Justice for a young girl … 12/10/14

A dear friend messaged me today about her daughter’s story.  It both scares and appalls me the way the justice system works.  This story occurred in the United States.  It’s been two years since the alleged incident happened with her young daughter.  I cringed and cried for this family.  This is another instance where the family is doing all the right things and hitting the roadblocks by people who we are supposed to trust.  What message are we giving our young girls.  Please read it and the petition link is attached at the end.   This is what she wrote …

Screenshot 2014-12-10 15.29.43

Help us seek justice for our daughter.

Kathryn Perez

Breaking Our Silence for our daughter…

If you’re reading this it means you have taken the first step in caring about a little girl that was victimized by one of the people in her life she loved most; her Grandpa. On a school morning in November 2012 I told my children at the breakfast table we would be going to Oklahoma to see their Grandparents for Thanksgiving. My daughter very quickly objected. I thought she was just being a moody little girl and thought nothing of it. She continued to debate our going and asked could we go to her Nana’s in Texas instead. I told her the decision was final and I wasn’t going to argue it with her. On that same day she disclosed to a school mate a story about her Grandpa. The friend later that day wrote a note and gave it to their teacher. In the note the little girl had told what my daughter said. The teacher quickly relayed this to the school counselor who then contacted me. The note was vague so I had no details at this point. That night after I had my son in bed I went to my daughter and casually asked if anything was bothering her or if there was anything she wanted to tell me. She didn’t. I pushed further and referenced her friend. I gently asked about what she had told her friend about Grandpa. At that moment she covered her face and began sobbing. The sobbing turned into hyperventilating and I was instantly terrified to hear what she had to tell about her Grandpa. I did my best to calm her and reassure her she was safe and okay. Once she was able to talk she slowly explained to me how her Grandpa had performed a sexual act on her during a previous visit to their house. She explained it in a child like way but it was very obvious what had happened. She was confused and scared. She was scared she was going to be in trouble for telling. She was scared her dad would be upset because it was his dad who did this. At the time, my husband was overseas in Afghanistan. I could not reach him immediately. All I could do was send him an email and wait for him to call. My daughter became very ill that night. Diarrhea and vomiting on and off happened and over the next few days she stopped eating. I contacted CPS in Virginia where we lived and I was instructed to contact Oklahoma CPS because the abuse happened there. I contacted OK CPS and I was told I had to contact the Police Dept. in the town where the abuse occurred. I contacted the Hobart, OK PD and was passed onto the Chief at the department. I told him what had happened and he seemed at a loss as to what he could do to help. He said he had no idea how to handle this because we lived in another state. Finally he said he’d send us a statement form and that both me and my daughter needed to write our statements. We did as he asked and sent them back to him immediately. He then informed me that his department was not equipped to handle this case and that he would have to consult the District Attorney. He then told me it would most likely have to be turned over to the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigations. He told me he would get back to me. So, I waited.

During our wait I was finally able to speak to my husband who flew home on emergency leave. I put my daughter in trauma counseling and we also attended family counseling. My husband was only able to be home for one week but he felt he needed to come so our daughter knew he believed in her and was not angry at her for telling. He also called his family and spoke to his father, confronting him. His father stated “He did not remember anything like that ever happening.” After his talk with his dad he was further convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that his dad did in fact commit this awful crime. My husband then called the Chief in Hobart asking what the progress was. We were again told he was “working” on it. That would be the very last time we ever heard from the Chief. While we waited thinking he was “working” on our daughter’s case he was in fact doing nothing about it. We began making regular phone calls to the department and he was never available. We left messages that were never returned. Finally we began making phone calls to the District Attorney’s office. They had no record of our case ever being filed. The DA secretary promised to look into it further. More time passed and we continued to wait and hope. We continued to make calls and still had no answers. In June of 2013 we finally received a phone call. Agent Danny Sanders from the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigations called me. He told me he had just received the case two weeks prior to his phoning to me. We reported in November of 2012 and he did not receive the case until June of 2013. He proceeded to apologize to me and told me that the Hobart PD had in fact definitely dropped the ball on this case. He told me he was dedicated to the investigation and would do all he could. He informed me that he specialized in these type of cases and had been doing them for many years. I told him we were in the middle of moving preparations and would be moving to my hometown in Texas that August. He decided to wait until we made the move to interview us and our daughter. He also wanted to interview the little girl my daughter disclosed to at school and he also wanted her records from the trauma counselor. We obtained her records for him and he did fly to Virginia where he interviewed my daughter’s friend where everything was confirmed as we had told it.   The first week of September Agent Sanders and his partner drove up from Oklahoma to Texas and we met at a Child Advocacy Center here in Texas where they interviewed me and my husband and both of our children. After the interview Agent Sanders told me he was 100% confident my daughter was telling the truth. He explained his training and experience and what red flags there are in those that make stories up. He saw none of these with my daughter. He told us he would do everything he could to put together a strong case with the facts that could be presented to a jury. He explained it was a lengthy process and that he was very sorry that we had to wait so long for the process to begin due to the Hobart PD dropping the ball. His next step was to issue a search warrant on the property where the abuse occurred.  A lot of time went by and we continued to wait. Agent Sanders stayed in contact with us regularly. He got the search warrant approved and he went and took photos of the area where the abuse happened which confirmed everything my daughter explained about the shed out in the backyard. Agent Sanders contacted us and said he was ready to issue an arrest warrant for my father-n-law. He did so and to this day the arrest warrant has not been approved by ADA Rick Marsh in Hobart, OK. We were becoming distraught and began calling his office. We requested a face to face meeting with him and drove 5 hours to Hobart in January of this year to meet with him. Upon our arrival we were shocked to learn he had  not even went through our daughters case file. Even knowing we were coming he had not done anything to educate himself on the case. He had not even viewed the photos from the search warrant or listened to our daughter’s interview. He had this case for months and had done nothing. During our meeting with him he treated us as if we were the criminals. We were in dismay. He asked us such questions as, “Do you have HBO?” and “What kind of literature do you have in your home?”. I can’t begin to tell you how offended and disgusted I was. The man who violated my little girl to this day has not been questioned once by law enforcement. Not one time has he had to answer a single question but we are being questioned about HBO. As Rick Marsh fumbled through the file folder and page after page of the report Agent Sanders had so diligently put together he asked us more questions like, “Why didn’t your daughter tell you right after the abuse happened?” This is when I knew Mr. Marsh has no idea about Child Sexual Abuse cases. Only 38% of children tell about their abuse and of that 38% almost none tell at the time of the abuse. That means 62% never tell. Mr. Marsh seems to have no knowledge of how these cases work. He was not enthusiastic about pursuing our daughter’s case and told us in pretty blatant terms that if he didn’t think 100% he could win a case then he wouldn’t go forward with it and that these cases are not easy to win because there’s little to no physical evidence. I was dumbfounded. Is this how the justice system works? Unless it’s an easy case we let criminals go? I told Mr. Marsh I disagreed with his methods of thinking and that he was letting our daughter down. I told him she should grow up feeling confident in the justice system to protect her, not to basically protect the criminal. When she goes to college and if she is raped will she then want to tell or will she look back and remember that telling does nothing? Our daughter is 12 years old now and she still asks us, “Is Grandpa in jail yet for the bad thing he did?” We promised her we and the police would do everything we could to make sure he never did that to her or another little kid again.    As you can see our nightmare began in November of 2012 and here we sit today in Dec of 2014 telling you this story still having no justice for our child. We are asking you to please care enough about our justice system and all victims of child sexual abuse to look into this matter. My daughter’s name is Reyna. My husband, Felipe Perez, Jr. is from Hobart, OK. He’s a 25 yr Marine Corps Veteran who spent his life defending this country and all him and myself are asking for is a chance at justice for our child.    Please help us bring awareness to our daughter’s case by signing this petition.

https://www.change.org/p/tom-coburn-help-us-seek-justice-for-our-daughter

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About Carol Todd

Being the mother of Amanda Todd has lead me on this journey shortly after Amanda's death on October 10, 2012. Amanda's prolific You Tube video has been viewed over 33 million times. Through this video, there has been an increased awareness about cyberbullying, social media safety and mental health. www.amandatoddlegacy.org
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3 Responses to Justice for a young girl … 12/10/14

  1. merle48 says:

    “Why didn’t your daughter tell you right after the abuse happened?” Truly an ignorant question from ANY person! This is a major concern, when the very people that are paid to, and supposed to protect us, are so ignorant and dumbfounded by it all. I’m afraid this is more common than we imagine. I hope justice is served. ( there are probably atleast 10 reasons why this child did not speak up)?

    Like

  2. la Punisher says:

    Petition signed and I hope that more citizens of the world sign it and that these F-ing lazy cops are investigated for stealing tax payers money through what they call a pay check

    Like

  3. Reblogged this on BeWytch Me Real LIfe, Real Stories Blog and commented:
    Chilling story.

    Like

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