The 14 year old girl that you sexually abused isn’t the only victim of your insanely twisted and appalling actions. My hands shake to type these words, the nausea takes over, my breath becomes shallow, and most notably my heart continues to break… but there, I said it. I’m sick of kindly curtsying around the truth of what you have done. She is a victim. No matter how you or others choose to spin and attempt to justify what has happened. Regardless of how old she acts, the colors of her past, who flirted with who first, how she dresses, the wisdom in her years, or the confusing longing she may have held for you in her heart…
You looked intoxicated in your mugshot, which corresponds nicely with amount of money I saw that you spent at the sports bar earlier that evening, with our debit card. Unfortunately for you, as it turns out being drunk, does not make you have sex with a 14 year old… A child who can’t even legally drive.
Did you know that perpetrators of sexual violence/abuse are less likely to go to jail or prison than other criminals? In fact, only six out of every one thousand perpetrators are ever incarcerated! Let. That. Land. If this doesn’t speak to the evidence of your crime(s) that exists then I don’t know what does… And so in a warped way we are winning the lottery today. Me. Her. Your daughter. Society as a whole.
You are a son. A brother. An uncle. A business owner. A college graduate. A handsome and charming man. The biological father of a two year old girl, (my girl), who will also someday be 14… You were a coach to your victim and MANY others… You were my fiancé; which means you weren’t supposed to be having sex with anyone else (never mind someone that’s not old enough to give legal consent). Another “small” yet notable detail in this story. You were a role model and a friend. The way you abused your power is repulsive. And so it is my intention here to acknowledge that while it is not a title we ever wanted “she” is not the only victim…
I wanted to go to court today. I wanted to sit on “her” side; even though embarrassingly enough, part of me is angry with her too. (Admitting that out loud may be the most authentic thing I have ever done to date…) Still, I wanted her parents and her to know how I silently grieve for her/them as I simultaneously weep for us… I wanted my presence in the court room to shake you the way that what you have done has shaken me and my world. I wanted it to speak to you. I wanted letting you see me to assure/ remind you that I got all of your letters that you sent me; as an inmate from jail, and that my mom got hers too… I saved your “jail confetti” that you enclosed with my Mother’s Day card, but only so I could bring it to my lawyer. I was thoroughly nauseated by each hand written piece that adorned a written example of something that you “love” about me… I was as equally unimpressed by your handmade heart shaped letter that shortly followed, and the “confetti” that then spoke of things you’ve been doing to better yourself since you’ve been “away.”
Frankly, I don’t give a shit how often you are practicing yoga, attending AA meetings, going to bible study, meditating, or “repenting for your sins…” I want you to understand that I purposefully declined each of your phone calls from “Cumberland County’s Correctional Facility.”
Over the past few months my dreams (both at night and during the day) have been consumed with visions of myself sitting there in that court room… I imagine that as you walk by shackled in your jumpsuit you catch a glimpse of me, peripherally. What is that I’m wearing? It’s a t-shirt with “her” name, followed by the word STRONG.
I wanted to go today so that I could stare at you while they read your charges out loud. I wanted to see what some sort of justice being served looks like. I wanted to see what kind of punishment you’ve agreed to as a consequence for all that you’ve destroyed. Unfortunately, it’s likely that your narcissistic brain would confuse my presence and convince you that I still care for you. I really don’t want to inflate your already distorted ego.
Likewise, I have chosen to walk this path with the grace of a woman and a mother; not the grief of a child. Unlike you, when I make choices I first and foremost consider the blue eyed, vivacious beauty that I’m now in charge of on my own, even legally.
I wonder if today in that courtroom a victim impact statement was read? I hope you and others had to hear in great detail, how what you did has impacted this young girl/victims life. If that didn’t happen, I hope that some day it does. I hope that on that day you are somehow able to not only hear, but feel what is said. I wasn’t asked to, but I wrote an impact statement of my own, which I intend to share. I hope that sharing mine will give her and others faced with similarly horrifying circumstances the courage to do so as well.
Being a victim of your sick and perverted actions will not break me. Instead, I will rise. Every day. Over and over again. There is great power to be found in standing in, speaking, and sharing your truth; even if your voice trembles as you do so… which is what I will continue to do. Today was your day to be held accountable, and I look forward to discovering the terms and conditions that go hand in hand with your guilty plea. Like everyone else I’ve had to wait… People don’t plead guilty to things that they don’t do. They get on the stand. They take lie detector tests. Today was a day for justice to be served, but many of us were punished months ago; and as your victims our sentence is a lifetime.
Good luck in prison.