If there’s one thing absolutely no sexual assault survivor can deny, it’s that not being believed is arguably as bad as the incident for them owing to the trauma it sparks at every step of the way. This much has recently even been evidenced in Netflix’s ‘Victim/Suspect,’ especially since it uncovers the pattern of young individuals finding themselves accused of false reporting by authorities. Amongst those to thus feature in this original to help navigate the same is actually Dyanie Bermeo — so now, if you simply wish to learn more about her, we’ve got the necessary details for you.
Who is Dyanie Bermeo?
It was on September 29, 2020, when King University student/aspiring cop Dyanie’s whole world turned upside down as she was driving back to campus while doing nothing but listening to music. After all, the then-21-year-old was allegedly pulled over by an officer or someone impersonating an officer at the intersection of Old Jonesboro Road and Spring Creek Road, only to be assaulted. She was apparently asked to step out of the vehicle for being “trouble” once she politely denied speeding, just for him to touch her in the most inappropriate manner under the pretext of frisking.
As per the documentary, Dyanie couldn’t see her assailant’s face as he’d walked over with his flashlight pointing toward her, plus he’d ensured her hands were on the car as soon as she was out. “While he was touching me…,” she told Virginia’s Washington County deputies the following day. “All I could say was, ‘Please think what you’re doing. What you’re about to do. Just, please, think about it.’ He told me to shut up. I didn’t even get to see him” before he drove away. Though from the way he was standing behind her, the young woman did guess he was at least 6’4″ and quite heavily built.
The truth is Dyanie was extremely meticulous with the information she offered detectives since attentiveness is one of her skills, yet nothing panned out in her favor owing to a lack of evidence. In fact, on the basis of surveillance footage which honestly showed nothing, they turned the tables on her, openly claimed she’d concocted the whole thing, and charged her with filing a false report. All this happened within a week, so not only did she never have enough time to process her initial trauma, but it also ignited another one while crumbling apart her dreams of stepping into law enforcement.
Dyanie had admittedly been hooked on ‘Law & Order’ from the time she was in eighth grade, with Detective Olivia Benson being her favorite, so she had real intention of pursuing a similar career. It turns out she was actually a double major in psychology and criminal justice, with concrete plans to intern (in-office) with the FBI to kickstart her dream of being in law enforcement one day. But then this alleged incident transpired, she was arrested, and it turned everything sour — “that hope of trying to… make a difference just wasn’t there anymore,” she expressed in the film.
Where is Dyanie Bermeo Now?
Dyanie was formally convicted of the charge against her in April 2021, yet an immediate appeal with the help of her lawyers gave her parole and another shot in court within four months. Though this time, the verdict was in her favor: “I believe this is a very tough case,” the presiding judge said. “I don’t believe that the police officers are the bad guys, but I also don’t believe that Ms. Bermeo lied.” Therefore, following this acquittal, the Washington County Sheriff offered to reopen her case in the hopes of catching her alleged perpetrator if she was interested, but she declined.
Since then, Dyanie has reportedly obtained her Bachelor’s degree and is thinking of returning to school to earn a Master’s in either advocacy or criminal justice to continue chasing her dreams. Moreover, and more importantly, she has even initiated a civil lawsuit against Washington County Sheriff’s Department on at least a dozen allegations, including fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, as well as malicious prosecution. The court process of this matter is ongoing, yet the now 24-year-old does seem to be doing really well these days.
“It took me a while to identify as a survivor,” Dyanie’s Survivor Voices page on the End Violence Against Women International website reads, in part. “I truly felt like I wasn’t at first because of everything that happened after I reported to the police. I’m taking it day by day with my healing journey, and if it wasn’t for the love and support from my friends and family, I don’t know if I’d be here today. I will keep telling my story, in the hope for future reforms and for people to start taking accountability within the system and be the change we need.”
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