LSU law professor appears in Netflix documentary about sexual assault accusations, ‘Victim/Suspect’

LSU law professor appears in Netflix documentary about sexual assault accusations, 'Victim/Suspect'
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LSU law professor Lisa Avalos recently appeared on the Netflix documentary “Victim/Suspect.”

Avalos shared her knowledge on false reporting in sexual assault cases with investigative journalist and co-producer Rachel de Leon.

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In the documentary, Leon travels the country and explores cases where women were charged with falsely filing a police report and sometimes are even arrested or imprisoned after going to police to report being a victim of sexual assault.

The director of the documentary, Nancy Schwartzman, focuses on Leon’s journalism to better illustrate the pattern of sexism and police intimidation that victims deal with when reporting crimes.

“Nobody who is sexually assaulted should have to go through something like this,” Avalos said. “This is all about the survivors.”

The documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January of this year.

Avalos has worked at LSU since 2018 and conducts research on criminal law and procedure, with an emphasis on sexual offenses and gender-based violence. She is well-known for her knowledge of accusations of false reporting in sexual assault cases.

Avalos received the 2023 Visionary Award from the End Violence Against Women International nonprofit organization for her work in April.

“Professor Avalos has distinguished herself as an advocate and leader with respect to legal and social issues related to sexual assault,” LSU Law Professor Ray Diamond said. “Not only is she a distinguished scholar in this arena, but she has served as an expert witness and has been sought out internationally to offer training to police on the understanding of victims of sexual violence. She is a real asset to the university.”

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Avalos said that she expects there to be some pushback from the law enforcement community and public for her criticisms of high-profile investigations and highlighting the legal system’s failures.

“If you have something like this that you are passionate about, you don’t let the negativity get to you,” Avalos said.


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