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Why the sudden interest in Tuscaloosa, Alabama?

A documentary on the "Max" streaming service called "Bama Rush" has gotten lots of publicity. Now, another one, "Victim/Suspect", on Netflix highlights an investigative journalist trying to expose issues when it comes to women reporting sexual assaults.

A large portion of the show is centered around a high-profile case in Tuscaloosa, AL. The #6 Netflix show in the USA, also touches on another case from Tuscaloosa in the documentary.

Justice For Megan Rondini
Justice For Megan Rondini

For those that are not familiar with the controversial cases, one of them centers around Megan Rondini.

Megan was a student who attended the University of Alabama.

In the summer of 2015, she reported a sexual assault that she claimed she met in a Tuscaloosa bar. According to Megan, she had gone out with a man and at some point, ended up at his residence, where she claimed the sexual assault occurred.

Justice For Megan Rondini Facebook
Justice For Megan Rondini Facebook

Megan claimed that she visited a local hospital for a forensic examination. She also claimed that she faced numerous challenges during the investigation.

She alleged that she faced victim-blaming attitudes and that her claims were not taken seriously by local authorities.

Justice For Megan Rondini facebook
Justice For Megan Rondini facebook

Following the incident, Megan Rondini struggled with the sexual assault and the challenges of coming forward and reporting it. In February 2016, she tragically took her own life.

According to the Facebook page "Justiceformeganrondini", this is what her grandmother Beth A. Maher had to say:

"The premier opened my heart even wider. To see this documentary through the eyes of strangers was comforting. Comforting might sound odd but, when obvious differences in the type of interrogation that happened between Sheriff Abernathy’s officers and Megan vs T J Bunn , the audience gasped. All these years it was obvious to me , Megan’s grandmother, but to hear strangers with NO knowledge of the events of that horrific night gasp out loud, I wanted to scream, “ She told you, and you protected him!” Please watch this, she mattered and I loved her dearly."

Megan's case received significant attention and was a topic of discussion among many in West Alabama.

What happened and who had a role in this has never been fully verified. Does it even matter? Yes, it does matter. The loss of a young life is not an appropriate ending to any sexual assault claims.

All victims need to feel safe and feel they are being taken seriously by all authorities in the future. Especially if the accusations involve someone with ties to money and power in the area.

Those investigations, in the view of many locals, need an independent investigator from a different city to oversee all critical aspects of the investigation.

Here is a trailer of Victim/Suspect.

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