of montana was looked at. do you feel it was a fair assessment? >> no i don't think anyone here does. i think that - the missoula community was heart broken and the campus community was heart broken to be called that. especially because we don't have any more statistically than other university campuses. it's hard to be the example, and hard to be called those things. but if in the long run, it will help the problem get better everybody here is ready to stand up and do something about it.
>> since the d ox j agreement -- d ox j agreement, there has been 22 reports of sexual assault and more of rape. a student has been expelled. four formal investigations are ongoing. >> we are seeing that survivors are feeling that it's more comfortable to report. if that's the right choice they are not as intimidated by the process. >> marina volunteers for the student advocacy center or stark, assisting student victims sexual assault. >> i don't think we have gotten there yet. we haven't seen improvements with trials. that's a bigger cultural issue, how we address the broader rape culture and sexual assault culture that we have. we will not see different attitudes. the d.o.j. investigated behind montana. charges had been pursued in 14
out of 85 reports of sexual assault referred for prosecution. in its report the d.o.j. said the county attorney's office brought incidents to the point of putting women in missoula at rib of harm. in kelcey's case she felt she was on trial. >> what are we looking at here? >> we are looking at a police report. >> i notice a lot of black. what is going on with this? >> these are all the statements made by other parties that i am not allowed to see. >> reporter: it is all redacted statements - i mean page after page after page after page of story telling. you are only able to see your statement. what was the reason you were given? >> that it was an invasion of privacy. >> reporter: how do you feel about that response? >> in this case i'm the victim.
my privacy was way more than violated, why do i not have the right to read what happened to me. >> reporter: kelcey's case was closed because the county attorney's office said they couldn't prove she didn't give consent. you were drinking. >> yes. >> reporter: you were .0219. under-montana law a victim that is incapacitated it is rape. what were you told? >> i was moaning. so i was not incapacitated. >> there's no definition but it's a high standard. >> kirsten is the attorney, replacing her predecessor in june 2014. >> some of the allegations in the department of justice letter are not accurate and are sensational. but at the same time i look back
and say i could have done things differently, and it's important to recognise that we can always learn, we can learn from the past and make the future better. >> reporter: the missoula county attorney's office agreed to changes as a result of the d.o.j. investigation, including giving the montana attorney-general oversight authority for sexual assault cases and training for prosecutors. kelcey said she decided to come forward when others shared her experience. >> i'm not going to let something like this control my life. absolutely not. i lost control one night, look where it got me. i'm not going to let them have any power over me not going to school. education is very important to me. >> kelcey graduates spring and plans to find work as a radiation tech in washington
state. >> reporter: in this alert from the university to the state, it says an agreement will serve as a blueprint for colleges and students to protect against sexual assault. is this a little too late for you? >> a little yes. this is two years later that this is coming about, and nothing happened to the boys in my case. >> it didn't change her case, kelcey is hopeful it will make a difference to others. >> i do not want this to happen to anyone else. i call myself a momma bear and this is huge. it makes me excited that you know, people act a certain way guess what there'll be repercussions. >> it's unclear if the montana blueprint will change the culture to victims get justice. at the least she hopes other schools have been put on notice that's "america tonight".