The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office is continuing to investigate a claim by a Democratic National Convention delegate that she was sexually assaulted by a fellow delegate last month.
The allegation has drawn national attention after the reported victim contended that Philadelphia authorities had been dismissive of her claim.
"The complainant came in and there was a conversation that she had with the head of our unit and he decided there was need for additional investigation," said Cameron Kline, spokesman for the District Attorney's Office.
The complaint was brought by Gwen Snyder, a Pennsylvania delegate for Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has started an online petition, which now has 625 signatures, asking that the case be prosecuted.
The Philadelphia chapter of the National Organization for Women issued a statement this week denouncing the District Attorney's Office, after it initially rejected Snyder's complaint.
"Time and again, this organization has had to call on District Attorney [Seth] Williams to simply DO HIS JOB," the statement reads, referencing Williams' decision not to fire prosecutors in his office who had been involved in a pornographic email ring while working for the state attorney general.
On Thursday, Natalie Catin, president of the NOW chapter, said, "We're glad the agency is considering the case. I just think it shows a pattern in his choice-making that he continues to put women on the back burner."
Snyder, 30, of University City, filed a police report July 27, saying she was assaulted by another Pennsylvania delegate around 2 a.m. that day in the DoubleTree Hotel bar.
In an interview, Snyder said the delegate was visibly drunk, and told her that she looked like she needed a hug. When she reluctantly agreed, the man pulled her into a bear hug, Snyder said, and buried his head in her chest, licking her breasts.
Snyder said she pushed him off and retreated to her room. She reported the incident to police the next morning.
The District Attorney's Office said last Friday that it would not prosecute the case, only to walk back that decision four days later.
Snyder said she was told in conversations with the office's family violence unit that investigators did not think they could get a conviction because her alleged assailant was too drunk to understand she had not given consent for his advances.
Kline challenged that.
"Let me be very clear: We would never, ever say we're not going to prosecute someone for an assault or an attack or a related crime because someone is intoxicated," Kline said. "They had a discussion about standards, about proof, and a discussion about how that will happen in court, and one's level of alcoholic intake is connected to that."
After the incident, Snyder asked a member of the host committee, state party officials, and fellow delegates how she could go about getting the alleged assailant's credentials pulled.
"No one knew what to do," Snyder said. "The central problem is that there was no process in place, so even the people who knew what happened was wrong and wanted to help, they just didn't know how, so I ended up having to see the guy every night" on the convention floor.
Snyder wrote open letters to Vice President Biden and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the hope of prompting an official policy.
"There should be a process that focuses on giving a survivor the help he or she needs," she said, "so we live up to what is a good party platform on sexual assault."