The classification, though wrong, brought a sense a relief, she said. While it took more than five years for her to be able to walk alone at night, she was happy to no longer have to relive the ordeal for detectives.

"I wanted to forget," she said.

The fact that detectives showed up at her door nearly six years later and said they found her attacker brought little solace, she said. But she decided to cooperate with prosecutors, she said, because it was the right thing to do.

"It made me blame myself because he wasn't caught right away," she said. "I'm glad it's over, but I'm still not right."

Two days before that rape, on Dec. 15, 2000, another 19-year-old woman was walking a younger friend home along Pulaski Highway when she said she was grabbed by a man in a supermarket parking lot, just blocks from her Highlandtown home, police reports said. Her mother told police she had watched through a bedroom window until her daughter and the friend had walked out of view.

Within the hour, the mother said, she was rushing to Mercy Medical Center to join her daughter as she underwent a rape examination. She said she was approached by a detective who asked her if she thought her daughter was lying about the rape to avoid admitting that she was sexually active.

"I'm not a confrontational person, but I automatically raised my arm to punch him in the face," the mother recalled in an interview with The Sun.

Her daughter agreed to be questioned in the days after the 2000 attack, and the mother said the line of questioning remained confrontational. After about a week, her daughter pleaded not to have to return to the police station.

Detectives called for a while, but the family hung up. Her case was suspended due to a lack of leads.

The mother said she felt she had to protect her daughter from further badgering from police.

"They just degrade women," she said.

Then in 2006, police said they had identified the suspect by matching the DNA, as they had in the other woman's case. The mother said police told her that if her daughter didn't testify, the case could be thrown out. But the family still wouldn't cooperate.

The young woman did not testify at the rape trial, leaving prosecutors unable to pursue a second conviction.

"This is a problem in many of our cold cases," said Marty Burns, spokeswoman for the state's attorney's office. "We must have the victim's willingness to go forward years later, otherwise we have to nolle prosse or dismiss the case."

Experts say the lines of questioning pursued by police in both Mosley cases is all too common, and needs to change.

Dave Thomas, a retired Howard County police officer and program administrator for the Domestic Violence Education Program at the Johns Hopkins University, said police detectives need to be trained in what to expect when dealing with victims of trauma.

"The investigators are viewing the victim through the same scope as they'd view the suspect," Thomas said. "When there are inconsistencies, they automatically think this person's lying to them. Investigators tend to try and prove their hypothesis, instead of trying to prove a crime occurred."

Thomas said that in any case where trauma is experienced, from a rape to an officer-involved shooting, "it's consistent that [the victim will] be inconsistent."

"These victims, in wanting to help the case so much, they think they have to remember everything," he said. "Having to relive all of that can be very overwhelming."

Police and prosecutors acknowledge that the Mosley case reveals shortcomings in rape investigations that still need to be addressed.