The American Society of News Editors (ASNE) has named An Unbelievable Story of Rape, a joint investigation by ProPublica reporter T. Christian Miller and The Marshall Project reporter Ken Armstrong, the winner of its 2016 award for non-deadline writing.
The result of 12 months of reporting, the piece focused on an 18-year-old woman outside Seattle who reported being raped at knifepoint. The police didn’t believe her and, worse, coerced her into saying she had invented the story, charging her with a crime for false reporting. The story, however, also recounted the sleuthing of two female detectives in Colorado who eventually identified and caught the rapist, vindicating the young woman.
"'An Unbelievable Story of Rape' is a taut, sophisticated narrative with deep character development and an astounding conclusion,” ASNE judges said of the work.
“Most fundamentally, the piece exposed the enduring threats to keeping women safe from sexual assault,” said ProPublica editor-in-chief Stephen Engelberg. “We are proud of its thoughtful, important reporting, and honored by this award.”