Victim advocate says enough was not done for woman killed - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Victim advocate says enough was not done for West Haven woman killed

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A report released Friday harshly criticizes the office of the state's attorney for its handling of a domestic violence case that resulted in a woman's murder.

Shengyul Rasim was shot and killed in her Blohm Street home during a murder-suicide on Jan. 17, 2010 by the 41-year-old father of her children, Salemi Ozdemir. Rasim died while holding her infant son in her arms.

Rasim, a native of Turkey, told police several times that night that Ozdemir was intoxicated, most likely armed with a Glock pistol, and poised to attack her and her children. The suit alleges West Haven police ignored her plea, and even mocked Rasim while she struggled to stay alive.

The victim advocate said Friday while the Milford state's attorney got involved after a domestic violence incident a few months earlier, it did not do enough.

"There were many opportunities from the prosecutor and the courts to hold this offender accountable and to immobilize him that would have better protected Miss Rasim," said State Victim Advocate Michelle Cruz.

In 2010, neighbors told Eyewitness News that they remember police being at the home often.

After a thorough investigation, the Office of the Victim Advocate found the following:

  • A significant gap in services to victims of domestic violence and in this case specifically.
  • The state's attorney failed to keep in contact with the victim.
  • They didn't see if she or her children were good candidates for the witness protection program.

State's Attorney Kevin Lawlor pointed out his office investigated this incident right after it happened and made a number of improvements to address the breakdowns.

He told Eyewitness News that he questions the timing of the victim advocate's report three years after the murder and says no one in his courthouse was ever contacted for the victim advocate investigation.

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