A student at Eastern Oregon University and native of Missoula, MT, raped by University of Montana running back Beau Donaldson. Allison Huguet is a track star on a pole-vaulting scholarship at Eastern Oregon University. She is tenacious and resilient. In part because of her personal ties with the Missoula Police Department, her case against Beau Donaldson is the only one to be successfully prosecuted in the book.
A native Missoulian and University of Montana football player who went on to rape his childhood friend, Allison Huguet. Despite Allison’s urging, Beau never takes full responsibility for his actions. He is cocky and remorseless. He confesses to raping Allison while being secretly tape-recorded, and pleads guilty to rape charges. He is sentenced to thirty years in the Montana state prison with twenty years suspended.
Allison Huguet’s high school mentor and the lead investigator of Allison’s rape. Detective Baker is a dynamic character. He works hard to secure enough evidence to ensure that Allison’s case is successfully prosecuted, and he supports Allison in various meetings at the County Attorney’s office. At the same time, Detective Baker is shown responding to other rape victims with insensitivity.
Deputy Missoula County Attorney and public prosecutor, then defense lawyer for Jordan Johnson. As Deputy Missoula County Attorney, Pabst is the main prosecutor in charge of pressing rape charges in Missoula County. She dismisses many rape cases because she believes them unwinnable, and she treats rape victims with insensitivity. She resigns from the Missoula County Attorney’s office and works with David Paoli to defend Jordan Johnson in court. After winning Jordan Johnson an acquittal, she runs for Missoula County District Attorney and wins.
Star quarterback for the University of Montana Grizzlies and Cecilia Washburn’s rapist. Jordan Johnson rapes Cecilia Washburn in the midst of unfolding media scrutiny of the way rape is being handled in Missoula. News of his case escalates the media attention into a veritable frenzy. Johnson is eventually found not guilty in a jury trial and returns to lead the Grizzlies to a winning season.
A pseudonym that Krakauer uses for the University of Montana student who was Jordan Johnson’s rape victim. After being raped by Jordan Johnson, Cecilia Washburn has extreme anxiety and symptoms of post-traumatic stress. She files a restraining order against Johnson that breaks the news of his alleged rape to the press. Washburn is criticized and slandered by Grizzly fans for reporting Jordan Johnson. She is humiliated and smeared in court by Johnson’s defense lawyers, David Paoli and Kirsten Pabst.
Former University of Montana football player and Jordan Johnson’s defense attorney. David Paoli is a forceful and combative advocate for Jordan Johnson and the University of Montana football team. After Johnson’s trial, Paoli writes a guest column for the Missoula newspaper arguing that, because Pat Williams criticized the conduct of players on the University of Montana football team, he should step down from the Board of Regents.
Allison Huguet’s best friend. Keely Williams is at Beau Donaldson’s house with Allison Huguet the night Allison is raped. Because Williams is also a rape victim, she is able to empathize with Allison in her time of need.
University of Montana student sexually assaulted by Zeke Adams. Barrett’s report of being sexually assaulted is not taken seriously by police and her case is never prosecuted. Later, Barrett stands up for her friend Kaitlyn Kelly. After speaking at a public forum to address rape in Missoula, Barrett calls out Kirsten Pabst for unethical behavior.
University of Montana student raped by Calvin Smith. Like Kerry Barrett, Kaitlyn Kelly is ignored by Missoula police and her case is not prosecuted. The University of Montana, however, takes Kelly’s report seriously. It investigates and expels Calvin Smith.
University of Montana student gang-raped by four members of the University of Montanan football team. Kelsey Belnap is made to feel like “just another drunk girl” by Detectives Mark Blood and Guy Baker, and her case is never prosecuted.
Beau Donaldson’s attorney. Milt Datsopoulos does his best to defend Beau in light of the ample evidence stacked against him. Datsopoulos files for Beau to have a re-sentencing hearing despite Beau’s waving his right to such a hearing by signing a plea deal.
University of Montana student expelled for raping Kaitlyn Kelly.
University of Montana Dean of Students. Dean Couture is a dogged advocate for victims’ rights on the University of Montana campus. Dean Couture finds both Calvin Smith and Jordan Johnson guilty of rape and moves to expel them from the University.
Allison Huguet’s father. Allison doesn’t tell Kevin Huguet she was raped until more than a year after the incident. Kevin Huguet’s emotional and raw testimony at Beau Donaldson’s plea hearing reveals the strain of rape on a victim’s family.
Allison Huguet’s mother. Beth Huguet finds Allison and picks her up on the night Beau rapes her. Beth is a supportive and loving mother.
Allison Huguet’s friend and Beau Donaldson’s roommate. Sam Erschler is supportive of Allison until Allison turns Beau into the police. After that, he criticizes Allison and speaks ill of her behind her back.
Cecilia Washburn’s roommate. Stephen Green is playing video games in the living room of his and Washburn’s apartment the night that Washburn is raped. Green testifies on Washburn’s behalf during Jordan Johnson’s rape trial.
Missoula County prosecutor originally assigned as the chief prosecutor on Allison Huguet’s rape case. Shaun Donovan is reluctant to offer Beau Donaldson a harsh maximum sentence. Donovan is ultimtately removed from Allison’s case after Allison and her family come to the Missoula County Attorney’s Office to express their displeasure.
journalist at the Missoulian newspaper. Gwen Florio’s many articles about rapes at the University of Montana help attract national media scrutiny and the attention of federal investigators to Missoula.