SEX IS A FUNNY THING – PART 2

As I said last time, sex after sexual assault is especially challenging.

I think I was very lucky to have been in a loving relationship when my assault happened.  I cannot imagine how much more difficult it would have been, on so many levels, had I been single.  Right after my attack, and for longer than I would have thought, I was afraid of everyone.  And I do mean every single person I encountered.  Men, women, boys, girls – anyone and everyone scared me.  My rational mind knew this was silly, but the irrational part was in control.  As I also said last week, I know, and knew at the time, that sexual assault of any kind, whether it be rape, attempted rape or any other variation, it not about sex.  It is about power or lack thereof.  Another aspect that a lot of women have to deal with is feeling dirty or ashamed of what happened to them.  I never felt either of those emotions.  I was very clear from the beginning that I had done nothing wrong, that I had nothing to be ashamed of.  That being said, I was still unable to have sex with my boyfriend for some time.

For at least the first few weeks, I am certain I wasn’t even willing to try.  Oh, I was fine with just being held and kissed, but beyond that, I was unable to even contemplate it.   I was never repulsed by him in any way.  And although, I was afraid of men in general, I was not afraid of my boyfriend.  My body and mind instinctively knew he was safe, that I was safe with him.  Still, ‘convincing’ my body that more than just cuddling was okay definitely took time.  Because I was in shock, and stayed there for 15 weeks, I could not cry.  Nor, it turned out, could I have an orgasm.   And when we did attempt to have sex, though my body responded to him, I was still ‘blocked.’  For a long time, every time we did make love, I would ‘leak’ 3 or 4 tears.  I called it leaking because it wasn’t real crying, and all that would ever come out were 2 or 3 or 4 tears.  I may not have been actually crying, but, clearly, it’s what I wanted to do.  It still was upsetting to my boyfriend.  I was not rejecting him, but I think he still felt that way.  I was doing my best to not let it happen, but it always did.  Looking back now, I am not even sure how long this went on.  At some point it stopped, but I do not remember when.  And as for the lack of orgasm, I am happy to say that that eventually came back as well.

What I can say now, too, is that after my attack, our sex life was never the same.  It seemed to never completely recover.  Oh, things worked like they were supposed to, but something fundamental was lost that September morning, and, unfortunately, we were never able to get it back.  It is only with hindsight that I am able to see this now.  I can’t really think too much about how much almost every aspect of my life has changed since my encounter with cockroach boy.  It pisses me off and I don’t want to live my life in a pissed off frame of mind.

So I choose love and joy and happiness.  Is it always easy?  Of course not.  There are times I’d like to go to the prison he is housed in and, well, you can just imagine what I might do.  Thankfully, those days are few and far between now.  I have many more good days than bad.  Though I am still dealing with a lot of physical issues that I attribute to my attack, those, too, are improving.  I have great faith that though my life may never be exactly as it was before, it is better.  I am better.

SEX IS A FUNNY THING – PART 1

Especially after a sexual assault.

Not that there would ever be a good time for an attempted rape to occur, but the timing of mine seemed especially cruel because later that morning of my attack, my boyfriend and I were supposed to be going to Santa Barbara.  We had been together for 6 months at this point and this was our first trip together.  We were going to see Don Henley and Emmylou Harris in concert.  It was for 2 days and 2 nights.  And because we would not be getting to our accommodations until late, my boyfriend made a reservation for that first night at Motel 6.  (The next day we moved to a lovely Bed & Breakfast in Summerland.)  Let’s just say of all the Motel 6’s around, this one had to be the worst ever.  I never knew they actually made sheets with a thread count of about 10.

When my boyfriend came to the crime lab, which, by the way, is in a secret location, to pick me up, I had not yet been ‘processed.’  That meant that we could only speak at a distance.  He was not allowed to hug and comfort me because any DNA evidence that might have been on my clothing or skin had to be preserved for the rape kit.  I remember telling him that I had not yet cried and thought that it would probably hit me a bit later that day or night.  Kind of funny thinking about it now since it took me 15 weeks to come out of shock.  That day, I truly  had no clue how bad it really was and how hard I would have to work to get through it.

When we left the crime lab, we went back to Coronado to the Police Station so I could look at a lineup of photographs.  It’s not like it is on TV, where they show a 6 pack of men who fit the similar description of your attacker.  In ‘real life’ I was shown one picture at a time.  I was not allowed to compare and contrast them.  I eliminated those that I was positive were not him, and was then left with two.  The one I ended up choosing was him.  What I told the police officer was, although the picture didn’t look exactly like him, it looked as close to what I remembered him looking like.  I also worked with a sketch artist when I at the crime lab.  I would love to see that picture to see if it looked like him at all.  When we finished at the station, Bill took me home so that I could shower and pack for our trip.  All I really wanted to do was lie down, but as it was already 2:30p, Santa Barbara is a good 3 1/2 to 4 hours drive, it was Saturday afternoon and we had to get through Los Angeles, and we had to go to Bill’s house for him to pack, I got in the shower.

Driving to La Jolla, Bill asked me if I wanted to call my mother.  I said no.  What I meant was that I didn’t want to call her then, I wanted to wait until, oh, some other time, or maybe never.  He said that I had to call her and thought that I should do it while he packed.  So I did.  First thing I asked was whether or not my step-father was in or out-of-town.  He was out.  Then I really did not want to tell her without him there for moral support.  I really do not remember what I said to her except I tried to tell her in a way that wouldn’t be upsetting.  I doubt I succeeded, because, really how can you tell your mother that someone tried to rape you and her not be upset by that?

I slept most of the way to Santa Barbara.  It seemed easier than having to think about what I had been through.  We left La Jolla a little after 3p, hit traffic in L.A. and finally got to the concert around 7p.  We missed Emmylou Harris, but Don Henley had not yet gone on, so we at least got to see/hear half the concert.  When I think about it now, I was pretty freaked out being around that many people.  Really, I don’t know how I did it.  I think I was just on autopilot and doing my best not to fall apart.

I remember the room being cold when we finally got to it at 11:30.  And the blankets were just as bad as the sheets, so I slept in my clothes.  The bad thing was that my hip bones both had big abrasions on them and hurt to have fabric touching them.  Really, all my abrasions hurt.   It was a terrible night.  I had taken a pill (can’t remember now what it was, but my physician mother assured me it would be okay for me to take) that, instead of having the desired effect of helping me sleep, did the exact opposite and I was wide awake and having weird hallucinations.  At some point I did fall into an uneasy sleep, and then woke up really early, as usual.  I couldn’t wait to get out of that hotel.

We could not check into our B&B until late afternoon, so we drove to Santa Ynez to go wine tasting.  While there I got a phone call from the Coronado police informing me that they had apprehended my attacker the day before.  That was good news.  They also told me I needed to come back in to have my injuries photographed again once I got back to town.  It was all so surreal.  Even now.

When we finally got checked in, I remember lying on the bed, telling Bill that I knew rape was not about sex, that it’s about power or lack thereof, but that for a while I was afraid that it was going to be messed up in my mind.  He said he knew.  So he just held me.  And since I was in a lot of physical pain from the attack, we went in the jacuzzi, which both hurt my injuries, and felt good for my sore arms and neck.  I think I slept a little better that night.  When I woke up on Monday morning, I was so hoping it had all been a nightmare.  No such luck.  I told Bill he could just leave me there, that I did not want to go home.  I think we stayed in bed until we had to check out.  The drive back to Coronado seemed especially long.  I cannot remember now if Bill stayed with me at my house or if we stopped in La Jolla and I stayed there.  All I do know is that for the first two weeks I was unable to sleep alone.  Either Bill stayed at my house or I stayed at his or my friend Laura stayed at my house.  I wasn’t scared in my house, but I could not be alone.

 

WHAT WERE YOU WEARING?

Believe it or not, this was a question I was asked by more people than you might think.  Even more surprising to me was the fact that most of those asking that question were women.  In this day and age!  By women who knew better;  intelligent women; women who work out and know exactly what one would wear to walk; women who, as soon as they asked realized how inappropriate and blame-the-victim type of question it was apologized.   As if what I was wearing had anything to do with being attacked.  As far as I am concerned, if I want to walk down the street stark naked (not that I do), even that is NOT a reason for some cockroach-type person to attack me.  There simply is no excuse.

I have to admit that even today I do wonder if I had worn yoga pants, if that would have made a difference.  I am pretty certain it would have, at least to a degree,  in that my new yoga pants were a size small and fit kind of like a tight glove.  As easily, and quickly, as he removed my skort, because it was loose on me and offered no resistance, my yoga pants would have probably stayed in place when he tried to pull them down.  Would this have deterred his attack?  Would he have given up and run away?  My guess on this would be no.  I mean, he didn’t run away when I screamed or when I continued to fight him, so why would my clothes not coming off easily have stopped him in any way?

What I did not know at the time, but now do, is when he saw me the first time on Ocean Blvd, my goose was cooked, so to speak.  He zeroed in on me because I was his ‘type.’  The girl he assaulted (if this is the correct word to use) in the month before my attack was tall, thin and blonde.  The fact that she was more than 30 years younger than I didn’t seem to matter to him.  He went up behind her and pulled her bathing suit bottoms down, fondled her butt and ran away.  Luckily, she reported it to the police, though not right away, and somehow they were able to pick him up and charge him, in her case, with a misdemeanor.  This put him in the system, and so the police in Coronado were familiar with him.  After my attack, when I started saying what he looked like, the police knew exactly who it was.  This contributed to his being apprehended that same day.  As soon as they put the word out, they picked him up soon after.

So back to what I was wearing…I was wearing what is appropriate to do a 7-mile walk, in the early morning, 24 September on Coronado Island, California.  It was probably in the low to mid-60s that particular morning.  It was cool enough to need a jacket, but not too cold  that I needed to wear long pants.  Plus, walking as fast as I did always warmed me up rather quickly.  And so what?  Who cares what I was wearing?  This should never be the question out of anyone’s mouth.  Ever.  There is never, ever a reason or excuse for someone attacking someone else, with the intent to rape or do any other kind of bodily harm.  The fact that it still happens as often as it does, and usually goes unpunished and even unreported is extremely distressing to me.  Part of the reason I decided to do this blog was to help in my recovery and healing, and also to get people to talk about a very unpleasant subject.  Am I making a difference?  I do not know.  I hope so.  What I do know is writing about my experience at the time and what I continue to deal with today, 2 years and 5 months after the actual attack, is necessary.

For the record, I was wearing a black tennis skort (my favorite, ever,) a tight-fitting white top with a built-in shelf bra, an aqua zip-up jacket (also a favorite) and New Balance walking shoes.  Everything I was wearing that day was ‘donated’ to the crime lab, and I never saw any of it again.  As someone pointed out, I really wouldn’t have wanted any of it back, given what had happened while I was wearing it.  True.  And I still miss that black skort.

AN UNEXPECTED TRIGGER

Recently, a friend of mine asked, on a scale of one to ten, ten being completely okay, where would I put my healing?  I said a ten.  Because, honestly, I do feel like I am all better.  But, really?  Can I, will I, ever be all better?  I have to believe this is the case, and I would say that it IS true for me now.

I went to see “Captain Phillips” on Sunday.  I even skipped my beloved beach yoga to go to the 10a showing.  By the way, it is a great movie and Tom Hanks did a wonderful job.  Imagine my surprise when the movie triggered in me flashbacks, of a sort.  Obviously, I was not kidnapped by pirates, but something in me definitely resonated with the story.  I can only guess it was the trauma they suffered from the ordeal.  When they were in the life saving craft and one of the pirates looked out the window and saw three American Naval War Ships, all I could think was, Wow, you should never piss off the Americans because they WILL hunt you down and do whatever is necessary to defend their citizens and property.  I also thought, why would they not just give up?  Could they not see there was no way they were going to get away, either with Captain Phillips or with what they had already done?  Why wouldn’t they just surrender?

This is what happened when my guardian angel was on his way to save me from cockroach boy.   Clearly, someone was coming, and even more clearly, there was no way he was going to be able to follow through with his intention to rape me.  Yet, he did not stop.  He did not even get off of me, he just continued with his ‘plan’.  It was not until my angel was leaning over and yelling in his face to get off of me that he finally, I’m sure reluctantly, got off and ran up the sidewalk to the street.  I know now that he was in some kind of zone, as were the pirates.  Watching it on the big screen, but seeing myself in a similar situation was rather upsetting.

The other part of the movie that really hit home for me was after he had been rescued and was on the American ship.  He was so obviously in shock, and I do understand that they were all just following protocol, but the way he was treated reminded me of how the EMTs treated me.  I never mentioned this before because I never wrote about it at the time.  It has never left me, though.  You have to remember I was in a lot of physical pain after my attack, as I had been slammed to the cement and then fought with my attacker for however long.  My back hurt, I had many abrasions and cuts, and I was in shock.  Just as in the movie, they wanted me to sit down.  I didn’t want to because my back hurt and it was more painful to sit down.  Basically, they ‘forced’ me to.  I was told they wanted to take my blood pressure and other vital signs.  I told them that whether I was sitting or standing, whatever reading they got was going to be off the charts and not what my normal blood pressure would be.  I felt like no one was listening to me and it did not feel good.  In the movie, the ship’s doctor said, “I need you to sit down.”  It was just the way she said it that brought back my memory of the paramedics and how they responded to me.

It seems ironic to me that the most innocent of things can now trigger in me the very thing I worked so hard to get through.  I can understand how seeing a movie about rape or some other kind of physical assault would be hard, if not impossible, to watch.  (Actually, I do not think I could even see that type of movie now.)  I guess that there are some things that will be with me always.  I do hope in time this type of thing happens less and less.  The truth is the me that was attacked that day no longer exists.   You know the adage, ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.’   Well, cockroach boy did not kill me and I AM much stronger.

HARD TO BELIEVE IT HAS BEEN TWO YEARS

Yes, I have been neglecting this site.  Not for any really good reason.  I guess because I pretty much finished my story, I kind of stalled on how to proceed.  The truth is my story is nowhere near finished, not really.

Today marks the second anniversary (there must be another word that I could use that isn’t so ‘positive’) of my sexual assault and the first anniversary of this website.  I was curious to see what I had written last year in my journal about the launch of this site, and because I was doing my best to clear the clutter out of my house, that particular journal got put in a box in my garage, which meant I had to go and find it.  Imagine my surprise when I saw what I had written!  Nothing.  Nada, zip, zilch.  Really?  How can that be?  Well, last year at this time, though I was close, oh so close, to being finished with my therapy and dealing with my attack, I was still very much in it.  The closest date to today that I wrote was on 28 September 2012 and all I wrote was:  “Mostly, I feel like a big, fat fraud, pretending to be happy.”  Clearly, I was still struggling.

And if I am truly honest with you, and with myself, I still am, to a degree.  Oh, it is nowhere like before, and I definitely have more good days than not, BUT I am still dealing with the aftermath.  I am working on forgiving my attacker, and believe it or not, forgiving myself.  I have been told my numerous people that I am too hard on myself, and this is one example of that.  On the one hand, I KNOW I did nothing wrong; on the other, though, I think I somehow blame myself for what happened.  Still.  And this drives me crazy.  It seems so illogical.  Yet it is still there.  Not always, but enough to make me aware of it.

I have been feeling ‘off’ the last week or so, and waking up this morning there was no question of what day it is.  I wonder how long this will plague me.  Will I always remember this day?  Or will it fade in significance over time?

This is what I wrote in my journal this morning:  As I was drawing my angel card this morning, I ask that the perfect card be given to me, and my reaction to drawing ‘COURAGE’ was, Oh My Gosh!  This is the one word that has been used over and over to describe me and my reaction and/or handling of my attack.  And the one word that I have trouble seeing myself as being.  It feels surreal, like it didn’t even happen and at the same time, it is ever-present in my life.  It’s not that I necessarily or particularly dwell on it, but it is definitely there.  I think physically I feel it the most.  I still have a lot of neck pain, and though it is not debilitating, I am still very much aware of it.  I realized this morning, too, that I haven’t completely forgiven myself for ‘allowing’ it to happen.  That’s what I tapped on this morning – forgiving myself, Bill, the police, the EMTs, the D.A., his attorney and my attacker. I must forgive, not because any of it was right, but for myself, for my peace of mind, for my emotional health and well-being.  I DESERVE to be pain-free, emotionally, physically and in every other way.  Two years of my life have been dominated by an event which, in all likelihood, was just a few minutes long.  How is this possible?  How can 2 or 3 or 5 minutes out of a lifetime be that important?  525,600 minutes in a year and I continue to let those few minutes determine how I feel?

All I can say is I am doing my best to continue to heal what is still left to heal.  It is an ongoing process.  I am hopeful, however, that in time it will be less and less so ‘present’ in my life.  It is just one event in a lifetime of events, it is in the past and I choose to live in the present.  I choose, as Milton said, heaven.  I choose to release the regret, the blame and the guilt.  Through love I am made whole again.  I choose love.

AFTER THE SENTENCING

As I mentioned before, I did not write in my journal about what happened after Laura, Bill and I walked out of the courtroom.  I just checked to see if I mentioned anything at a later date.  I never specifically addressed it, and all I wrote the following day, 26 June 2012 was:

“Yesterday, to me, still feels surreal.  I don’t have a strong feeling either way.  All I am certain of is he deserves to be in prison.”

When court was adjourned, cockroach boy’s sister and father, who had been seated right in front of us, practically ran out of the room.  I remember thinking, ‘good, I don’t want to see them anyway.’    We couldn’t leave right away because the D.A. needed to give me a copy of the restraining order that the court had gotten on my behalf, so we kind of hung around inside the courtroom.  When it became clear that it would take a bit longer than anticipated, we left to wait outside.  As soon as we walked through the outer door, the sister and father descended upon us.  The sister, whose name I never did get, said to me, “I just want to apologize for what my brother did to you.”  And the father piped up, “Yeah, we didn’t raise him that way.”  To say that I was in shock that they were even speaking to me would be an understatement.  I did my best to be polite without really saying much.  What did they expect I would say?  ‘Oh, it’s okay, don’t worry about it.’  Hardly.  It was not okay and I wasn’t going to say otherwise.  When the father spoke to me, I thought, ‘no way does he live in Coronado.  He had exactly 3 teeth in his mouth, and I am pretty sure there must be a city ordinance that says you must have teeth to live there.’  Seriously, no way could he look like that and live there.

I really didn’t respond to her apology.  I thought they would then walk away.  But, no, she wasn’t finished with me yet.  So then she said something like, ‘my brother is mentally ill and needs help, he doesn’t need to be in prison.’  I said, “Oh, I understand mental illness.  I have a brother who is bipolar and he doesn’t take his medication either, but he doesn’t attack women.”  I was feeling very uncomfortable and wanted her to leave me alone.  No such luck.  Then she said to me, “Did you see him?  He’s going to be attacked in prison.”  And all I could think was, ‘Oh well.  He should have thought about that before attacking me.’  What I said to her was, “If you had ever been attacked, you would understand.”  And she said, “Oh, I have been.  He attacked/raped (not quite sure which word she said here, but the meaning of what she was saying was very clear) me.  Twice!”  What I wanted to say to her, but didn’t, was, ‘You stupid bitch!  This is your fault for not reporting him to the authorities.  We wouldn’t be here right now if you had reported him.’  What could I actually say to that?  Nothing.  By this time, Bill was in between the sister and me and Laura was trying to pull her away.  I was extremely upset, but saying nothing to her.  As Laura pulled her away, she turned and said to me, “I hope you learn something from this.  And I hope you have a nice life.”  Those statements made me want to attack her.  Really?  Of course, she would have no way of knowing just how much I struggled with what should be done with him and whether he would be better served out of prison than in.  And of all the people to say ‘I hope you learn something from this’ to, I just wasn’t it.  I was learning from it the minute it happened.  Stupid bitch.

I was in absolute shock.  I could not believe what I had just heard.  I couldn’t believe that she verbally attacked me, especially since the judge had just said that there was to be no contact with me, and even though I know cockroach boy did not tell her to say these things to me, it didn’t matter.  In my mind she was disobeying the judge’s direct order.  The D.A. chose this moment to walk up with my order of protection.  (And why I would need a restraining order against someone who is in prison and an order that would expire before his prison sentence is even up always baffled me.)  I/we told the D.A. what the sister had just said.  She thought it interesting, but it’s not like she could do anything about it and it’s not like the sister was suddenly going to report the crimes he committed against her.  And at that point, fat lot of good it would have done anyway.  I just wanted out of the court-house, so the D.A. took us the back way down so I would not have to walk by the father and sister and be attacked, yet again.

Even as I am writing this today, I still feel the anger from that day.   After sitting through cockroach boy’s stupid attorney’s words and then having the sister come after me because I had the nerve to make sure her criminal brother was sent to prison, I was completely spent.  I was so glad this part of the process was behind me now, but there was still a lot healing to be done.  I somehow knew this to be true.

Again, it is amazing to me, looking back, how my mind and body protected me.  How I was able to do what needed to be done in order to come out the other side.  Interestingly, as stressed as my body and mind were during this period, I never got sick.  That is, until after the sentencing.  I normally do not get sick anyway, and I really never get sick in the summer.  About a week later, though, I did get sick.  I got a cold and a hacking cough that kept me from sleeping.  Still, my body waited until after he was sentenced and in prison to allow the overwhelming stress I was going through to manifest into sickness.  Amazing!

THROUGH A RAPIST’S EYES

The article below showed up on my next door neighbor’s Facebook for some reason and he forwarded it to me.  I have seen this before, or something similar.  I am posting it because every bit of knowledge we have that may prevent assault or rape is a good thing. The very ironic thing is I did everything on the list, and in my particular case, none of it worked.  I remember thinking this as the attack was going on.  It did not make a difference that I fought him, he didn’t let up.  It did not matter that I was screaming, in that the screaming didn’t deter him, but my screaming is what drew the attention of my good Samaritan.  Still, I knew what to do from articles just like this.  And even though it didn’t work as well as I would have liked, it must have worked somewhat since I was not raped.

THROUGH A RAPIST’S EYES
A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:

1] The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid, or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.

2] The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women who’s clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing.

3] They also look for women using their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.

4] The number one place women are abducted from / attacked at is grocery store parking lots.

5] Number two is office parking lots/garages.

6] Number three is public restrooms.

7] The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to a second location where they don’t have to worry about getting caught.

8] If you put up any kind of fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn’t worth it because it will be time-consuming.

9] These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas,or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands.

10] Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you’re not worth it.

POINTS THAT WE SHOULD REMEMBER:

1] If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk: can’t believe it is so cold out here, we’re in for a bad winter. Now that you’ve seen their faces and could identify them in a line-up, you lose appeal as a target.

2] If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell ‘Stop’ or ‘Stay back!’  Most of the rapists this man talked to said they’d leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target.

3] If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes,) yelling ‘I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY’ and holding it out will be a deterrent.

4] If someone grabs you, you can’t beat them with strength but you can do it by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and armpit or in the upper inner thigh – HARD. One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands the guy needed stitches. Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it; it really hurts.

5] After the initial hit, always go for the groin. I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy’s parts it is extremely painful. You might think that you’ll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause him a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble, and he’s out of there.

6] When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible. The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.

7] Of course the things we always hear still apply. Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can and if you see any odd behavior, don’t dismiss it, go with your instincts. You may feel little silly at the time, but you’d feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.

FINALLY, PLEASE REMEMBER THESE AS WELL ….

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do it.

2. Learned this from a tourist guide to New Orleans : if a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you…. chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car: Kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won’t see you but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping,eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON’T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU CLOSE THE DOOR, LEAVE.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:

a. Be aware: look around your car as someone may be hiding at the passenger side , peek into your car, inside the passenger side floor, and in the back seat.   (DO THIS TOO BEFORE GETTING INTO A TAXI CAB.)

b. If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

c. Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.  IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY.   (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs.  (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot.)

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ.  RUN!

8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well-educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked “for help” into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it and it’s better safe than sorry.

So please reblog this….your one reblog can help to spread this information.

THIS COULD ACTUALLY SAVE A LIFE.

THE COURT TRANSCRIPT — PART 2

Just as I did with the last post, I will add my comments to the proceedings in italics to differentiate it from the transcript.  It is easier than going back at the end and trying to remember what I wanted to say about a particular statement made by either the D.A. or the C.A. (cockroach’s attorney.)

At the end of my last post, I was just about to give my statement to the court.

 

“THE COURT:  Okay.  Anything from the victim, then, Miss Shriver?  Miss Shriver, is it okay if I use your full name?

Miss Shriver:  Sure.  (I had/have no problem with anyone or everyone knowing my name or what happened to me.  The girl who is called Jane Doe #2 did not want cockroach boy to see her face and chose not to come to court.  Me, I did not, nor do I care still.)

There is then the spelling of my name and some other, boring court business and then:

THE COURT:  Okay.  All right.  So we’ll be off the record for the recording of the statement that I have.  It’s entitled, “My Statement For The Court.”  Okay, go ahead.

Off the record.

THE COURT:  Okay.  Back on the record.  Thank you very much.  Is there anything else from the people?

D.A.:  I have provided the criminal protective order to the Court in Miss Shriver’s name.

THE COURT:  And you’re just requesting it as to Miss Shriver?

D.A.:  Yes, Your Honor.

THE COURT:  Is there anything from probation?

D.A.:  No, Your Honor.

THE COURT:  Anything else?

C.A.:  Yes, Your Honor.  If the Court is inclined to grant — impose prison as opposed to a grant of probation, I would ask the Court to give him the low sentence of two years in state prison; not only based on the fact that he doesn’t have any adult (only because no one ever pressed charges and followed through.  He does have a juvenile record that was also entered into the record, so she really was trying to gloss over the actual facts of the case.  Imagine that!) criminal record, but also on the facts of this particular crime and all of the statements in mitigation that I — that I included, I’m sorry, in my sentencing memorandum.

Again, under the rules of Court this is less severe than other crimes that we see.  (I have to say here again that just reading this and typing it is pissing me off.  She could not possibly understand how severe it truly was and how can she even presume to compare it to any other case?  It is just infuriating.)  There was absolutely no planning (HA) or sophistication whatsoever.  (It may not have been ‘sophisticated’ and I’m not even sure how she would define this, but all I can say is there was no hesitation on his part.  Even if he had never ‘practiced’ this on a real person, he sure did practice it in his head.  I’ll say it again:  THERE WAS NO HESITATION AT ALL.)  It’s just the opposite, that he was drinking all night long with his friends and then just did this impulsive act.  (I would think that if an individual was, in fact, drinking ALL night long, he would reek of alcohol, and this was not the case.  I would believe that he was doing drugs all night, but no one tested him for that.)

I — after reading the probation report, I assumed that it was clear that cockroach boy has had a long history of mental health issues.  If there’s any doubt about that, I would be happy to continue this (Fat chance of the judge postponing, yet again, this case because of her incompetence and not getting the psyche evaluation done.  Oh, let me think about that–she had 9 stinking months to do her job, or if she did actually have it done, then it was so damning that she chose not to include it in the probation report.) and provide actual documents to the Court and to the District Attorney’s office.  They’re voluminous, and I didn’t think it was in doubt, so that’s why I did not attach them to the sentencing memorandum.  (Did she not think the judge could figure out what was relevant and what was not?)

And with regard to Static 99 (The Static-99 is a ten item actuarial assessment instrument created by R. Karl Hanson, Ph.D. and David Thornton, Ph.D. for use with adult male sexual offenders who are at least 18 year of age at time of release to the community. It is the most widely used sex offender risk assessment instrument in the world, and is extensively used in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and many European nations.), I put in my email the reason that I attached it was that it’s not — it’s not scientific.  It’s not something that we can rely on.  And even if we could, cockroach boy falls in the moderate to high, as analyzed by the professor.  (And which part of moderate to high is a good thing?  It wasn’t like the test said ‘slim to no chance’ of him doing it again.  The test said ‘moderate to high.’  That seems a huge risk to take, letting him back into society.)

I disagree with the analysis, but even if we were to assume the of four is correct, the high category starts at six, and is even worse at eight or ten.  So even if we were to use this tool, which I don’t think is effective, he still is not at hight risk even taking that into consideration.

And, again, the only way that things will change is if we offer his some solid, intensive supervision and treatment.  (Yeah, and he has to actually participate in the therapy/treatment, which in all the therapy and treatment he received prior to my attack, he clearly did not do.)

THE COURT:  Okay.  I’ve — first of all, let me say that I don’t think that the case is less serious than other 220 cases.  I think there’s room to say that it’s more serious than other 220 cases because 220 can be so –run the gamut as far as what that might include.

But I do think that this case involved an attempted forcible rape.  I think that the victim and the D.A. are correct, that had the defendant continued and been able, had there not been a good Samaritan as to this victim nearby, that this would have resulted in a completed rape.

And considering one strike, considering the sexual offense statutes that exist these days, I don’t think that the — the–this is an unusual case as far as a 220.  I think that it’s more on the aggravated end as far as the 220 is concerned.

I think that the defendant also has — I believe the defendant also has two rather serious misdemeanor — I mean — not misdemeanor, juvenile offenses in his background.

And I don’t doubt that he has some severe mental health problems and issuers, but obviously alcohol and not taking his medication doesn’t help that.  And I don’t think it makes him less serious of a risk to society.  I think he represents a serious danger to women in our community.

I’ve considered whether or not he should be granted probation.  As I said, I didn’t see under 1203.65–or 12030.65 itself that 220 was there.  But even–even if he wasn’t a mandatory prison case, even if it was presumptive prison, I would not grant probation in this case for the following reasons:  the fact that I think that the case is very serious; the fact that the crime — as far as mitigates versus aggravates in this case, I find that the only mitigate really in the case is that he entered a plea in the readiness department.

But I note that he — the case against him appears to me to have been strong.  So I don’t think that he’s probation suitable regardless.  The case involves great violence, great threat of bodily harm, and I think for the facts themselves that he deserves prison.  And, therefore, probation is hereby denied.  (Huge sigh of relief here for me.)

As to the term of the offense, I am going to follow the Probation recommendation of six years.  I find that the mitigates are, under Rule 423 (B) (3), that the defendant acknowledged wrongdoing at an early stage.  However, I note that — as Probation does — he did receive sentencing consideration in return;  (I believe that he was originally offered a two-year sentence and, just guessing here, that his stupid attorney recommended he turn it down.) other counts were dismissed, significant counts.  (I may have said it before, but originally he was charges with 4 felonies:  assault and battery, sexual assault, attempted rape and confinement.  So, in the end, he was only charged with attempted rape.)

As far as the circumstances in aggravation that the court is considering, I consider under (A) (L) that the — under 421 (A) (1), the crime involved great violence and the threat of great bodily harm.  And that it would have resulted in — appears to have resulted and would have resulted in a completed rape had he not been interrupted by a witness.

But I also do find that the case involved planning, was sophisticated.  I find under Rule 421 (B) (1) that the defendant has engaged in violent conduct; that it’s — indicates a serious danger to society.

Under Rule (B) (2) that as a juvenile he sustained true findings for 422 and 242; that he threatened to blow up the school when he was only 12 years old.  And when he was 15 years old, that he was  apparently using drugs and hit his father at the time.  And he begins the instant offenses.  (Not quite sure what this means.)

Also, as to a dismissed count, he threatened to stab a former employee.  That did not result in a conviction, but I’ve considered that.  (Yea, Judge!!!)

I’ve also considered the fact in the case involving Jane Doe #2.  I’ve also considered as an aggravant under Rule 421 (B) (5) his prior performance on juvenile probation has been unsatisfactory; and under Rule 408, that other counts were dismissed for which he could have received a consecutive sentence.

Based on that, I find that the upper term of six years is the appropriate term.

Therefore, the defendant– as far as the case is concerned, probation is hereby denied.  The defendant is committed to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for the term of six years, with credit for 276 actual days, 41 2933.1 credits, a total of 317 days credit.  (So, six years less 317 days; of the sentence he has to serve 85%.)

The fines are $40 court security fee, the $30 ICNA fee.  The defendant is ordered to register as a sex registrant for the rest of his life.

A few other ‘housekeeping issues’ and then:

THE COURT:  All right.  You’re also not to have any contact directly, indirectly, personally, electronically, telephonically or written with Tamerie, T-A-M-E-R-I-E; Shriver,                    S-H-R-I-V-E-R.  You’re not to have any contact with her through a third-party except an attorney of record, not to go within 100 yards of her.”

 

A few more details and then his attorney asked that he remain locally, so that his family could visit him more easily.  I was sitting there shaking my head ‘no’ but the judge did grant that request.  And that was it.  It was over.  After a very long nine months, which he spent in the city jail, he would now be moved to the state prison that is down near the border.  As far as I was concerned, Alcatraz would have been more suitable, but I wasn’t asked for my input on the facility.

Next post I will tell you about what happened after court, when we walked out into the main area.  All I’ll say now is that I was accosted by his father and sister.

THE COURT TRANSCRIPT – PART ONE

Today’s post is coming directly from the court transcript.  To differentiate my comments from the content of the transcript, I will put my comments in italics, and everything else  from that delightful day will be in regular type.  I will not be including all of the transcript, just the pertinent parts.  If you’ve ever been to court or watched a court proceeding on television, you know there is a lot of superfluous chatter, and while important to the overall case, it is not important enough to bore you with.  Also, for some reason I have never chosen to use my attacker’s name and have just referred to him as cockroach boy.  I will continue to do that.  Part of it is I don’t want to give him the honor of naming him and partly because I still see him as a cockroach.  I will also not use his attorney’s or the D.A.’s names.  This is all part of the public record, but I feel like it is somehow ‘cleaner’ to leave actual names out.

We went to court in Chula Vista, because Coronado is in the “South Bay” district of San Diego.

“IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO                                                                                                                  SOUTH COUNTY DIVISION

SAN DIEGO, CA – THURSDAY, JUNE 25, 2012 – 2:40 PM

THE  COURT:  Okay, I have read and considered the probation report and the recommendation.  I’ve also read and considered the sentencing memorandum.  It looks like there are some statements from the victims (besides my statement, there was a statement from the girl he pulled the bathing suit bottoms down of the month before my attack.)  So let me read those.

D.A.:  Thank you.

THE COURT:  Have you seen these?  (Speaking to cockroach boy’s attorney, referred to from now on as ‘C.A.’ for cockroach attorney.)

C.A.:   Yes, Your Honor.

THE COURT:  Okay.  I’ve read the letters from the victims as well.  Do you wish to be heard as far as sentence?

C.A.:  Yes, Your Honor.  I will not reiterate everything that I wrote in my sentencing memorandum.  I would like to point out that cockroach boy has family members here. They have been here for all of the court hearings as well as his stepfather. (Now, this was a big, fat lie.  Laura and I were there for all the hearings, including the bail hearing 4 days after the attack, and  NEVER were any family members present.)  He has several family members that have been here each of his court hearings.  He does have a lot of support.

 But most importantly, I don’t think it’s possible to understand cockroach boy or his actions unless his mental health issues are taken into consideration.  Even without the mental health issues, under the Rules of Court the — this court does have to take into consideration the seriousness of the crime as it relates to other crimes that we see in this courtroom all the time.

 And based on what we normally see, this was relatively–I don’t want to use a word that minimizes what happened, but it’s less serious than other crimes of this nature that we’ve seen.  (Okay, at this point, I am ready to come out of my seat and attack his stupid attorney.  She was basically saying that, while he did attack me, it really wasn’t that bad.  All I could think was, that’s let him attack you and see if you think the same way.)

And then when you can throw in the fact it’s occurred because of his mental health issues, it just makes it far less serious and more understandable.  (I could never understand how she could say these words with a straight face.  Even today as I am writing this, it still pisses me off and I’d like to slap her silly for trying to defend his actions.)

If we really want to do something that will change the circumstances (can’t change them, they happened) and make sure that this doesn’t happen again, then we should give him probation.  (As I mentioned in a prior post, I knew this was a possibility, but hearing her say it in court was incredibly upsetting, especially after her minimizing the actual crime.)  He will not get any treatment while he is in custody if he is sentenced to prison.  He will not get supervision afterwards.  Nothing will change except for that he’ll be taken off the streets for some amount of time, then he’s going to be released and may even be worse because of his incarceration in prison than he was before he came in.  (Ah, let me think about this- off the streets?- sounds good to me.  And I will say at this point that I believe, in fact, if he lives through his prison experience, he will definitely be worse when he is released.  He will not only have been in prison for approximately 5 years, he will have been someone’s bitch, he’ll be extremely angry and he’ll be a much better criminal.  Believe me, I considered all of these things, and I struggled with it.  Ultimately, though, I came to the conclusion that his crimes deserved prison.)

So we are asking the court to impose probation, give him very intensive supervision requirements, and get him treatment and follow-up that will change things so that this sort of thing does not happen again in the future.  (He has had treatment in the past, and fat lot of good it did.  In fact, he was supposed to be headed for an inpatient treatment facility just days after my attack.  Decided to have a last blow-out before being committed by his family.  Interesting, huh?)

THE COURT:  Anything from the People?

D.A.:  Yes, Your Honor.  Your Honor, the People are asking the court to follow the recommendation of Probation (this is the Department of Probation, which is who, after reading all the police reports, and all the other information available, including my statement and the statement of the ‘Jane Doe,’ decides and recommends a sentence to the judge), not to be confused with plain old probation, which is what his stupid attorney thought he should get,) which is the six years maximum on this.  He is ineligible for probation.  And it is the People’s position that this is not an unusual case.

The Defense wants us to not consider the Static 99 that says that — told us that his risk of re-offending is moderate to high, and yet she’s provided us no alternative.  We don’t have a doctor’s report.  We don’t have one page of anything verifying any of these mental conditions he’s supposed to have.  All we have are facts of these cases.  (Interestingly enough, his attorney never bothered to actually get the psyche evaluation done.  Or if she did, it was so damaging that she chose not to include it, though her argument was based on his supposed mental condition.)

And when I say CASES, I mean two instances, a month apart; the first one in which he removed the bathing suit bottom of a young woman; and the second one in which he went further, he removed her bottom and got on top of her, straddled her.

And the only reason there weren’t more serious physical injuries, there was a good Samaritan there who intervened and stopped what surely would have been a rape of that victim, Miss Shriver, who is present in court.

The emotional injuries that both of these victims have suffered are lasting.  They continue today.  They will continue into the future.  And Miss Shriver will be addressing the Court.  She would like to address the court to share some of that.

In addition to this not being an unusual case, Your Honor, I think that here are some aggravants under the Rules of Court that should be mentioned that weren’t.

 One is the vulnerability of each of these victims under 4.421 (A) (3).  These were both women who were walking alone.  They were vulnerable  to an attack by this defendant because they were alone and didn’t have anyone to protect them except for, thank goodness, a good Samaritan who stepped in.

Also under 4. 421. (A) (8), Your Honor, the manner of the crime in the situation involving Miss Shriver, this defendant walked by her.  He walked by her.  They made eye contact.  She gave him a greeting, and he decided — he made a decision to come back around and attack her.

So he chose his victim in Miss Shriver, and he came back around and attacked her.  So there was certainly some planning and thought that took place before he pushed her down, removed her bottoms and got on top of her.

Also, 4.421.(A) (2), Your Honor, wasn’t mentioned.  And I think it is important to show that his — based on his criminal history that we know from the Probation Report (I have a copy of this Probation Report and I will be sharing things from it at a later date.  So I knew exactly what his criminal history was.) and these two acts, they were increasing in seriousness.  Because the first one, all he did was remove the pants from the victim and chickened out, or didn’t take it a step further.  But a month later he did take it a step further, and pushed her down, and he was on top of her.  So he is — his crimes did indeed increase in seriousness.

Alcohol, Your Honor, is certainly not an excuse for these crimes.  That doesn’t make this an unusual case.  (Cockroach boy claimed that he was drunk.  He may have been drinking the night before, but during the attack I never smelled alcohol on him and given the position we were in, I would have smelled it had it been present.)

And  —  oh, Your Honor, regarding circumstances in mitigation, there are very few.  And I think even when you look at what those factors are, they actually weigh against this particular defendant.  In particular 4.423 (A) (5), that the defendant had no predisposition to do that.  Again, we go back to the facts of this case.  He did it once, and then he took it further the second time.  And we’re just fortunate it didn’t go any further than it did with Miss Shriver because of the individual that stepped in and stopped it.

I do think that because he is statutorily ineligible, because the aggravants outweigh the mitigates, this should be a six-year case.  And I’d like the Court to hear from MIss Shriver as well.”

I’ll stop here for today.  It is long and a pain to type from the transcript.  As you can see, though, it was an incredibly difficult day.  Having to sit there and listen to his stupid attorney make light of what happened, to try to excuse it, was almost more than I could stand.

I will also mention here that this took place LAST year.  I am no longer in the same place emotionally that I was then.  I continue to get email from concerned friends and family members that I am still suffering from and not moving on from my attack.  I can assure you all that I am fine, great, in fact.  I am writing about my experience to help others and in the hope that I am somehow able to affect change in how sexual assault is perceived and dealt with.

MY VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT

The following is the statement I made to the court on 25 June 2012.  My intention was to read it directly to cockroach boy, while looking at him.  Ha!  I couldn’t even look up from my paper to read it to the judge.  I was so nervous and my mouth was drier than the Sahara.  I think, in a way, that this actually helped me because it forced me to speak slowly.  Otherwise, I may have raced through just to be done with it.

I have mentioned many times how traumatized I was with every contact I had with anyone associated with this case.  The exception was a woman in the probation department.  She was kind and compassionate and helpful in ways that no one else was.  She encouraged me to be brutally honest about the effects of the attack and how my life had changed.  She told me I could talk as long as I wanted to.  She said it was important that the judge and the court hear and understand from me what I thought should happen to cockroach boy.   It was the first phone call I had with someone other than my therapist who was on my side.  Anyway, writing my statement was not easy, but this is what I came up with:

“Your Honor

The actions of the defendant have greatly affected me, and to a lesser degree, everyone in my life.  Before the attack, I was a happy, positive person:  I had a successful business; I was very physically active; I lived on an island that I loved and considered magical; I was 6 months into a new relationship with a wonderful man.  In other words, I had a fairly regular, normal life.

A little before 6 AM on 24 September 2011 all of that changed.

That Saturday morning I was engaging in my daily exercise routine of a seven mile walk when I was viciously attacked.  The attempted rape took place IN FRONT of the Hotel Del Coronado along the ocean sidewalk/path, not in some isolated portion of the island or on a dark street or under the bridge.  No, it occurred in a well-lit, populated area.  Of all the places I would have felt safest, this was one of them.

Completely unprovoked, and in the most cowardly way possible, the defendant ran up behind me and rammed both his fists into the middle of my back, and using the momentum of the rest of his body, slammed me to the sidewalk.  My telephone, which I always carried for safety, flew from my hand as my body propelled violently forward.  As I skidded along the pavement, my hips, hands and face sustained injuries.  Before I knew what was happening, he aggressively flipped me over onto my back and hooked his finger in the waistband of my skort and underwear, and I felt the terror rise within me as he ripped them off, for now I was naked from the waist down.  I kept fighting and screaming, but this did not stop him or even deter his efforts.  All I could think was, ‘there is no way I’m letting him rape me.’  I kept fighting, knowing that I was literally fighting for my life.  Then I saw his fists getting ready to punch me in the face to shut me up.  At that very moment, I heard someone yelling at him to stop, to get off of me.  He did not stop, nor did he get off of me, but it startled him enough that the expected punches did not come.  The man who was yelling got closer and closer until he was yelling in the defendant’s face, “GET OFF OF HER.”  Finally, he stopped, got off of me and ran up the sidewalk towards the street.  I immediately jumped to my feet and pulled my clothes back up.  I was later told that the man who saved me, and who I refer to as my guardian angel, was a guest at the hotel.  Instead of chasing after my attacker, he walked me into the Del, got hotel security, who then called the police.

Nine months later, I am still haunted by both the physical and psychological effects of the sexual assault.  I am in therapy and have been since a few days after the attack.  I have a strong support system but each day has had its share of challenges.

I have now experienced first-hand the roller coaster of shock to anger to depression, each phase accompanied by its own share of anxiety and fear.  Living in Coronado for 9 1/2 years prior to this vicious attack, I walked every day before dawn.  Since my attack, I still cannot walk near the Hotel Del Coronado or the beach and never walk before dawn unaccompanied.  As a result of my depression, which I am dealing with, I became suicidal; I came very close to jumping off the Coronado Bridge and might have actually done so had I not seen a friend’s car on the bridge behind me.

I now want to move away from Coronado because it no longer feels good to be here. I no longer feel safe.  I look at most men now as potential threats.  Walking 4 blocks to the store  if it is nighttime is no longer possible.  So many things have changed.  If I allowed the sadness for all these changes that are a direct result of the attack, I am not sure I would survive.  I now approach life in a very different way.

Perhaps the most starkly evident effect of all this has been my ability to work.  I am a self-employed seamstress.  I make custom home furnishings: slipcovers, window treatments, pillows bedding, anything for the home.  Since the attack, it has been very challenging to work as my concentration and focus are affected.  Jobs that would normally take several hours, now take several days, if not longer, if I am able to do them at all.  There has been a substantial loss of income, as a result.

There is no doubt in my mind that had my guardian angel not shown up when he did, the defendant would have beaten and then raped me.  No doubt at all.  In addition, there was absolutely no hesitation on his part.  He knew exactly what he was doing.  The attack was more violent than any photos or police reports, or even my own words, can convey.  He may have been on his best behavior while in jail, but that’s because he is monitored, forced to take medication and there are no women for him to attack.  Statistically, chances are the defendant will never be ‘cured.’  Even with medication compliance, the chances of another vicious assault are very high.

Given all this, I believe he deserves and I am requesting he be sentenced to the maximum time allowed under the California statute for the crime of attempted rape.  We all know he would have completed that rape given a few extra minutes.  I can tell you, without hesitation, I might not be here any longer if he had.

The 24th of September 2011 was, without a doubt, the worst day of my life.  I may have been a victim of a crime that day, but I am NOT a victim.  I WILL get through this and in the end will be a much stronger person.  You are NOT worth my life.

Sincerely,

Tamerie Shriver”

Although, as I said at the beginning of this post, I was not able to read this directly to cockroach boy in the manner I wanted to, I did say to him while looking at him and he looking back at me, You are NOT worth my life.  And when I sat down, I asked my boyfriend if he (cockroach boy) had been looking at me the entire time.  He said, no, that he had only looked at me when I looked at him and told him he wasn’t worth my life.

Next post I’ll get into the details of exactly what happened in court and, even more interesting, what happened after, which was even more upsetting than being in court.