Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor of The Star News Network, reports on attorney Kateri L. Dahl’s lawsuit against the Johnson City, Tennessee, police department and Police Chief Karl Turner, in which the former special federal prosecutor claims Turner and his officers mishandled her investigation and her attempt to bring to trial a serial rapist.
Mikayla Evans told The Star News Network she met the man accused of serial rapes one night when she attended a party he hosted at his garage.
Evans said she remembers meeting the man, and then her next memory was waking up in a hospital. At the hospital, her mother told her she had survived a five-story fall from a window in the man’s apartment.
Dahl worked for the Justice Department but was paid by the city’s police department, and after she complained about how her investigation was handled, the chief stopped funding her position.
McCabe: Attorney Kat Dahl was a special federal prosecutor working for the justice department’s Eastern Tennessee district and funded by the Johnson City Police Department, tasked with rooting out violent and gang crime there.
That ended after Dahl complained that the city’s police department botched her arrest of a possible serial rapist and murderer named Robert Voe in court documents. Mikayla Evans told The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network she met Robert Voe one night, the night she fell out of a window out of his fifth-story apartment.
Evans: My friend standing outside of the garage, me peering in. I said, well, that looks fun because they had a swing hanging from the ceiling and this girl was going around in circles.
McCabe: Evans said she met Voe after she and a male friend went into the garage to check it out.
Evans: I remember getting on a swing and he walked up behind me and put his hands on my back like this and pushed me and did it three times, pushed me in a circle, and then I told him to stop, that I felt like I was getting sick.
McCabe: Her next memory is waking up in a hospital and her mother telling her she survived a five-story fall, she said.
Evans: I don’t remember going up the elevator, in the apartment, or out the window. He says that he tried to catch me before he could even tell me that the window was open.
McCabe: Dahl opened an investigation into Evans’s fall as a possible attempted homicide. When Johnson City police executed a Dahl-initiated search warrant into Voe’s apartment, part of her probe into Evans’ fall from Voe’s window, they found ammunition, and a handwritten list with the names of 23 women under the word “raped.”
Dahl secured in April 2021 a sealed federal indictment on felon Voe’s illegal ammunition possession, and an arrest warrant for Voe, which she claims in her lawsuit against the city’s police department was undermined by officers tipping off Voe and delaying his arrest until he fled town.
Then Johnson City Police Chief Karl Turner cut funding for Dahl’s position, effectively ending her mission. Dahl’s lawsuit named Turner and the city’s police department as defendants as she seeks damages for violation of her rights to due process and free speech.
Reporting for The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network, Neil W. McCabe, Washington.