Nation: Jail 'Em Yourself

Revenge for $28 a day

On a September afternoon in 1974 Elaine Summers, 23, then a University of Hartford senior, was studying in a park when a man brandishing a piece of broken glass threatened to rape her. She talked him out of it. Two months later police arrested Joseph Polumbo Jr., 20. Polumbo pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of assault, but was set free when the judge gave him a suspended sentence.

That did not please Summers, by then a law student. She filed a civil suit against Polumbo...

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