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#189479 - 11/01/07 10:00 AM Sex abusers hear victim's story...
Curtis St. John Offline
Past President
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 1796
Loc: Westchester, N.Y.


Sex abusers hear victim's story- News12 Westchester

By MELANIE PLENDA
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original Publication: November 1, 2007)

WHITE PLAINS - Though Curtis St. John of Somers never confronted the man who sexually abused him when he was 10, he confronted a roomful of Westchester's sex offenders last night and told them how the abuse he suffered affected him.

St. John's presentation was part of a Westchester County Probation Department program aimed at keeping sex offenders, both registered and nonregistered, out of their homes and away from trick-or-treating children on Halloween.

Of the 173 offenders on probation in the county, 169 attended the mandatory meeting, said Rocco Pozzi, commissioner for the departments of Correction and Probation.

For those who didn't, probation officers planned to go to their homes to check on their whereabouts last night, said Louis Conte, assistant commissioner of probation. Without a valid excuse for missing the program - such as a preapproved work schedule, a serious illness or a mandatory treatment meeting - the probationer could be cited with a probation violation. The consequences would be up to a judge, Conte said, but could include going back to jail.

Though this year marks the third in the program's history, it is the first time a victim of sexual abuse has addressed a group of offenders.

St. John said he wasn't sure what to expect when he agreed to do the talk.

"I was getting a little snippy last night, which means it was affecting me more than I was expecting it to," St. John said. "I've spoken with survivors and law enforcement before, but I've never addressed offenders."

Many of them didn't want to be there, as evidenced by those slumped in their seats, those who wouldn't look at St. John or those who fell asleep partway through the presentation.

But St. John told his story anyway and described math lessons he took in 1979 with a pillar of the community, a man he and his parents trusted and who then sexually abused him.

The tutor and family friend, Albert Fentress, that same year was accused of sexually assaulting, mutilating and cannibalizing an 18-year-old boy he lured to his apartment in the Poughkeepsie area. Fentress was found not guilty in that case by reason of insanity and was committed.

He told the men that when he read what happened to the boy and who was responsible, he was relieved that his ordeal was over and that he never spoke of it to anyone. But it wasn't over, he said.

He was angry and started drinking young to kill the memories, but they wouldn't die. What did die was his college career, his first marriage and, at one point, his relationship with his children from a second marriage. The whole time, he told the men, he never recognized that his anger and troubles in his life were directly related to the abuse he suffered.

It wasn't until about 2001 while in a family therapy session that he was ready to address the abuse.

It took six years, but now he works with abuse survivors and helps train law enforcement.

When he was finished, St. John said he would take questions. Judging by the blank looks and nodding heads, it looked like it might be a short session. But then the hands started going up. One by one, several men asked him questions: Was he uncomfortable when he had to go to the math lessons? Did he ever physically act out at anyone because of the abuse? Had he ever confronted his abuser?

One man simply raised his hand and said, "Thank you."





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#189491 - 11/01/07 11:50 AM Re: Sex abusers hear victim's story... [Re: Curtis St. John]
dgoods Offline
Guest

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
what a power of example, taking questions? are you kidding me? wow. just wow.

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#189492 - 11/01/07 11:52 AM Re: Sex abusers hear victim's story... [Re: dgoods]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
This had to be hard for you Curtis. I hope you're taking a little time for yourself after such an exercise. And like dgoods said - just wow!

Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#189508 - 11/01/07 03:11 PM Re: Sex abusers hear victim's story... [Re: Trish4850]
duncanUK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 632
Curtis,

I hope it went ok for you. i can only reiterate what dgoods and Trish have said. take care.

Duncan

_________________________
you dont see me. i am not really here. Its my fault.. all of it. I am to blame and no one else.

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#189714 - 11/02/07 05:53 PM Re: Sex abusers hear victim's story... [Re: duncanUK]
duncanUK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 632
Curtis,


I hope you are alright.

Duncan

_________________________
you dont see me. i am not really here. Its my fault.. all of it. I am to blame and no one else.

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#189739 - 11/02/07 08:58 PM Re: Sex abusers hear victim's story... [Re: duncanUK]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6358
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
Curtis,

Thank you for doing that.

_________________________
Jesus Loves The Hell Outta Me!

Still's Globs

New Video

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#190355 - 11/07/07 01:16 PM Re: Sex abusers hear victim's story... [Re: Still]
Curtis St. John Offline
Past President
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 1796
Loc: Westchester, N.Y.
Hey Gang,

Thanks for the support.

The night went great and I don’t remember seeing anyone actually fall asleep… it was more of a hide from the news cameras slump I think.

The night wasn’t all about me either, there was a great video on the impact of rape (male and female) and one of the facilitators brought four letters written by his patients specifically to this group. I had the privilege of reading two of them.

All in all the, group was receptive, the questions were serious, and I think a number of them heard what we all had to say. And I’m pretty sure there were more then a few that were working with the program in general (they all come in for treatment and small group work) so they don’t re-offend.

And even if one person is spared from what we went through because one of these guys heard what we said, then the whole night was worth it.

Cheers!


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#190404 - 11/08/07 12:18 AM Re: Sex abusers hear victim's story... [Re: Curtis St. John]
head&heart Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 17
Loc: Chose the hard place--left the...
Bravo. I admire your courage and respect your intentions. Thank you for all of us. Bravo.
H&H


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#191044 - 11/11/07 10:00 PM Re: Sex abusers hear victim's story... [Re: head&heart]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Thanks so much Curtis!

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#193671 - 12/03/07 09:13 PM Re: Sex abusers hear victim's story... [Re: WalkingSouth]
Logan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 1205
Loc: NY
HOORAH!!! Thanks for being such a powerful Pioneer and Leader for us; your voice representing countless other's.

Thanks Man!

Logan

_________________________
"Terrible thing to live in Fear"-Shawshank Redemption
WOR Alumnus Hope Springs 2009
"Quite a thing to live in fear, this is what is means to be a slave"
-Blade Runner

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