All my life I've been a super wimpy, non-confrontational doormat (which is probably why particular members of that family thought I wasn't a threat to them), so facing them in the courtroom was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. My voice shook with anger as I read my statement, but I didn't look them in the eye, or I knew I wouldn't be able to go on. I didn't cry until my 14-year-old, who had severe anxiety about the whole affair, took the stand and broke down. She pulled herself together and read her statement, and so did my 12-year-old. Proud, angry mama bear was proud and angry.
The defense was pretty weak. It seemed to me that his defense attorney, whom my district attorney had told me was the best of the best, had kind of given up. He knew he was beat from the beginning. The evil one himself was allowed to say a statement in his defense, and it was all scripted, trite excuses and halfhearted apologies. No remorse whatsoever. Accusations of "unfounded animosity" against him. Pleas for mercy, since he was a "good man with much to offer the community and his church, but he'd just made a mistake." Really, the only thing he was sorry about was getting caught. He said a couple of things that probably had his lawyer mentally facepalming, that he probably thought were valid excuses for what he did, but undoubtedly showed the judge his true character.
And so we won. The judge gave him the lengthiest sentence he could for the plea deal he'd made, and he's going to be spending a long time in maximum security. Justice for my girls, hopefully some peace for us - but instead of feeling victorious like I'd thought I would, I feel kind of beaten myself. Nobody wants to say they sent someone to prison. I mean yeah, as their mother, as soon as I found out what was going on I wanted to castrate him and strap him naked to a hill of fire ants - but who wants their life to have gone so far down this path in the first place? To be the one who brought kids into the world thinking it was a good family and they were doing the right thing, only to have everything fall apart, to know her kids have been scarred for life, and to have to pull strength out of nowhere to fight a battle in court?
Maybe it's because I know it's not even halfway over yet. I still have to protect my kids from the other one, and I won't be able to breathe a sigh of relief until all the legal stuff is behind us.
Okay, enough whining. My DA and court advocate assure me I did "everything right and then some." The DA is a firecracker, and the advocate told me she'd never seen him as angry over a case as he was with ours. Both of them did so much to reassure us - more than they'll ever know - and they'll have my gratitude forever. In fact, I'd love to send each of them the most expensive gift basket, with lots of chocolate goodies - but a heartfelt thank-you card will have to do for now.
I love how my blogging friend Shell Flower puts a related song at the end of her blog posts, so I'll add this one (which is probably my favorite Abney Park song right now):
This time last year:
Forwarding That Plot - I miss those writers' group meetings where we'd get more gossiping done than critiquing.
On Back Shavers, Victorian Mosh Pits, and Lia - Another classic Lia rewrite!
Dressing Your Characters! (Steampunk Edition) - A steampunk fictional character fashion show. Enough said.