NOT ENOUGH

I heard the lawyers talking about 160 months – I can’t even believe that. It’s so unfair. It’s not enough. I have to live with what he did for the rest of my life. Why should he have the chance to ever be free? I will never be free. Believe me. I know. It was years ago and I live with it every day. Every day. It took me all this time to even be able to talk about it. It took me years and years even to tell my own mother! I am scarred, Your Honor. I don’t have words for this kind of betrayal. Why? Why did he do it? I want a reason. Can you make him tell me why?

When he moved in, he said he was our Dad. He acted so nice. So loving. Our Dad! We trusted him. But it was all a lie. How could he do that? I never did anything bad to him. I never hurt him. I only tried to help him. He had a baby with my Mom, and now I have that baby brother, with the Dad who is my abuser. How do you think that feels? I used to wonder – what did I do? What did I do to make it happen? But I didn’t do anything. I was ten years old, Your Honor. Just a little girl needing a father. I tried to be a good daughter. I did what he told me to do. He said he was our Dad!

He hurt my whole family. How did we deserve this? My mother fell in love with him. She trusted him. She felt sorry for him. She helped him. She took care of him and cooked for him. She knew he drank too much, but she wouldn’t give up on him. She kept trying to get him help. She let him move in. We had to help him, because he was our Dad now. He said so. He promised. He was our Dad. We encouraged him to go to his meetings. Go to classes. We took care of him. So how could he do that to me? How?

I am here to say what I think about his sentencing. Well, I don’t want him to get out of prison. I don’t want him to have a life. I don’t want him to be free. I see he has a new wife and a new baby and the lawyer says she has kids of her own already besides their new baby. Are any of them girls? Are they? I want to say to his new wife, I don’t wish you any evil, but how do you know – how do you KNOW for SURE that he has not done the same thing to your girls that he did to me? It is in him. It lives in him. He might have done it and they will be too scared to tell you for years and years. They will be too scared of him. Like I was. You don’t know him. Believe me. You think you do, but you don’t. My own mother didn’t know.

Your Honor, 160 months is not enough. It’s not enough. His lawyer was talking about mercy and compassion. Did he show me mercy? No. Did he show me compassion? No. So why should he get a light sentence? That’s like stabbing me in the gut. Please give him the maximum. Please. Because even if you do give him the maximum, it will not be enough. I hope he suffers every day of his life and I hope he dies in prison – the loneliest, most damaged person in the world. Because that is how he made me feel.

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