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Campus rape focus of Michigan Notable Book

Allison Leotta photo
Tim Coburn
Allison Leotta will talk about her novel 'The Last Good Girl' Sunday April 2 at 12:30 p.m. at the Holt-Delhi branch of the Capital Area District Libraries.

Novelist Allison Leotta is a Michigan State University grad and a former sex crimes prosecutor, so when she writes stories about sex crimes, she brings a wealth of experience to the task. Her latest book, “The Last Good Girl,” centers on a rape that takes place on a college campus in Michigan. It’s one of the Michigan Notable Books for 2016.

Leotta says all of her books are about a sex crimes prosecutor named Anna Curtis. In "The Last Good Girl," she's investigating the disappearance of a freshman college student. "In the meantime," Leotta explains, "she finds out a lot about the college system for dealing with sex assualt on campus."

As a former prosecutor herself, Allison Leotta says her fictional counterpart Anna Curtis "is a lot more interesting than I am. I'm a mom, I've got Cheerios and Matchbox cars all over. My life is definitely not worth writing a novel about. She has a much darker family background because that works for her character and for these books."

Current events often mirror stories like these. Leotta says "There's so many people that this happens to, and they all have the unique experience of feeling like they're alone. I think it's so important to talk about it, to let survivors know that they're not alone. One in five girls will be raped in college. That's 20-percent of these young women. We need to prepare them and let them know it's not their fault."

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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