UK Happenings

UK Law to Host Panel of Experts for 'Unbelievable' Discussion

Panel flyer featuring panelists headshots, names and titles as well as the Netflix poster for "Unbelievable/"
The "Unbelievable" Panel Discussion will take place Nov. 11. Flyer courtesy of: UK College of Law.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 5, 2019) — The University of Kentucky College of Law will host a panel comprising experienced professionals including prosecutors, advocates, social workers, trauma therapists, journalists and psychologists to discuss the themes and events covered in “Unbelievable,” a Netflix series about sexual assault. The discussion will take place noon Monday, Nov. 11, in the G. Chad Perry III Grand Courtroom located inside the College of Law and is free and open to the public.

The panel will be moderated by UK Law Robert E. Harding Jr. Associate Professor Blanche Cook, whose primary areas of expertise include criminal law and procedure, evidence, trial advocacy and sex trafficking. UK faculty members serving on the panel also include TK Logan and Jennifer Cole, both of the Department of Behavioral Science in the College of Medicine.

The panel is being conducted in order to raise awareness about sexual assault and to educate about what can go wrong in investigations and prosecutions.

“We want our students and our community to know that sexual assaults are severely underprosecuted and underinvestigated crimes," Cook said. "For every 100 rapes or attempted rapes reported to the police, 19 cases lead to arrest, five cases end in guilty verdicts through plea deals, and one case ends in a guilty verdict through trials. As future lawyers, as a legal community, and as general members of a concerned public, we must do better than this."

Other featured panelists include Office of the Fayette County Commonwealth’s Attorney prosecutors Jenna Cassady and Rewa Zakharia, Lexington Herald-Leader columnist Linda Blackford and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program manager Anita Capillo.

The Netflix series dramatizes the domino effect of what can go wrong when sexual assaults and attempted sexual assaults are underprosecuted, enabling perpetrators to strike again. The program also explores the devastating impact these cases and crimes have on communities.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.