Girl, 17, jailed as a witness, testifies and identifies defendant in rape case

All she had to do was show up, put in a couple minutes of face time in court and then she could be on her way.

But the 17-year-old girl once jailed on a material witness warrant stuck it out. She took the stand. She testified for 3 1/2 hours Wednesday, and she identified the man accused of raping her.

It wasn't easy. First, she had to admit she had been working as a prostitute the night she saidFrank William Rackley Sr. raped her. Then, she had to recount the assault repeatedly in precise detail in Sacramento Superior Court, in front of a dozen strangers.

When she was finished, she walked out of the courthouse able to move on in a life marked so far by foster care and group homes and dangerous streets she walked at night, dangling on the edge of a drug-dealing underworld.

"Basically, this is the final chapter in that past life," said her attorney, Lisa M. Franco. "She can go and heal now."

The girl's case shook the local criminal justice community last month after it was revealed the District Attorney's Office had jailed her on a material witness warrant to force her to appear in court. Though an alleged victim in the case, she was jailed for 27 days.

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