Yet another day where things get off to a “hit the ground rolling” start.
Last night was nice. No sexual expectations, Victoria and I just hung out and finished all of New Who. Which… I know better, but a part of me honestly thought, “Now she’ll have no reason to come over and cuddle.” I mean… I know better. We don’t watch Dr. Who when she comes over with the kids, nor when we have our sexual exploits, so I’m certain we can find some reason to continue to see each other for the quiet moments and the cuddles… but the thought did pop up.
This morning… literally as I walked into work
“Inmate in Wisconsin called the Iowa Press to report that he was molested by staff at the STS in 1990. We’ve issued a No Comment, but you need to look into the reports and the law to see what our official plan of action is.”
Great. So… likely something we can’t do anything about criminally and is thus going to be a “great” news story (likely orchestrated by the inmate) to make our department look inept and apathetic to victims.
Which reminds me of some of the Judicial Confirmation process today. I don’t like Barrett. If she were ethical or had integrity; she would recuse herself from consideration because her appointment is a political ring of fire where no matter what happens- if she is confirmed it will forever be under the cloud of MASSIVE impropriety by the GOP. Anyone who gave a shit about their judicial legacy or about protecting the courts from becoming political gamesmanship would put Oath of Office and Oath of Ethics before desire for promotion. She hasn’t and won’t. She is the worst kind of attorney and judge. BUT she did get something very right today that I wish to give her credit for. IF she was properly quoting the law.
Asked about a case involving Age Discrimination where the Judge joined the majority denying the Petitioner’s Claim: In a case where the applicant to a job was rejected on the grounds of age....... Judge Barrett stated that they reviewed the statute which stated “shall not be discriminated based on age… employees....” Under the statute’s use of the word employees the Court believed the statute to only protect individuals already employed with the company and therefore did not protect applicants. Obviously, the person asking her the question was upset with that response to which Judge Barrett stated, accurately, that it is the job of Congress to read and update laws, it is the job of the Courts to review the law and apply it.
She’s right. If the intent of the law was to protect applicants, perhaps the word that should have been used was “employment” not “employees”. Regarding Employment allows enough gray area to argue that at ANY stage of an employment process, the discrimination is unlawful. Regarding Employees seems fairly straight forward that it would not protect individuals that were not employed with the organization.
Anyway, back on track… I looked into the Sex Assault claim
Statute of Limitations in Iowa for Juvenile Matters of Sexual Assault require a 15 year look back to the time when the individual was 18. Meaning, if the individual had turned 18 within the last 15 years, there is no Statutory Prohibition from filing charges. In the instant case, the individual is making claims that something occurred during a few months in 1990. The math isn’t on his side. In order to have turned 18 within the last fifteen years; he would need to have turned 18 on or after 2005. If he turned 18 in 2005, he would have been three years old in 1990. Considering that, due to his story, it is far more likely that he was between 10 and 16… that… doesn’t work at all. MOST LIKELY scenario is that he turned 18 between 1992 and 1998. Therefore without DNA Evidence, the last year prosecution would have been possible was between 2007 and 2013. Or before I was even out of law school! Now I did mention DNA evidence there because the law makes special allowance for it. IF DNA is taken and the individual is identified through DNA, the rule states: Shall be charged within 10 years of the alleged incident or within three years from the date the person is identified by the person’s DNA profile, whichever is later. So… yes. Technically, if this matter involved DNA and the DNA Profile identified the perpetrator tomorrow we would have until 2023 to bring charges. But that isn’t what happened here.
AS I’m looking into this, a phone call.
A woman who I have been specific with (and warned about) who wants the State to execute and castrate her daughter’s boyfriend. I mean, I suppose I understand it. The boy is a complete douche-bag and a loser. Why else would a 19 year old engage in an ongoing sexual relationship with a 13 year old? Someone OUT of High School having sex with a girl in MIDDLE SCHOOL is a bit… yeah. Not acceptable. But he’s facing 4 C Felonies for it. In an extremist world that doesn’t exist… he’d be looking at 60 years in jail. But again, that isn’t the world we live in. The absolute MOST a judge will give him is “Up to 20 years” and that language is very specific. Because in Iowa… the rules about sentences are… shall we say Inmate Friendly. For example in this case? We could get a guilty on all 4 cases, he could be sentenced to “up to 20 years” and he’ll be out of prison in 7 years. 5 if he behaves himself. And that’s just… the law. So… this woman who calls and wants the State to execute and castrate this boy is constantly extremely angry because we aren’t “doing enough” to put him away for life. Because that’s literally not an option. Today she stated a further frustration. Two of the 4 incidents charged were while the 13 year old was babysitting. Here’s the issue: The 13 year old had spoken with the mother of the child she babysat for. Told her that people were against her relationship and that the law had even gotten involved. The mother of the child told the victim that it “would be okay if your boyfriend came over while you were babysitting.” NOW… as a human and a prosecutor… do I think that mother is a fucking idiot and made a dumb as shit choice?? FUCK YES. Do I think she made a criminal choice and should be locked away for several years? FUCK NO. Of course, the woman on my phone disagrees violently. And in this instance, I can see how she feels betrayed. If she felt that this place (in a different county, a 39 minute highway drive away) was a safe place for her daughter to take care of another child with zero adult supervision… and discovered that the adult that hired the daughter authorized the daughter to have her boyfriend come over… I can see how there would be anger there. EXCEPT this case also establishes QUITE clearly that, even if the Adult had not given authorization… the girl would have called her boyfriend to come over. I mean… this girl sneaks out of the house, invites the boyfriend over when her parents are gone, and invites the boyfriend over when she’s alone anywhere. I think the adult in this situation is STUPID and IRRESPONSIBLE but… criminal? AT BEST, if I can invent language to string it to an actual crime, I could charge her with something that would result in a fine. But putting this woman away for years and years?? Because she said, “Sure, your boyfriend can come over while you’re babysitting for me”? I don’t know. That seems… like an unworthy battle to take before a jury.
And ultimately? Here’s the psychology of all of this as I see it. Because this is something we see REPEATEDLY in a LOT of the “Illegally Older Man, Younger Girl” scenarios around here.
Mom is absent. She’s either too busy at work, or has a drug problem, or is dating too much to be around home, or has too many kids to pay attention to all of them… all of those scenarios have been in my office at least 3 times in the two and a half years I’ve been here. And because Mom either (a) feels guilt; or (b) thinks people will blame her… she loses her shit and goes overboard the other way. Absent Parent becomes Demanding Parent. There are two cases where this was most pronounced.
CASE 1: Single mom with 12 kids. Ages ranging from 17 to 3. The 14 year old was being molested by a school employee. Yeah. You’ve had at least one kid almost every year. At least half of them (or more) under the age of 10! It’s… honestly predictable that as soon as they can dress and feed themselves, you start to ignore them.
CASE 2: Meth Mom and VERY Suspect Dad (we could never tell if he was on drugs, mentally disturbed, or actively sexually assaulting) with 6 children between the ages of 8 and 16. THREE OF THEM came forward and said that Grandpa was molesting them.
Literally as I ended that phone call
“Chris, phone for you. Victim in a sex assault.”
Yeah. We’re busy. Spoke with Victim. Friends of the Defendant are bothering her. Making statements that she believes act as evidence of witness tampering. So… something else I have to investigate.
Literally as I ended that phone call
“Chris, phone for you. Horse Shelter.”
Yeah. We’re busy. Spoke with Shelter. Horse Case that went to trial on September 24. Coming up on 3 weeks now. Typically, any more than 4 weeks is rare. And the longer it takes for an order to come from the court, the worst it typically is for the State.
Literally as I ended that phone call
“Chris, phone for you. County Attorney from Other County.”
Yeah. We’re busy. Spoke with County Attorney from Other County. Strategizing and communicating about the various Sex Assault Cases with the same client(s) we’re prosecuting.
Literally as I ended that phone call
“Chris, phone for you. County Attorney for OTHER Other County.”
Yeah. We’re busy. Spoke with County Attorney from OTHER Other County. Drug Mom in my Child Abuse Case is getting out of prison and keeps talking about how excited she is to see her kids. Which… no. You can’t just go see your kids. You have to coordinate with DHS since you abused them. ::sigh::
And then it got quiet for like ten minutes. Which is good. So I can check and respond to my e-mails. Especially since this afternoon I have even more depositions.
High School Senior developed a bad habit last year. He would follow busy classmates as they left class, corner them in a hallway or empty classroom, and grab their chest and/or force them to grab his penis. Allegedly. These are the allegations that the State received, pressed charges, and are attempting to prove. Depositions today will largely be Defense grilling the Girls (there are two charges, as we’re holding off on the third victim right now) as to if they consented or are making things up. Personally? And this is shitty because I should only follow the evidence and nothing more… I want to get this kid. We need to send a message (ESPECIALLY in these small town areas) that a woman’s chest size, dating history, and choice of outfit does NOT justify assaultive behavior EVER. Too many are quick to rush in with “He’s just a high school boy, this is what they do! What’s the issue?” And I remain firm that the issue is that a High School Boy who sexually assaults someone (especially multiple someones) becomes a man that doesn’t stop when he hears no, doesn’t recognize that “drunk” bars consent. At some point, we need to admit that we aren’t trying to punish “Men for being masculine”… we’re trying to punish “Attackers for not respecting someone else’s right to safety.”
And… should have expected it!
Literally as I sent my last Reply E-Mail
“Chris, phone for you. Witness for Monday’s Assault hearing.”
Yeah. We’re bloody busy. Spoke with Witness. He was wondering if the charges could just be dropped because he didn’t want to miss work to testify. NO. That’s not how this works. We’re subpoenaing you. You will be bound by court order. If your job has an issue with that, the State has a department they can talk to.
OOF. Only NOW to get to the Depositions!!
Which took several hours.
Of high school girls explaining their sexual assault.
Their hands trembling, their tears flowing.
Second week in a row for me on those Wednesday Depositions about Sexual Assault. Not. Fun.
You’ve got to be kidding me!!
Literally as I sat down to write those last four lines of text?
“Chris, phone for you. Child Abuse Investigator.”
Yeah. We’re fucking busy. Spoke with the Child Abuse investigator. Parents in town that think doing drugs and living their lives is how to be a parent. WHICH MIGHT BE… if they fed their kids.. if the adults didn’t sleep all day… if the kids went to school or daycare or really had any kind of support other than passed out mom and dad strung out on drugs. Round of applause for the people raising the next generation, eh?!
I suppose this reminds me of something I’ve been considering. I don’t know if I should do this or if it would be appropriate or if it would even matter… what do you think?....
I’ve been thinking about having a bit of a private talk with Essen. Mostly about how I’m processing my divorce as it relates to my job. Because she’s been divorced before. She’s very intelligent. And both of her parents had extensive legal training. And ultimately?
Discussing it here is one thing. Everyone is quick to say “You wouldn’t want the kind of women you interact with at work” and yeah, that’s obvious. But it doesn’t help.
Discussing it with Victoria is one thing. She’s quick to demonstrate her own issues, though. She’ll reiterate that I have her so friendship and sex are well settled. And then she’ll make a dismissive comment about romantic love or children because… she’s uncomfortable around vulnerability and as an attractive polyamorous very open woman, she has no idea what it is like to simply NOT HAVE options.
I don’t like discussing the matter with my therapist, to be honest. She comes at it from a bit too hyper-religious perspective of “If God wills it. If God does not will it. Either way, He’ll take care of it so you don’t have to worry.” Which… I mean the “don’t worry, free yourself of anxiety” would be fine but the added element of Sky Father being the one that controls it? Upsets the hell out of me because He and I have talked AT LENGTH about this shit. Do you really think I would have left acting due to a calling to be a father and husband if I hadn’t considered it? Like… I’ve got the message. I have the invitation to be “A loving husband and caring father”. I’ve even got Joey’s signature on the invitation with a personal message to me!
So really… all that’s left is to have the conversation with Essen… to try to seek someone’s perspective that might thread that needle. Between appreciating and honoring a sense of “calling” while balancing how it might feel to genuinely want something with all your heart and soul but instead of getting it; you get to watch a God damn LEGION of people get it, keep it, and all while treating each other and their kids like literal fucking monsters. I just… I want someone to understand THAT. That I’m not saying, “Oh, I wish I could have a drugged out junkie girlfriend with 12 kids because then I could be a father and husband.” That I’m saying… I AM CONSTANTLY SURROUNDED by married abusers whose victims refuse to leave… by parents that ignore or actively abuse their children… and from my perspective? I get to see how the very worst get “the gift” that I’m praying for. And it eats me up inside. This isn’t just “feeling lonely”… it’s… okay, here’s an Epic Poem Metaphor Style.
A young man found himself in a mysterious place and took a moment to check his surroundings. He was in a bus depot filled with people; but it seemed that nobody had a ticket and everyone was in line. Even the young man. The line never moved, it never went forward. but occasionally, someone’s name would be called. “Herman Jones, front of the line!” Then the man, presumably Herman Jones, would go to the ticket window. The unseen figure behind the window would say, “Where you headed?” To this Mr. Jones said, “I’m trying to get to Omaha, Nebraska, please.” A silence would hang in the air. Then the unseen figure would say, “Closest I can get you is Reno, Nevada.” And then Mr. Jones had to make a decision. Would he accept the ticket that would put him 1500 miles away from his destination… or would he go back in line to wait for his name to be called again and perhaps a ticket to Omaha or Des Moines might open up. The young man saw this happen over and over, what must have been over 1 million times. Most people took the tickets that were offered. Even Herman Jones, who had been called up four times in total, finally accepted a ticket to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. But in all that time, the young man hadn’t heard his name. Instead, he kept seeing people accept tickets that made no sense at all! One young woman had said she wanted to go to St. George, FL but accepted a ticket to Spokane, WA. Another, a man in his forties likely, had asked for a ticket to Houston, TX but accepted a ticket to Baltimore, MD. It made no sense and the young man had absolute convinced himself that he was not going to accept a ticket that was so ridiculously far from his destination. But the longer he stood in line… the more uneasy he became that he hand’t even heard his name called. Not once. He’d never even had the ability to say no to a ticket.
I mean, I know that isn’t perfect but… that’s where I’m at kind of.