My friends statement was a spontaneous one in the courtroom. Because it was so moving she was asked to write it down to the best of her memory so it could be on permit file in the court records. Since I have been writing about our awful court experience and have specifically mentioned this friend I asked her permission to post most of her statement. The issue of childhood sexual abuse is still very sensitive in her own family and in order to protect people she loves she has asked me not to specifically name her but very much wants me to post the statement. I have invited her to tell "her personal story" on this blog in time, if that is something she would ever see as profitable.
....As a victim of childhood sexual abuse. As such, I find myself in the unenviable position of being able to speak with some authority on the devastation sexual abuse causes. As an adult, I can tell you that I have moved far beyond the circumstances of my childhood, but the damage caused by sexual abuse never goes completely away.
Patrick Rojas stole so much from ------- the night he decided to sneak into her room and put his hands on her as she and her family slept in their home. He stole her innocence, her sense of security, her ability to trust herself and others, and he stole a part of her childhood that can never be reclaimed. Because sexual abuse affects more than just the victim, this has been forced on her parents and her siblings as well. In the Schneider family, time will always be measured in terms of “before Patrick” and “after Patrick.” No child or family deserves to be devastated in this manner.
Therapy and the grace of God will help ------- move on and help to heal her heart and mind, but nothing can completely mend the wounds Patrick has inflicted. No amount of time or therapy can change what has happened and make it go away.
Since ------ molestation has come to light, I have heard time and again that Patrick and the Rojas family have tried to minimize what Patrick did by calling it “just a kiss.” It wasn’t a kiss. It was a crime that Patrick sought to cover up by sneaking around in the night, writing ------ notes telling her not to talk to her parents and by lying to the Schneider’s, his family, his church and the court for months. As someone who suffered from sexual abuse as a girl, I find the attempts by Patrick and the Rojas family to minimize his behavior in this way to be deeply offensive. These attempts by the Rojas’ re-victimize ------ and her family by implying that they have overreacted, are vindictive or are just plain crazy. This is simply not true. Patrick committed a crime, he is a pedophile and he should be dealt with accordingly.
Patrick, a 22 year old man, sexually abused, ------, an adolescent. What I am asking the court is to not minimize this!
Please do not minimize this crime against a little child. They cannot minimize it, nor can their family or their closest friends. Please do not minimize what has been done to this lovely young child. Please do not let her be victimized a second time by a lack of a serious response to this crime. Help restore her faith in herself, her family and community by this court dealing with this matter with the full weight of the law. Help her achieve respect in her family, herself and the legal process of her community by treating this crime with the seriousness it deserves.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to address this court and to speak for ------, her family and for others who have suffered in the same way.
Sincerely,Signed by my friend, who for personal reasons wants to remain nameless on this blog.