Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sometimes it works...



WARNING: SERIOUS BLOG POST

Sometimes our criminal justice system works. We have been in the throes of a very serious situation as a family. My ex-sister-in-law moved a tier-3, (the highest level), sex offender into her home with our niece, who is ten years old. A detective visited my brother to inform him of this situation less than a week ago. My family immediately came together and filed a temporary order to give my brother full custody of our niece. Today was the hearing.

I am happy to report the judge took my brother's side in this and gave him another five weeks to file for full custody. He informed my ex-SIL that our niece was to have absolutely no contact with this dangerous man, or she could lose her rights as a mother. Permanently. He has been in prison more than once, killed a man in a vehicular homicide, been arrested for spousal abuse, and had an incestuous relationship with his then 9 year old daughter. That relationship included digital penetration, fellatio, full penetration, and had occurred over a period of time. He pleaded guilty rather than go before a jury. He told my ex-SIL that he had only put cream on his daughter because she was chafed. He went to prison and was out in three years. Unbelievable.

What is frightening? This can happen to anyone at anytime. An at-risk family member putting children in danger by believing the lies these predators are uniquely qualified to tell. They insinuate themselves into single-parent families and then wait for their chance. We have absolutely no doubt this was the case with our darling little girl. She had already been asked to shave his back! Can you imagine?

I'm telling you all of this because we have to put some teeth into the laws to protect our children from these predators. Please press your local lawmakers to insist these creeps serve their full sentence, make them wear ankle bracelets, and keep the pressure on them at all times. Be aware of your own family members that could be at risk. If in doubt, call the authorities.

In this case the system worked. The police, judge, lawyers, social services, and family came together and, hopefully, averted a terrible crime against an innocent child. But they are everywhere. In Washoe County alone there are 1100 sex offenders. Check the websites. Be aware at all times. Because, believe me, they are watching for an opportunity.

49 comments:

Melissa said...

I hope your niece stays away from her mother and her boyfriend(s), this is a terrible situation. I am so glad her father took control and protected her. I cannot believe her mother would even associate with a creep like this. I am saddened how desperate some women become for a companionship of a man, to sacrifice the safety of her own child.

I hope her father gets full custody and she can live a happy normal life.

I know first hand how creepy "mom's boyfriend" can be, my sister and I (twins) were a product of child molestation on multiple occasions, my mother was in denial and we ended up running away from home. My grandparents saved us from the creep....

Good luck to you and your brother. No child should ever have to be subject to this. Parents should be required to have a license to raise children.

Nancy said...

Melissa - Thank you. I am so sorry you were the victim of this terrible crime. I continue to be amazed at women who fall for men that are clearly disturbed. Our family will protect our niece, beleive me. We were all in court with my brother this morning. Thanks for your well-wishes and your sharing.

DJan said...

Thank God this incipient event has been averted. The family is the only one who can take the necessary action to prevent this. And you're right: women who continue to fall for clearly disturbed men will never believe the perp over the victim. It's a good thing your family was so proactive. I am chilled just thinking about this...

Jeff D'Antonio said...

I'm in favor of either a mandatory life sentence, or castration upon release from prison for anyone convicted of rape or sexual abuse of a child.

These are very sick people, and a few years in prison will never rehabilitate them. There have even been cases of convicted sex offenders themselves begging authorities to castrate them or keep them in prison because they themselves know that they will do it again. But the law doesn't allow that, so they go free. And then they do it again.

Expat From Hell said...

Nancy - To your credit, I saw the "serious blog posting" warning and ran over here as fast as I could. I knew you would be up to something here. I wasn't expecting this, but it was riveting, especially being so close to you and your family. You are doing a huge service by making this personal, and by bringing this to the attention of so many of your loyal followers. Myself included. Thanks for your message, and your powerful frankness and honesty.

EFH

Lydia said...

This is a very important post. It's wonderful the way your family circled the wagons and won your niece her childhood...perhaps even her life. Those are shocking stats for Washoe County, and it makes me realize that I haven't checked for our area/neighborhood for a few years. Thanks for the reminder.

A huge contributor to this problem is women who lack the self-esteem to forge ahead on their own, rather than spread 'em for another guy. I get so tired of women who cannot be without a man in their lives, no matter what kind of scum he might be. Somehow we need to address this as part of the problem. But how?

Whitney Lee said...

That's simply horrifying. Thank goodness the judge listened and one can only pray that your brother is able to get full custody. I would imagine that regardless of whether your former SIL keeps this man in her life she has proven that her judgment is perhaps a bit skewed. Better for your niece to be out of the danger zone, if you will.
I cannot imagine how upsetting this has been for all of you. I am now doubly thankful for the happy marriage and stable environment I'm blessed enough to be able to offer my daughter. And even though she's not talking much I may start talking 'at' her about stranger danger. You just never know.

ellen abbott said...

My neighbor down the street sent her husband packing when she learned he was after her daughter (from a previous marriage) but many women do not. And it's not always a non-related male. A good friend was continually attacked by her brother. Her parents would not believe her.

I'm so glad that someone (the detective in this case) acted on his knowledge and your family, your niece, was spared.

Star said...

Oh Nancy, what a horrible man and what a near escape! I'm so glad you as a family, had the law behind you. You are so right about being aware all the time. I remember once when one of my sons had a near escape. He had a friend who asked him to go swimming. He said his 'uncle' took him every week, driving him there and bringing him back again afterwards. I said he could go, but I felt uneasy (mother's intuition!). When he got back I quizzed him and then decided he wouldn't be going again, no reason particularly, just intuition. Later I discovered that that man was a paedophile. I had bad dreams for ages afterwards but it was ok. It was a lucky escape, thank God.
Blessings, Star

Kathy G said...

Thank God for the detective who went the extra step and contacted your brother!

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Oh Nancy - how frightening for you and your family. This time, everything seemed to work properly in the law enforcement and justice system. Your brother was informed, took action, the judge warned the mother about her child being near that man. So glad your brother will get custody!!!

These lonely women that are so desperate and needy they do not allow themselves to see the obvious and put their flesh and blood at risk - so they can have a partner in bed. Outrageous!

Thank you for being willing to share your family's scare as a warning to the rest of us.

Yes - stiffer laws for pedophiles pleeeeeease!!!!

robert said...

As I am still searching for words, please allow me to express my honest respect for you and the courage it takes to write such a post.
Being a father on my own it shall continue to demand all me strength to bring such evel to an end.

Chris Lenkowski said...

My current post is about an organization that tries to stop child trafficking. Not exactly the same as sex offenders, but anytime a child can be saved from abuse, I concider it a win. Please read the top posting at

www.torilovestori.com

and if you could make a donation, that would be great.
Good luck to your family and your niece. Sounds like she has a group to help in her best interrest.

Nancy said...

DJ - Thanks. It has been an eye-opener.

Jeff - It is a very disturbing disorder because there is no known cure. I agree with what you have said, there needs to be some real teeth to our laws.

Expat - Thanks, and please keep an eye on these laws in your neck of the woods.

Lydia - You are absolutely right. Women and self esteem issues are at the heart of victimization. I always go back to family science - it needs to be taught in the school. What is more important than learning how to raise healthy children?

Whitney - The judge said just that - the only thing important was a little girl's safety. Thank Gob!! You are fortunate to have a stable home for your little girl. Keep up the great work.

Ellen - It can be a coach, a teacher, a sunday-school teacher, a friend, a family member or a stranger. It crosses all socioeconomic boundaries. It truly is insidious. Good for your neighbor for doing the right thing to protect her daughter.

Star - Nothing like a mother's intuition!!

Kathy G - The police have been fantastic every step of the way. I am very impressed.

Bonnie - So true - everything worked as it should have in this instance. But what about the little children that don't get the support? I agree, the law needs to be very clear - this will not be tolerated!

Robert - Thanks. It is indeed evil.

GooseBreeder said...

k you for your courage in posting this family story and hopefully your niece will now be safe.
Paedophiles are psychopaths who prey on children.They can never be rehabilitated.The best we can do is try to keep children safe from having their childhood stolen.So far there have been no adequate methods for dealing with predatory behaviours, maybe one day we'll find an humane solution to this worldwide perennial problem.

Joanne said...

I tip my hat to you and your family for coming together, filing a temporary order, and stopping a potential nightmare from occuring. You are to be commended for stepping in, in full force, with determination and love.

Brian Miller said...

i wrote a post on this earlier this week but never published it. it was a little dark. i work with a lot of abused kids and see them on theother side of this trauma. it breaks my heart every time. and most times they blame themselves. i am glad this was narrowly avoided. we have to be extrememly careful with the welfare of our kids. its a crazy world out there.

lakeviewer said...

What a horrible situation. You were fortunate enough to take appropriate steps in advance.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I am so glad your niece is with her father. Some mothers are so careless with their children's well-being. This is a hot topic for me. I can't believe how the courts handle these child predators with kid gloves, how they give them such light sentences for horrific crimes against children.

Marlene said...

Nancy you are lucky to have been able to get her out of that house..
My niece was molested by my SIL new husband when she was young..it took our family months to win custody and by that time she was already mentally damaged..for life. These men should never be released from prison..they will always do it again. I personally think the death penalty is better than keeping them fed and alive for life with our tax dollors..but I know alot of people are against that..and want to "rehabilate" them! I went on line to see in our town how many of these people leved here and was sooo SURPISED to see sooo many in our county..its like an epedemic!

Emom said...

I am so sorry...I simply cannot find the right words to express how sorry..take care of you too.

Cloudia said...

Unbelievable!
You are angelic agents as far as this little girl is concerned. I bless you and thank God for aware folks like you, my blog friend.


Aloha!
Comfort Spiral

Nancy said...

Chris - Thank you - I will check out your post.

GooseBreeder - It is indeed a world-wide problem, and at the moment there is no cure. We have to come together and report anything suspicious. Here in the US a preditor kept a young girl for 18 years in the backyard. People heard crying, saw children, yet the police were inadequate. We all need to keep reporting when we feel something is wrong. Use our intitution.

Joanne - Thank you. We were united from the moment we found out. There was no way she was going back to that home.

Brian - I also hesitated to write this blog. We all want this type of thing to just go away. But it's too important. We need to talk about it and do whatever we can to avoid the trauma you see with the children you help. Bless you for doing such a difficult job.

lakeviewer - We are so grateful to the detective that came to my brother and informed him of this situation. Otherwise, SIL would never have told anyone. She stated that in court today. She said she did not tell my brother because he is judgemental and hateful. Like that is not a normal reaction to hearing your daughter is living with a tier-3 sex offender!

Elizabeth - Exactly! When do the victims get the same treatment we give to the criminals? What about their rights?

Marlene - I am so sorry about your niece. I can feel your pain and frustration. Isn't it amazing how many there are - all around us? It is truly an epidemic.

Emom - Thank you, that is so sweet.

Cloudia - Thank you. We would do anything for her. She is such a sweet child. My brother is not perfect, but at least he is willing to do whatever it takes to protect her. She is the angel. Too mature for her age, unfortunately.

Lily said...

If he's a tier-three offender, why didn't they arrest him when they found out he moved into a house with a child? I thought that was a no-no. And, if she knew the history, why wasn't she charged with child endangering? Why does society take such a light look at protecting our children?

I have e-mail alerts sent to me by our county, informing me of any new registered sex offenders within a certain radius of my mother's home. She lives downtown, so there are several convicted rapists living in her neighborhood! (We are in the country.) My daughter does the same for her town. Problem is, now she knows one lives in the house the kids walk past to go to school! (Kindergarten)

GYPSYWOMAN said...

great post - so sorry for your niece - the worst thing is that there are so many cases that are never reported - my youngest daughter is a child advocate for the state - her job is to represent the child/children when they come into the "system" as a result of abuse, neglect, whatever - i can tell you that you cannot imagine the horror stories that come from her cases - she loves her work and all her life this was her dream but it is so overwhelming - literally - to see these kinds of things day after day - i am so happy that your niece has the love and support of a family such as yours - bravo to you all!

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

It all seems a big crazy to me. I don't or can't imagine how this can happen but it does.

Thanks for helping me to make history.
Pick a Peck of Pixels

"Jo" said...

This piece was so shocking it took me some time to think about it. The system worked and that's great. Like Melissa says: I can't believe how or why your ex-SIL would allow such a dangerous person so close to her daughter (your niece). But what's important is that your niece is safe now. Also, respect to you for not judging your ex-SIL in this post.

CrazyCris said...

Wow. I've heard of similar stories but with a bad ending so it's such a relief you guys were able to intervene before anything happens! I hope your brother gets custody. But it's sad there are people emotionally vulnerable enough to fall prey to this type of guys... and it's bloody scary he only got 3 years in jail after having confessed to the crimes!!!

Pat said...

I read your post with horror - couldn't believe the ex SiL would fall for such a jerk to begin with, and then believe his story. OMG that is awful and scary. Thank GOD you guys intervened. I'm glad the courts saw it your way and this had a happy ending. Unfortunately, there are many stories of this nature that don't. I shudder to think what would have happened if your brother didn't have a detective on the case.

Mental P Mama said...

I cannot imagine any judge allowing her to stay in the house with that animal for a minute! Surely her father will get full custody.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Great post, Nancy. We're all thinking of you and your family.

California Girl said...

my husband's first career was as a social worker. he focused on teens. the stories were appalling.

i am continually shocked by the callous way our system treats the victims and hands out leniency to the perps. that is not always true but, for me, the sentences don't seem to fit the crimes. 3 yrs for what the guy you describe did is a joke. if i had my way, their nuts would be cut off. and i mean that.

children are scarred for life by these attacks. for the adults, it's usually too late for reformation. not always but usually. my husband chose to work with children/teens because he felt there was much hope left...and not so much with adults.

California Girl said...

P.S. Melissa is right. People should have to have a license to have children...and pets.

Hilary said...

Thank goodness for your niece that her Dad has such a responsive and supportive family. Yours is not the first case I've heard about where this has happened in quite this same way. What are these women (not) thinking? I hope your family continues to be insulated against this creep.

Nancy said...

Lilly - He is allowed to be around children, but not alone with them. Can you believe that? My brother's lawyer asked my SIL, while on the stand, if she stayed awake all night? Or if he went with her to the bathroom? She looked confused but said no. He pointed out that my niece was alone with him then. The judge was very firm with her - stating she would be watched as if under a microscope, but it is legal for him to be there. If she wants any relationship with her daughter, however, she will boot him from her life. You are very smart with the e-mail alert!

Gypsy - Bless your daughter - what a difficult job! I just can't imagine what it takes to hear those stories every day. My BIL, who was in court with us, left the courtroom in tears when he heard what this man had done to his own child, and could have done to our little niece.

Abraham - How did I help you make history? Please tell - I can use a good story. :-)

Jo - We had a very hard time imagining why my SIL would do such a thing. But she was introduced to him by people that she trusted. She felt if they thought he was okay, then he must of just got a bad "rap." I have no idea what she thought when the judge listed his crimes. My brother was firm, but kind, with his ex-wife. We discussed how she was also a victim of this guy. My brother does not want to terminate her rights. He just wants this guy out of their lives.

Crazy - We feel the same way - 3 years, really??

Pat - I know. If that detective hadn't dropped by and took matters into her own hands, we would never have known about this guy. My brother had met him, my sister had met him, and thought he was an okay guy. Good for SIL kind of thing. Then they find out about his past...

Mental - The judge was very clear. He was not going to allow her any where near this guy. My brother has 5 weeks to file for permanent custody. She says she is through with the guy - time will tell.

Trish - Thanks.

California - I couldn't agree more. 3 years??? I can see why your husband wanted a career change. I focused on adolescence in college, and they are the most misunderstood group, I think. Not to mention so vulnerable to crimes of this type.

The Good Cook said...

I am still trying to wrap my mind around your SIL's attitude. What does this man bring to the table? Ex con, child molester, liar... wow.

Your brother must have been out of his mind with worry - and your family showed a lot of restraint in this situation. I am thinking of my own brothers and husband and what they may have done in this situation.

Please tell me your darling niece is safe for now? With your brother?

I will pray that he is awarded full custody as I can't imagine that her mother is making good decisions regarding her health and welfare on other issues as well as this one.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

So frightening!!! But a very, very important post!!! Thank you, Nancy!!! You inspire us to get involved and to engage in our world in so many ways! Bravo! ~Janine XO

Nancy said...

Good Cook - These guys aren't called "cons" for nothing. Very smooth, they tell you what you want to hear. My niece is with my brother for now, we have five weeks to go for full custody, but he doesn't want to take her from her mother. He just wants the guy out of their lives. Believe me - we come from the same type of family - there was no way she was going back into that house. Up to and including heading out of the country.

Sniffles - Thank you, and please keep an eye on the laws, requirements, and restrictions of these people in your area. We need to give our justice system the ability to get these guys off the streets for a very long time. Not three years for raping a 9-year old.

susan said...

I'm very glad to read there's been a positive result for your niece and your family. Thank goodness for all involved taking the serious potential for harm this man could have effected seriously.

It's true there are women desperate enough to have a man, any man, take an interest in them they're just plain blind as to who said man might really have his eye on. Vladimir Nabokov described the perverse attraction very well in his description of Lolita.

One would like to give every person the benefit of the doubt but you're not going to sleep well in the wood shed with an axe murderer.

Verily I go. said...

Yes, so wonderful when sometimes it works. So wonderful when a child is protected and I would forever honor your, "Up to and including heading out of the country." I would protect fiercely also. Thanks and praise that your brother's family is vigilant.

Nancy said...

Susan - Exactly!!

Verily - Thanks. We're a tiger pack when it comes to our family, as is yours, I'm sure.

Nancy said...

Hmmm - I believe that's a tiger "pride", not pack. :-)

Nancy said...

well I hope your niece is safe now. (eww, shave his back? I dont get that)

Pam said...

This is amazing. But, thank goodness, the judge saw what was going on. I also, can't figure out your SIL. It's not like she's confused now, all of this has been brought out in the open, and she still thinks it's okay!

Nancy said...

Nancy - My SIL saw no unappropriateness in the shaving of his back (obstensibly for a pool party they were attending.) Afterall, she said she, personally, didn't want to do it - and it "was only for a second." Clearly she lacks good judgement. Which, is the gist of the whole thing.

Pam - I don't think she thought if would get this response. She believed him when he said he was an innocent man. That an incident had been blown out of proportion and he pleaded guilty to save his daughter from going on the stand. In reality, he didn't take the stand before a jury because he knew the prosecutors had enough to send him away for a much longer time. The family court judge on Wednesday saw right through this man and stated his job was to protect a child in this case, and that she (SIL) either kept this man away from her daughter, or lose custody. He was very clear.

Rachael said...

Wow- so scary that something like this hits so close to home. I'm sure there's nothing I can say that hasn't been posted already on this topic, but I thank you for sharing this with the blog community. And congrats to your family for pulling together and making sure your sweet niece is safe from harm.

We have a tier-3 sex offender living down the street from us, literally right across the street from the elementary school. I do not know how he obtained authorization to live across from an elementary school (as a rapist of a 4 year old boy) but it creeps us all out. Luckily, the parents of our neighborhood are very active in informing new residents, and new parents as to who he is, where exactly he lives, where he works, and a picture.

If more people can be like those parents and like you and your family, legal reform is possible and hopefully one day these horribly sick people will be brought to justice.

Lori ann said...

Oh my God Nancy,
This makes me sick to my stomach. Thank you for writing about this, it is an issue that affects all of us. Thank God your family is together on this.

linda said...

this is a difficult subject for me to write about, to read about as I was sexually abused as was my neice and quite probably my own children by a family member....thank god i found out soon enough to know to keep my children out of harm's way...the laws are lax, sometimes it seems this is not felt to be as important as it needs to be and it's horrifying how these guys sometimes never serve a sentence or they must be charge several times before they serve ANY time...

our laws need to be changed...a man who is a pedophile, while it is pitiful, it is also untreatable and they MUST NEVER BE FREE to roam our streets and neighborhoods...how can an ankle bracelet really stop what damage they can do to a child, how can a list posted somewhere on the internet really stop someone whose sole intent is to hurt/molest/endanger a child...it is sick and stupid to believe they deserve anything more than complete loss of freedoms...I am overly emotional about this issue and it is triggering for me as well but it makes me so irrationally crazy when I read or hear about some of the things that continue to happen to children in our so-called civilized society.

sigh... going to drink some chai latte iced and breathe now ...

Phoebe Miriah Kirby said...

Wow... That is certainly a heavy topic. You're right about our justice system not always working.
Poor little girls.
I certainly have checked the sex offender website and was terrified at the discoveries I made.

The world is full of evils. I can't believe a mother would refuse to protect her baby from them.

I'm so happy everything is fine now.