It was highly recommended to us to agree to the plea bargain, the reason was a bit shocking. We were told...agree to the plea of guilty and only to one charge - because the human mind cannot fathom this horrific abuse of children and the jury will have a hard time wrapping their heads around the accounts of the rape, the beatings the emotional abuse and he may not serve as much time as he did.
As I thought about this statement and what the lawyers were saying and the more people that I talked to, I found that this could very well be true. No one wants to believe that someone could be so calcuated, so manipulative, so abusive - that three people were being abused under the same roof and one didn't know of the other.
That a US Army officer could sexually abuse his children from infancy. That he would penetrate and break the boundaries of childhood over and over again. That these children were hostages in their own home by someone who was suppose to protect them, someone who is suppose to help these children grow up to be good citizens of their country and add value to the world.
Think about it. If you saw a picture of a well educated, degreed man in a US Army uniform - would ever believe that he could do such harm? Many couldn't.
So we agreed to the plea bargain - and we took what we could get. The prosecutor recommended an exceptional sentence - this case was horrific and long - many many years of sexual, emotional and physical abuse. That the mind games and solitary confinement was enough to change these kids forever - but the sexual abuse, the rape, the penetration at very young ages, the forcing of sodomy and many other sexual acts - that the beatings of the boy, till he peed blood, was too much.
One psychiatric evaluation of the perpetrator stated the following, "It is my clinical judgment that he is not only not amenable to treatment in a group or at this agency, but that he may present an unacceptable risk to the community's children."
The prosecutor - fought to get the exceptional sentence and the judge agreed, "I do believe that this is an extreme case where the damage done to this family is absolutely irreparable...I am going to impose an exceptional sentence of 208 months."
it was over. He was going to prison...of course, he was out 11 not 17.
And the story continues.
I was content with the 208 month sentence, although our lives were impacted forever, at the time it seemed okay. Today, 208 months doesn't seem like it was long enough. We need more judges and decisions like this one: