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#422140 - 01/15/13 09:35 AM Our Story - Help with Prosecution
sdc Offline


Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 32
I am brand new to this forum and this is my first post. I am hoping that by sharing my story, others who are much further along in their journeys will be able to offer myself and my family assistance.

The story is long, so I will try to condense it as much as possible. On December 23rd, my 17 nephew disclosed to me that his step-dad was giving him drugs, alcohol and sexually abusing him.

With that information I went straight to their home and told step-dad he needed to get out or I would be calling the police. He packed up his laptop and left. The very next day, Christmas Eve, my sister filed a restraining order and make a report to the local police.

Since that time, my nephew and his 6 year old sister have both had forensic interviews and sex abuse exams. The judge has already lifted the restraining order. My nephew, so overwhelmed with the situation became suicidal and was admitted to the childrens psychiatric unit for two days. While there, his urine was tested and was positive for Benzo's.

My sister never went back to her home. She moved herself and the children immediately. We met for the first time with the detective yesterday, 21 days after the report had been filed. At this time he had done nothing with the case. We informed him that there were incriminating text messages on the perp's phone and he was unsure whether or not he could get them. He stated that the step-dad doesn't have to talk to him if he doesn't want to. We left feeling help less and hope less. Can a case without strong physical evidence be prosecuted...I know I have left things out, so it's ok to ask questions. Thanks in advance for your help.

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#422209 - 01/16/13 06:38 AM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5941
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Much support for your courage sdc, welcome to MaleSurvivor. Thank you for listening to a fellow survivor. I hope that your extended family finds the relief they seek. Please thoroughly research this issue, go to ground with the information you have. Where the investigation takes you, follow it.

My best to you,
Sam
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#422222 - 01/16/13 08:43 AM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Quote:
Can a case without strong physical evidence be prosecuted...


There doesn't have to be any physical evidence. At 17, your nephew can easily testify. If a victim is inconsistent in his/her story or contradicts in testimony, the law says "beyond a reasonable doubt" for conviction.

In my experience, perpetrators generally will admit (Jerry Sandusky excluded) when confronted by the victim. The prosecution should be supportive to your nephew and do everything to help him and his family out. If your sister feels he is not being properly protected and supportive, she should ask the prosecutor's boss to look into the situation.

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#422230 - 01/16/13 10:52 AM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
sdc Offline


Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 32
Thanks for your responses. As with everyone who has experienced this kind of abuse, the trauma has bee overwhelming. I met with the detective yesterday...and he basically said, this is a "he said, she said" situation. I disagree. My nephews disclosure has been consistant. He has no motivation to lie..in fact it was just the opposite. He was very afraid of the repercussions his family would face once he disclosed the abuse. Unfortunately, many of those things are coming true. The detective says he cannot get the text messages because too much time has passed....I sense this is never going to make it to court, which will be devastating for my nephew and our family.

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#422278 - 01/16/13 04:21 PM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
femalethriver Offline


Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 14
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
welcome, sdc - children rarely lie about such a thing. i've fought with many friends to prosecution and it is disgusting and triffling fight. one step-dad of a friend was abusing his step-daughter, she disclosed to her aunt, the daughter was removed from the home (now living with her bio father) and nothing has happened to date to the step-dad. that was a over year ago - families oftentimes give up, the law is crazy awful for CSA. FAmilies who stick to it will get results. were you/your sister put in touch with an advocate yet? read this article, it's helpful - http://www.vaw.umn.edu/documents/strateg...ualabusepdf.pdf

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#422279 - 01/16/13 04:21 PM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
femalethriver Offline


Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 14
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
edit: i've fought "alongside" many friends who are prosecuting family members.

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#422365 - 01/17/13 10:52 AM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
sdc Offline


Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 32
At this time we are told that we don't "qualify" for an advocate. It must be appointed by the judge, and the judge has yet to do so. I did try to call on my own and have a GAL appointed for my nephew. I was also lucky enough to speak to an MD yesterday from CHOP who specializes in prosecuting CSA. Her words were very encouraging. We will not stop fighting. It has never been more evident to me how much education is needed regarding CSA...especially when the victim is a male and even more so if he is a teenager. When I talk to people, they don't understand how a teenager "would let something like this happen"...

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#422399 - 01/17/13 04:29 PM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
femalethriver Offline


Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 14
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
The hospital or dept of the hospital that did the exams should be able to give you resources. I'm sickened by the words you placed in quotations. So much to learn, you nailed it. I don't pray much ... But you, your nephew and family are in my thoughts.

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#422534 - 01/18/13 02:26 PM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
sdc Offline


Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 32
femalethriver - Thank you for your thoughts, it's good to know someone understands.
I think everyone thinks this could never happen in their family...but it does and when it does, you have to fight.

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#422909 - 01/22/13 10:01 AM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
confusion4life Offline


Registered: 02/12/12
Posts: 109
Loc: Italy
besides the trauma that all of you have to deal with now because of this perp, you do have a chance to get him in jail.
even if he doesnt go to jail, he at least has to answer questions by officials, has to take SOME responsibility for what he has done. fact is, the victims (little kids) have not done anything wrong but he has. regarding that, the kids have a right that someone fights for their rights. they need to know that they were not at fault but the stepdad was. thats essential to their healing. you are doing everything right.
its always uncomfortable, as only very few perps just admit what they have done, which means the kids might be asked (with a psychologist most probably...) but that too shows them, if done the right way, that they were not at fault and that someone cares for them.
i really with you all the luck in the world to go thru this. you are a fighter for the right of the kids and the kids are lucky to have you. most of the times noone ever finds out and the kids never feel any sort of justice is done, not even someone saying: it wasnt about you, the person is a perp and he would have abused anyone he had the opportunity to do so.

keep it up!
ela
( i also faught for my daughter, who was abused by her father....you believe it or not, but things do get better! never forget that!)
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everything is always okay in the end, if it's not, then it's not the end

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#423008 - 01/23/13 11:04 AM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6365
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
Originally Posted By: sdc
Thanks for your responses. As with everyone who has experienced this kind of abuse, the trauma has bee overwhelming. I met with the detective yesterday...and he basically said, this is a "he said, she said" situation. I disagree. My nephews disclosure has been consistant. He has no motivation to lie..in fact it was just the opposite. He was very afraid of the repercussions his family would face once he disclosed the abuse. Unfortunately, many of those things are coming true. The detective says he cannot get the text messages because too much time has passed....I sense this is never going to make it to court, which will be devastating for my nephew and our family.


Right now, THE most important thing is not putting the animal in a cage (but its an overlapping second), but is getting the kids ta a safe and livable state of life. Banging your heads against the brick wall in trying to push a case through isn't going to help the kids for now. "In crisis" is no way to go through a legal battle. If you have to fight this hard just to get it to court, maybe its time to take a step back and re-tune life.

You and your nephiew have chosen an honorable battle and one that he may see as fully necessary to continuing-on in life. I don't know him. I don't know his greatest want right now. But his greatest need is to survive.

One thing I hope the Detective caught onto... "He grabbed his laptop and left"

There's stuff on that laptop that will condemn him...unless he's unique to the 99.9999% of all the other animals in the zoo. Get that laptop admitted or investigated without any warning to him.
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#423021 - 01/23/13 02:38 PM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
sdc Offline


Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 32
confusion4life - Again thanks for the encouraging words. I can promise you that my nephew will never think this was his fault and he will always be supported and I will fight. I believe this is a case that can be prosecuted. I am reaching out for information anywhere I can find it. I spoke with an MD from CHOP who regularly testifies in SA cases and she gave me some good guidance on how to push the case forward...the biggest crime in this situation would be for stepday to NOT be charged with a crime.
Until then...my nephew is sleeping with a knife under his bed out of fear. He is having nightmares and trouble sleeping. Something must be done, he cannot be forced to live his life this way because of our flawed system.

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#423022 - 01/23/13 02:40 PM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
sdc Offline


Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 32
@still - The detective is well aware that there is evidence on the computer. My nephew himself told him, "Get the computer, that's all you will need, it's all on there". To date, the detective has not seized the computer and we are at day 29.

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#423072 - 01/24/13 12:32 AM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6365
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
Originally Posted By: sdc
@still - The detective is well aware that there is evidence on the computer. My nephew himself told him, "Get the computer, that's all you will need, it's all on there". To date, the detective has not seized the computer and we are at day 29.


Its time to get REAL creative if at all posible.

I heard about lots of people who's puters have been stolen or lost and then found on the roadside or other places where good Samaritans turn them over to good lost-n-founds....like mall security and such.

Well, since people's names and addresses and phone numbers ernt on the puter case itself...the police generally have to do some hard-drive digging to figure out who it belongs to.


Edited by Still (01/24/13 12:38 AM)
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#423105 - 01/24/13 10:14 AM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
sdc Offline


Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 32
Still - A Good Samaritan would surely turn the computer over to the police so that it can be returned to it's rightful owner.

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#423115 - 01/24/13 01:23 PM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6365
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
Its also amazing that nephew's verbal statement that there is illegal content on that puter, is not sufficient for police action. ESPECIALLY if the nephew claims that there are images of him on there.

Whatever jurisdiction this is we are talking bout....its got me seriously confuzzlled and pissed off to a new scale not previously realized by mankind. In most every state i've dealt with or briefed re: law and court rules, there's enough to search this guy's *&^#. I don't get it!!! But i will remain calm.

If the FBI were not so bloody busy, they could be all over it in a day.

Can we try the state police maybe? Its an end-run that frequently works.
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#423126 - 01/24/13 03:59 PM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
sdc Offline


Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 32
@Still - ....to top it off, I am a hospital Social Worker - have been for 14 years. These cases are not new to me, but to have it happen to my family is a blow I cannot describe. I know how to fight for these kids, but there are "issues" with me fighting for my nephew, I have to be careful of the boundaries I may cross.
I feel you anger as if it were my own, I have been that angry about other cases, but at least in those circumstances I can be their worst enemy until something happens.
Not only do we know their is evidence on the computer, we retrieved one of the pictures OURSELVES ...before the password got changed !!!!
So to date we have:
-Positve tox screen matching victims history in the forensic interview
-Witnesses to how my nephew was found on Dec.23rd...passed out in a locked bathroom with only a blanket wrapped around him while he was home alone with perp
-One picture off of the computer
-Text message logs (no content) but it does show that perp was texting my nephew all the time, during the school day etc

All of this, and he hasn't even been brought in for questioning. The detective did "kindly" let us know that he would get to it, unless there was a homicide or something that came up. My response, "Pretend this is a homicide, because it feels like a homicide to us".

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#423553 - 01/29/13 09:54 AM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
sdc Offline


Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 32
Hi to all who are following our case. Yesterday, my nephew did a recorded call with the perpetrator. I went with him for support. I thought the call went well. The perp never denied anything, however he did not openly admit anything. Yet, there was a clear implied understanding during the conversation. He asked if my nephew had gone to the police....who asks that without any reason to ask ? He gave my nephew his new cell number. He said many times they shouldn't talk on the phone. He told him to come to his work so they could talk in person and get a "plan".
The detective says he doesn't know if he as the "man power" to set up an in person wire tap. Then abruptly said, "if we don't get more on him, this case is closed". It was devastating for us and even more so for my nephew. I do not understand the response of the police.

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#423580 - 01/29/13 11:00 AM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 329
Can you go over their heads? Like FBI or ICE? Any other agencies sex crimes unit?

Lawyers and Politicians can be a resource (now or later) - area prosecutor?

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#423585 - 01/29/13 11:19 AM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
sdc Offline


Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 32
I don't know..can I go over their heads or would I get the same reaction ? Is the FBI any more equipped or educated to deal with sex abuse...especially abuse against a teen boy ? There is not another local sex crimes unit that I am aware of. Lawyers...yes I did consider that. I thought about going to our DA where we live..again, I am not sure that he would make time for our case. If he were a victim of Sandusky, or a victim of one our local pro sports teams, then it would be a different story. We had a boy scout case here recently....and it was plastered all over the news and they nailed the Perp to wall....Imagine that.

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#423592 - 01/29/13 11:57 AM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6365
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
For the record here; the FBI has a dedicated division for CSA and Child Porn. The staff who deals with CSA knows their stuff and will not be clueless as this detective is.
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#423604 - 01/29/13 01:52 PM Re: Our Story - Help with Prosecution [Re: sdc]
sdc Offline


Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 32
That does reassure me, thank you.

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