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#437504 - 06/09/13 07:43 AM Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure
pow Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 15
Hello All,
I am struggling with an awful decision I need to make and I could really use your opinions as survivors and/or victims.
To get to the brunt of it, I was asked by the authorities to disclose the identity of other victims that I am aware of at my catholic high school. As you can imagine, this is a hell of a thing to ask someone to do. There are at least two boys that I am quite certain met the same fate as I did in high school. I know their names and where they are, but I would never tell a soul in respect to them. I have never even talked to them about it, I wouldn't dare disrupt any peace that they may have. My concern is that I could cause them serious distress with these issues. I know if somebody would have come knocking on my door a year ago when I wasn't dealing with this, it would have put me right over the edge. You know how it is, you have to deal with this on your own terms.
But here is the reason why this is an issue now. As part of my recovery from clergy abuse I was advised to contact the local authorities. And so I did. I gave them my report of what happened in 1982 when I was a kid. By the way, going through that legal process recently, I know I could have never done that as a child. All of you who reported as children have some sort of internal strength that I never had. Going through it now was a great relief, and a stride in recovery.
So I made my report and thought that would be the end of it. I never wanted to press charges because he is serving a 40 year sentence for abusing kids after he abused me. I have always felt guilty for boys who were abused after me because of my failure to report but I was too afraid to say anything. I was too ashamed.
Two unexpected things happened in the aftermath of making the report. One, it turns out that in my state there is no statute of limitations on the number of felonies that occurred in my abuse. I don't know how many 1st degree felonies there were, but I think it was 3 or 4. I still didn't care, because he is 72 now and supposed to be in prison until he is 96. I had no interest in pressing charges, I thought it would be a waste of taxpayer money, and I didn't need it for my recovery.
HOWEVER. As part of the investigation we have learned that he will be released in a couple of years.
The detective spoke to the prosecutor and they want to prosecute my case. With some reluctance, I agreed. I honestly would not be able to live with myself, and I know what would happen to myself, if he got out of prison and sexually abused more boys. So determined to make some sort of amends I am going to try to keep him from doing it to any more boys and proceed with the prosecution.
But the detective asked me if I knew any other boys that may have been abused, to strengthen the case. And I do. I am pretty damn sure about 2 of them.
How would you feel if another victim gave your name to the authorities? I don't think I would have handled it very well at other periods of my life. But, having more victims will certainly solidify the case. My case is pretty solid. I think that we should be able to keep him behind bars just on my case but I am not sure.
He is a really bad guy. I read his psych report from his prosecution in 2000 that he has schizoid personality disorder, fixed ephebophilia (meaning attraction to adolescent boys) and his homosexual fantasies are tied to violence. He told me that God wanted me to give him pleasure. He had on his roman collar when he told me that. I was pretty powerful mind bending. Hence, my justification for prosecuting and letting the law decide what to do with him.
For now, I have told the detective that I am soul searching for the right thing to do on disclosing these other boys names. What are your thoughts on disclosing other victims names??? What would you do???

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#437507 - 06/09/13 08:07 AM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: pow]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1039
Hello pow,

Welcome to MS. We're sorry you need us, but we're glad you found us.

This is indeed a tricky situation. The way I see it, there's two solutions to your problem: the easy way and the hard way. The easy way is to give the names to the detectives and let them deal with the drama of cold-calling your former classmates, but as you pointed out, this could be very tough on your former classmates.

The hard way is that you reach out to your classmates yourself. "Hey, Frank. This is pow. I know we haven't talked in a long time, but this is important. Father X is going to get out of jail in a few years unless we do something about it. I am stepping forward, and I'm wondering if you will step forward with me? Here's the detective's phone number..."

... or something like that.

After years of feeling not in control, this is a good way for you and your fellow survivors to take control of the situation.

If you want to talk about this privately, feel free to PM me. You are doing the right thing.

Cant
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#437508 - 06/09/13 08:11 AM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: pow]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 695
Loc: Southeast USA
Pow,

First of all, thank you for opening your situation to us. Second, your initial post several months ago was instrumental in getting me to face my CSA directly without evading it or continuing to use euphemisms for what happened. Thank you.

In your case, the perp is obviously a very sick individual. For the life of me, I don't know why he would be getting out in two years. The perp who went after me...I'm certain demonstrates fixed ephebophilia with violent tendencies. He's free somewhere and that drives me mad sometimes.

I admire your courage to come forward with additional charges. Depending on what the DA is confortable with pursuing (and what his attorney might plea bargain), he would likely get quite a few more years. I'm sure the DA would prefer to have multiple victims to increase the perp's chances at essentially a life sentence. That said, what would the cost be to them? Who knows where they are in recovery? Personally, I would love for the guy to have more time, but I'd also be in a dead panic if the DA's office contacted me out of the blue due to info someone had about my situation. Someone else might be thrilled.

Ultimately, I'd gather my senses and go for it. If it happened two years ago, I would probably have denied anything happened. Like you say, you just don't know where others are in recovery. If asked for other victims, I'd consider approaching them myself...but that's fraught with difficulty as well. If they were friends---even former friends, I'd do it in a tactful way after testing the waters.

I'd still be rather uncomfortable revealing someone's secret. These things are best handled (adult survivors of CSA) handled discretely unless life and health are in jeopardy. So, I don't know if this helps, but I just would be hesitant to shine the light on someone who isn't ready to go on stage. Your actions alone may prevent another boy from going through the same thing. That by itself is a gift...to some deserving boy.

For what it's worth

Will.
_________________________
Cruel Summer
My Journal

-Signs and traces left in stone
Ruins of a past unknown-

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#437511 - 06/09/13 08:34 AM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: pow]
pow Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 15
Thanks Will. I appreciate your insight, I am leaning the same way. There is this subtle pressure from the detective to disclose other names to bolster the case. But, I have to believe my story is solid enough to stand alone. There will be people interviewed to verify my story. That is going to be hard enough. It is truly an agonizing decision.
I am glad my original post was helpful to you. I'm not sure how, but I am glad it was.
BTW, huge REM fan. "Crazy" was one of my favorite tunes in college. I think I listened to World Leader Pretend on Green over a 100,000 times. ...sitting at my table, waging war on myself....

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#437512 - 06/09/13 08:39 AM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: cant_remember]
pow Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 15
Can't,
Thanks. It helps to know another survivors thoughts on this. My gut dropped when you used the name Frank. There was a boy in my class. He killed himself when we were kids. There is suspicion that the perp had contact with him. It is part of my list of reasons to prosecute.

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#437514 - 06/09/13 09:07 AM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: pow]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1039
Well then, for Frank:

Swan, swan, hummingbird / Hurrah we are all free now / What noisy cats are we / Girl and dog he bore his cross

Y'all ain't the only REM nerds here.

Cant
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#437522 - 06/09/13 10:45 AM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: pow]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1093
Loc: The ATL
Hi POW. Thanks for sharing your quandary with us, and a hell of a quandary it is. I don't envy you and I'm not sure what I would do where I in your shoes. It's definitely one of those situations that just doesn't have a "right" solution. I'm sorry to hear you've been put in this position.

The only thing I can think of is to echo some of what Can't had to say. Maybe reaching out to these guys is the best course of action, as uncomfortable as that may be. Because they already know you, or at least knew you, having you be the person to approach them about this would probably soften the blow somewhat. Having police suddenly show up at their door to ask them about sexual abuse they may well have buried and not dealt with I'd think would be many times more traumatic.

Or, you could just roll the dice and hope that your case alone is enough to keep this dirtbag in prison until the day he dies. I can't say I'd blame you at all if that's the course of action you took. I certainly hope you choose to keep us posted as to where you go with this.

Originally Posted By: pow
I think I listened to World Leader Pretend on Green over a 100,000 times. ...sitting at my table, waging war on myself....


God, what an album that was! I love that song! Take care. Peace,

Ken

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#437524 - 06/09/13 11:07 AM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: pow]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
I would contact them. Tell them that the police wanted you to help them by giving names. That you would not but have decided to contact them directly in case they wanted to help.

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#437525 - 06/09/13 11:11 AM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: pow]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 695
Loc: Southeast USA
Originally Posted By: pow
I am glad my original post was helpful to you. I'm not sure how, but I am glad it was.


It was helpful because you described how a perp can transition from funny and easy-going into something monstrous. Prior to your post, I wan't able to bring myself to articulate what happened to me in accurate terms. Sugarcoating things no longer served me well.

That's how MS is helpful...and you never knew how your difficult story was able to help someone else.

Will
_________________________
Cruel Summer
My Journal

-Signs and traces left in stone
Ruins of a past unknown-

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#437533 - 06/09/13 12:56 PM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: Suwanee]
pow Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 15
Survivor insight on this is a real help. One thing that I failed to mention was that the police asked that I not contact any potential victims. Apparently it could be seen as some sort of witness tampering or something to that effect.

I think I am going to withhold the names for now. I can't drop that bomb on anyone. I have to believe my case will hold him. It was hard enough to decide if I wanted to go through with it to begin with.

I did not like having to decide to keep him in prison any longer. A part of me thinks he's been in long enough. But the part of me that never said anything when I was a kid, well, that part of me grew up and I am not going to let another boy fall victim to him on my account of being silent.

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#437536 - 06/09/13 01:54 PM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: pow]
Rustam Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 469
Loc: UK
I see the police point about witness tampering; his defence could use that argument. I think with a serial abuser, it is does not have to be about punishment they are really not safe to be in the community, the potential for further damage is too great. I am not sure what I would do about giving the names, it is very difficult. Other possible victims have the same choice you made and can come forward.

It is a hugely courageous and admirable thing you are doing, breaking the silence for the kid you were and preventing future victims.
Good Luck

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#437537 - 06/09/13 01:56 PM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: pow]
bodyguard8367 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""
""


Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/27/14 04:05 PM)

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#437602 - 06/09/13 11:40 PM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: pow]
catfish86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Ohio
pow,

I haven't been posting in a while and I haven't read your story. But I will say this: There is no way you can really know where the other two boys are at in their emotional lives.

That being said, I have two parts of myself to share for you.

First, if I were contacted now, it would be a relief. The worst abuser is dead now, but there is one that is not and he is not in prison. There were certain points that my recall may not have been helpful. There is also the possibility that they could be triggered in a bad way. It could also lead them to face their pain and its consequences.

Second, one of my abusers was a man who was let out of prison. He was older. He doped my drink and abused me, taking pictures. Another person familiar with his past got wind of my taking up this guys invitation for a visit and called his parole officer, who promptly did the right thing and bounced him back to prison on getting a minor into his home. I was never contacted but I really wish he had never been let out...it led to a serious suicide attempt that only failed because I passed out before I could complete it.

Both scenarios could lead to a suicide or bad consequences. Although one is likely to result in more victims while the other could allow them to have an opportunity at justice which may bring them peace. Given that, I would opt for increasing the likelihood that this predator continue to be caged by disclosing. You also would have to trust that because the police are willing to follow up, that they will be careful in their approach.
_________________________
God grant me
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

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#437605 - 06/09/13 11:58 PM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: pow]
DRA Offline


Registered: 02/07/13
Posts: 47
One question:

Have you asked the cops or DA if they've done this before and how they've handled it? Asked them for a detailed description? They may have tools in place to handle fall out and I'd be surprised if, even if it's a cold call, that they are tactless.

-DRA
_________________________
Strength in power is a false victory rooted in vapid grandiosity. Strength in character and integrity is the freedom to act righteously irrespective of the surrounding pressure. True power is the presence of mind to live with character and integrity.

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#437689 - 06/10/13 06:28 PM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: DRA]
pow Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 15
DRA,
I don't know their experience with approaching victims, but I have tried to convey how cautious I would be if I were to approach these guys. I have decided that I am going to roll the dice on my own case. It is the truth. If I can't stand on the truth what else is there to stand on.
POW

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#437694 - 06/10/13 06:42 PM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: pow]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1039
POW,

Your decision to go it alone is a brave choice, but also a risky one. It could boil down to a he-said/he-said situation, which it won't really because he is already incarcerated so his credibility will be zero -- which is good news for your decision to go it alone.

However, with other victims saying the same thing in chorus, you have a much better chance of putting him away for good.

It is true that you don't know where the other victims are in their lives, but you also don't know if they *want* to prosecute the bastard but just don't know they have the opportunity.

It's OK to upset someone with news that they have the opportunity to prosecute. Think about letting them make that decision instead of you making it for them by deciding to go alone.

I understand it's a tough choice, and I greatly respect your decision, because it's the harder one to make... but don't feel like you *must* do it that way.

It's OK.

Cant
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#437695 - 06/10/13 06:42 PM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: catfish86]
pow Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 15
Catfish,
Thanks for sharing. I am sorry that an ex-con got to you like that. My T told me that there is no way in hell that these psychopaths can heal, ever, not in prison or anywhere else. It's sad and hard to believe.

Everyone who has commented has helped me to figure out what to do. Your insight is greatly appreciated.

Before my perp got to me he held a gun to a boys head while he abused him. He did this under the guise of a religious leader, with me he even stayed in uniform. I thought he was going to be my friend when he took me to his office. I had no idea what he had in store for me.
Selfishly, one of the things I want is to see this mother fucker in court and stare right into his eyes. Stare at him like he stared at me when I was a kid after he did what he did and I thought he was going to kill me. He drove me to a swamp when he did this stare intimidation crap. I can promise you, I am going to do everything I can to keep this guy behind bars. However, I can't drop this on unsuspecting victims. I just can't do that. I won't.

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#437701 - 06/10/13 07:13 PM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: pow]
Climb1975 Offline


Registered: 05/21/13
Posts: 21
Loc: Brit
Pow - your situation is incredibly difficult. I think if the police are advising against contact then taking on the challenge alone is the right course. I'm grappling with the idea of contacting some of the other victims of the person who abused me. One of these is my brother. We would both say we have a good relationship and yet I've never discussed with him this huge issue in both our lives. If someone had reached out to me from a position of having faced the awful history and said 'I'm here to help, it happened to me' it would have made a massive difference. It might also have saved me from years of self-destructive behaviour. I am just wondering if the detective will let you do a staged contact - he makes first contact and as part of that says that 'our investigations have shown another victim, who is happy to talk to you if you are willing'. I realise this might all get a bit complicated and there are no easy options. Whatever you choose, you are being strong. I salute you.

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#437853 - 06/11/13 06:44 PM Re: Hell of a spot to be in. Other victim disclosure [Re: pow]
George Offline
Member

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 120
Loc: NY metro

I would tell them who I thought were victims, they probably already have a good idea of who (boys) were available to him to victimize, you'd just be helping them narrow down their scope. It might cause some pain, but the damage has already been done, this would at least hopefully help them get the healing they need.

14 years ago I made a report to the DA about my uncle, it was passed the statute of limitations by then, but still put him on their radar. I sweated the few days before going down there, they would only take a report in person. I made it there... I was determined to do it. Soon I was talking to a detective / DA spilling my guts. The guy was very cool, made me at ease. I have to tell you, I felt great walking out of that place, like I gained back some stolen power. I tell you this so you know, I know what it's like to deal with the authorities over S/A.

I would think that the authorities on your end want to keep this perp in jail and will proceed with caution & care when approaching the other guys you might name. They don't want to screw it up either.

That's my 2 cents smile

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