The state Victim Advocate said more should have been done to prevent the 2010 shooting death of a West Haven woman, at the hands of her husband.
Michelle Cruz says after a previous incident, a protective order was allowed to expire, and the husband was improperly allowed to use a family violence program, which diverted him from a criminal case.
“The prosecutors did not triage the case, and did not apply the law the way it was supposed to be,” Cruz said. “Instead, they allowed the family relations officer to step in and take over the role, and that is just not appropriate.”
In a report released today, Cruz says authorities should have made more efforts to reach out to the victim, Shengyul Rasim.
Investigators found that Selami Ozdemir took his own life, after shooting Rasim to death.
Cruz says state law should be changed, to allow people charged with domestic violence to only take advantage of a pre-trial diversion program once, instead of multiple times. Pre-trial programs allow people who are arrested to avoid a criminal case typically by attending classes.
Cruz also wants new offenses to automatically result in expulsion from a family violence pre-trial program, and she wants Family Relations Officers roles in the courtroom to be scaled-back, and shifted to states attorneys.
She also calls on states attorneys to do more ensure the safety of victims and witnesses in domestic violence cases.