Today I attended the county court in Melbourne, Australia with another 5 of my survivor buddies. We were there to support Dave as he faced the perpetrator who abused him and others 38 years ago.
I thank God that here in Victoria there is no statute of limitations and Dave had his day in court. The person who sexually abused me died before I was ready to bring him to justice. So today I basked in the reflected glory that was Dave's. Without his survivor buddies he would have had to face court alone. We can be proud of ourselves for standing by a comrade who was all but bereft of other support.
But it was Dave's day - it was an arduous day. The perp plead guilty to 8 charges against two boys. Dave's Victim Impact Statement was read into the court record by Dave's Barrister - at Dave's insistance - and not just submitted in silence for the judge to read (or not) in her chambers.
The judges view that the perp receive a custodial sentence was a surprise to all in the courtroom and the perp was remanded in custody pending the judges sentencing judgement.
Within 4 hours of the case finishing, the two major papers in Melbourne were running the story on their on-line paper.
So for me, it was bitter sweet. A reminder that I will have to wait until eternity to see if I get justice for what I went through yet today I got a taste that at least i was strong enough to assist a survivor buddy get to experience his day in court. For that I will remain thankfull.
The newspaper report is as follows:
Footy coach faces jail for 1972 sexual assault card game
July 8, 2010 - 4:48PM
A former under-12s football coach who sexually assaulted two youngsters after games of Strip Jack Naked, faces jail nearly four decades later.
Victims and their supporters clapped in the County Court in Melbourne today as James Stewart Murray, now 67, was remanded in custody following a pre-sentence hearing.
Murray, who has been living in the Brisbane suburb of Carindale, has pleaded guilty to seven charges of indecent assault and gross indecency in relation to a 1972 incident in Melbourne.
At the end of the football season that year, 29-year-old newlywed Murray invited three boys to his suburban Melbourne home for the weekend with the consent of the boys' parents, Prosecutor Alex Albert told the court.
Murray engaged the boys in the card game Strip Jack Naked, which involved the loser removing all his clothes.
Two boys, who both each lost a game, were taken to Murray's bedroom where a pillow was placed over their face while their coach molested them and instructed their teammates to do the same.
Murray took one of the boys to bed with him on a Friday night and another on the Saturday night, when he sexually assaulted them again.
When he asked one child he molested if he enjoyed it, the boy curled up in a ball and cried, Mr Albert told the hearing.
One of the victims, who was in court for the hearing, said the incident left him feeling humiliated and destroyed his trust in people.
"The life was taken from me and I disappeared into a black void of terror," the victim said in a statement read to the court.
"It was as though my childhood trust was amputated at the age of 11."
The victim said he had suffered severe bouts of depression and psychiatric illnesses requiring hospitalisation.
His relationships, including his marriage, had all suffered as a result of the abuse.
"I was 11 years old, totally alone, powerless and in bed for a whole night with a sexual predator."
The two victims gave statements to police in 2008. Murray was charged by police in January this year and pleaded guilty to the seven counts in April.
Murray's barrister George Georgiou called for any sentence given to his client to be wholly suspended, however, Judge Margaret Rizkalla said the offences were serious enough to warrant imprisonment and remanded Murray in custody.
Mr Georgiou argued that 38 years had lapsed since the crime and Murray, an avid churchgoer, was now retired and looking after his seriously ill wife.
He said at the time of the offending, Murray, who had a religious upbringing, had recently married and had speculated he may have been experimenting with bisexuality.
"This one weekend was really a pathetic experimentation by an immature young man," Mr Georgiou said.
Mr Albert called for Murray to serve a jail term between two-and-a-half and three-and-a-half years.
Judge Rizkalla will sentence him at a later date.
I endured all my yesterdays. I prevail in all of my todays. I exercise my right to be able to enjoy my tomorrows. I choose not to do it alone.