Well, it's not closed, really, of course. Then there'll be appeals, sentencing, who knows what all else has to happen. But for me, it's over.
Guilty on all sixteen counts of lewd and lascivious acts or attempted acts with a minor under the age of 14. With a couple of enhancements, I understand this puts him away for life, several times.
I didn't know the sentencing was so severe. He was definitely guilty. It was repulsive to listen to all the evidence and every day he's sitting there maintaining that he's innocent and all the kids just made it all up. Or his ex-wife made it all up. Or his ex-wife's ex-husband made it all up. He admitted that his little sister was telling the truth, but she'd forgiven him and he'd repented. And she was exaggerating too, he claimed.
Afterward, the DA said she'd offered him much lighter sentencing if he'd plead not guilty. And his defense attorney told us he'd strongly advised his client to plead guilty because with that many victims it sure looked bad. The DA said she'd originally only charged him with 4 counts. But once he refused to admit to them, she threw in everything that she thought she could make stick. And, from my perspective, in hindsight, since I didn't know any of this while we deliberated, considering that forcing those little kids to take the stand was about as cruel as the things he was accused to have done, he deserves every minute of time that he will serve.
It was excruciating sitting in that courtroom.
I'm so glad it's over.
It was a good jury. We were very lucky. Everyone was very thoughtful. Very considerate. Took things very seriously. We went over every charge and made sure that we could see, not just from our gut feelings, but from the evidence presented, that the charge held up. They all did. None of the charges seemed even marginal when we looked carefully at all the evidence. There was one special enhancement that we couldn't see in the evidence and we didn't find him guilty of that.
No more whining about jury duty, folks.
We can't bitch and moan about child molesters being out on the streets again and about bums getting let off easy if all thinking people are putting their efforts toward avoiding doing their part in the judicial process instead of getting in there and doing their fair share.
When you put it in balance, it is not that much to ask. Yeah, it's even more important than your mortgage payment. Let's face it, this guy is going to spend his life in prison. That's serious. And if he weren't, those little kids who'd had to sit in the courtroom, with him there, and tell a roomfull of strange grown-ups all the things that he'd done to them, would be subject to him being in their lives again. As it is, I don't know how those kids will ever put this behind them. It's going to be an uphill battle.
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