"We have a statute of limitations in the first place to protect innocent people. As time passes, witness testimony becomes more unreliable as memory fades and forensic evidence becomes much harder to gather. In a criminal case, a lack of evidence can and often does keep a case from even being prosecuted. Civil cases, however, often use a much lower standard of evidence. These cases can invite bad actors who know that even the allegation of a heinous crime will severely damage their target, even if it’s not true. It also costs any defendant a lot of time and money to defend against even if they ultimately prevail. These are not trivial problems for the innocent."—Utah Politico HubThe Long View
Steele, who is 55 years old, was close to getting housing in summer 2014 until black mold in an apartment lined up for her by Volunteers of America derailed it. Subsequently, she was bitten savagely by a dog while walking State Street and, at times, had no place to sleep except in a stairwell.
Ed Snoddy, VOA's medical-outreach coordinator, succeeded in getting her into an apartment, albeit only a few blocks from the section of State Street where she sold sex and used drugs. While appreciative of VOA and Fourth Street Clinic's efforts to get her housed, "I felt like I was set up to fail," Steele said one afternoon in mid-January while curled up on an easy chair in her apartment's living room, the curtains drawn.
Her front door is marked by stickers from notes she'd put up asking people she knew from her nine years of homelessness and street sex work to stop knocking on her door. She pays $214 a month in rent to The Road Home, which leaves her $500 from Social Security. As she is concerned about ending up back in the milieu of street drugs, she says, "One reason I've asked to be moved from here" is so she can pursue a four-day detox program at LDS Hospital through Medicaid. Being so close to that world, "They can't expect me to quit."—Salt Lake City Weekly