Sarah is a girl I met when I lived in Arizona Sarah had been a good friend of mine for a few years before her incident and so when I had heard what she went through I became very consumed by the topic (as depressive as it became for me to have a habit of such Google searches). Sarah had gone on family vacation to Florida with her mother and stepfather, whom had practically adopted her when he came into her mother’s life. Sarah had an aunt in Florida she only got to see a few times every few years. A few weeks had passed since she had left and no one had heard from her. When I reached out with great concern, she responded. She called me and her voice was dead. Sarah told me a horrific encounter with her stepfather where he had found her drunk after a party and then molested her in her bed before she awoken and ran.
Sarah said he had caught her on her way back to her hotel room coming up from the pool where she had been drinking with some boys and she begged him to not tell her mother. He helped her to her bed where she immediately fell asleep and before she knew it she woke up to his hands touching her body. While she told me this, she began to snotty-nose cry and was impossible to console. I tried to tell her everything would be okay and they would get him for what he had done. She was only seventeen at the time and my naive brain knew for sure everyone would do everything possible to help the poor child. I asked her where she was staying and found out she had stayed in Florida with her aunt that lived there.
Her mom had come back to Arizona with her stepfather
She told me her mom didn’t believe her and would do anything to protect her husband. My mind couldn’t rationalize this one bit. I thought she had to be being dramatic or leaving something out. How could a mother choose her husband over her only daughter. I tried to convince her that the police would get him for what he did and then her mother would have to come back to her.
What I couldn’t believe and still can’t many months later is how wrong I could be. The system doesn’t work like television. Nothing gets resolved within a few days, or weeks, or months! I decided to do some research as this information was very unnerving to me. Why wasn’t anyone doing everything possible to help my hurting friend?
These things take time, sometimes years, to even get to the prosecutors desk. Once there it is up to him and him alone to get the final say in whether charges even get pressed. Now, sure, a detective that had interviewed her could put in a good word and his two sense if he believed her, but it still comes down to the one guy. And, that one guys decision comes down to one thing- evidence
But how was she to have evidence? He molested her (inappropriately touched in a sexual manner). He didn’t rape her or injure her physically. Even if they had found a hair on her or DNA it is very easy to fit his story that he simply helped her to her bed and left, just as easy as it is to fit her accusations.
Then the second problem was her age. She was underage, but she wasn’t young enough to be a child that they would consider too young to take the stand. The problem here stands (as stated by another article I will link below you should check out if you are interested) is that if the child is too young, they could do things to hurt their own case. Examples of this include telling somewhat different versions or saying things because their parents told them too. Children are very impressionable and when it is made this difficult to make a case and you know your child has been hurt, it is very common for some to do anything to win. If the child is too old, say a teenager, the accusations are taken more lightly because false accusations are made all the time by teens that do not like someone for another reason. This could be teacher, or coworker that they don’t get along with and these false accusations, if made public, can ruin the accused’s life forever even if the charges end up dropped. Kind of reminds me of the famous Crucible where the girls in town accuse many women in town they don’t like of being witches and have them killed.
Regardless, I believe Sarah and she has suffered so much only to find the justice to take overly long. To this day (months and months later) charges have not been filed and she hasn’t heard anything but what a lack of a case she has. But, she cannot heal because she is still holding out hope for the future; waiting for her call from the DA saying he’s been arrested and the trial is a few days away. But I fear for how long she will have to wait. And I will not rest until I know she can with her happiness back in tact.
I’ve got so much time to think
About when I’m standing in the ring
And my main supporter is in your corner.
You said I won’t remember in the morning
But it’s been months and I’m still hurting
You’ll never know everything you stole from me
My innocence and my happy
And you tried to write my tragedy
Because I know you live in fantasy
But in reality it doesn’t work that way
Cause I’ve got love, a head, and support
And it takes two to play your game
And I’ve decided to abort
Link to Article: http://www.xojane.com/issues/woody-allen-open-letter