TIME

The parties understand and agree that by entering into this Agreement they are each relinquishing and waiving their right under applicable law to have any claim decided in a court of law before a judge and/or jury.

I.

SISTER IRENE MORISSETTE ALWAYS LOCKED HER DOOR AT night. Maybe it was force of habit from her decades teaching at an isolated missionary school in Africa, or maybe it was, as she told a police detective later, just that she didn’t want “anyone coming in.”

Either way, there was no sign of forced entry on June 23, 2014, when the 87-year-old Catholic nun told a staffer at Chateau Vestavia, an assisted-living facility near Birmingham, Ala., that she’d been raped in her bed the night before.

Police and medical records paint a disturbing scene. Police investigators found two semen stains in Morissette’s bed and blood on the “inside rear area” of her green-and-pink-flowered pajama bottoms, which had been shoved underneath the mattress. A sexual-assault examiner at a local hospital reported that Morissette had sustained multiple abrasions inside and outside her vaginal canal, wounds that could be consistent with rape. “The genital exam was very painful for the client,” the examiner’s report said.

In the days after the alleged rape, Morissette told police that she remembered someone pinning her 5-ft. 2-in., 140-lb. frame to the bed by her shoulders. She recalled the “terrible experience of being penetrated,” according to a recorded police interview reviewed by TIME. “I was so scared,” she said. But when her attacker left, she didn’t summon a staff member for help. “She was afraid to call anyone,” an examiner wrote later, “because she was afraid that the assailant would be the one to come back to her room.”

Under normal circumstances, justice would be rendered for Morissette, and society, in a court trial. There would be a public hearing in which a judge or jury would weigh evidence, determine guilt or innocence and levy appropriate penalties through the due process of law. But Morissette’s case, details of which

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from TIME

TIME3 min readTech
The War No One Watches
Weeks ago, in Afghanistan, the Taliban marked the Eid al-Adha holiday with a surprise attack. It sought to demonstrate that 17 years of effort by the U.S. forces were for naught—and to inspire the American public to bring its troops home, as the Tet
TIME6 min read
She Said.
History often seems inexorable in hindsight, shaped by powerful figures operating beyond our control. But when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford walked in to face the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27, raised her right hand and swore to tell the truth,
TIME3 min read
Paulo Coelho
The Brazilian novelist, one of the world’s best-selling authors, on nostalgia for his hippie days and the forms that love takes