The post you might have been waiting for…

It has been a hell of a morning, let me tell you.  But it hasn’t been just this morning-it has been a hell of a 9 months, and it culminated in the sentencing this morning.  I kept waiting for it to be postponed, since that has been the way of it so far; hard to be hopeful, really, but this time it wasn’t postponed.  Instead, we got to sit in the courtroom with the news camera rolling, listening to the bullshit flow from CF’s sleazeball lawyer’s mouth, listening to the prosecution rebut anything said, watching the realization sink into CF’s eyes as it finally, finally occurred to him that maybe he is, perhaps, in trouble. 

And at first the judge was very calm, his face kept perfectly blank and devoid of any emotion.  When it was my turn to address the court, he was unfailingly polite, but while I spoke, he very carefully kept his thoughts to himself.  I honestly can’t remember what I said; my knees were shaking so badly that I could feel the legs of my pants brush up against each other, but obviously I said something.  Irrelevant, probably, but everyone in the courtroom sat up a little straighter when my dear sweet daughter stood up.  The judge told me that I could stand with her, and I did, my arms around her holding her up while she shook.  But she spoke.  She spoke eloquently and well, her voice raw with emotions and tears running down her face.  She said, “I hate you.  I trusted you and my family trusted you and I hate you for what you did.  I hope you get what you deserve, and that is to go to prison and be afraid and embarrassed and ashamed just like I have been.”  There was a lot more, but it was so emotionally charged for all of us that I can’t clearly recall all she said.

One thing she did say, though, that almost had me laughing out loud was this: She was very vehemently pointing her finger at him and said, “I hope people MOCK you.  I hope everyone reads the paper and remembers your face, and I hope one day you are at the grocery store and a little kid runs up to you and I hope his mom says, ‘Stay away from that man, he is very, very bad.”  And no, it isn’t funny at all, it is very true, but God, I was so proud of her, her staunch assertion that he is bad and that she hopes people make fun of him, that it truly WAS funny.  Sweet, sweet girl.

And as Hannah spoke, the judge became more and more upset, visibly so.  While the defense attorney (aka Sleazeball) was doing the baffling with bullshit thing (I think his intention was simply to bore everyone to death, really), the judge was up there shaking his head, and even when the prosecuting attorney was talking, the judge was not pleased at all.  Both the pre-sentence investigation and the psycho-sexual evaluation recommended retained jurisdiction, which is a 6 month sentence where the criminal can get some sort of rehabilitation (otherwise known as a RIDER); however, since there was this plea agreement in place, the prosecutor felt legally obligated to uphold that.  The judge, he was pissed.  He said something about how he understood that at the time the agreement was made, Hannah was not in any position to go to trial, but based on how excellently she had held up today he was tempted to throw out the guilty plea and take it to trial on all four counts.  However, since everyone was clearly in agreement….

And at this point, I just bowed my head and prayed.  Prayed that he would understand that the only reason we EVER agreed to it was because when it was slated to go to trial, Hannah was in no way emotionally ready to testify and be cross examined.  Prayed that he would see the very real affect this has had on our lives, prayed that in the end justice would be served.  He got really, really quiet for a few minutes, and I think the whole courtroom was holding its collective breath.

So then he pronounced his sentence: 120 days in county jail.  Registration as a sex offender. 10 years felony sex offender probation.  No discretionary time (which means he can’t be given, say, 30 days by his probation officer if he gets caught violating terms of his probation). The underlying sentence, fixed, is life in prison.  What this means to us laypeople is that he will be on strictly supervised sex offender probation for TEN years; this is huge in and of itself.  Sex offender probation is very, very difficult; he will be required to undergo a more detailed psycho-sexual evaluation and will be prescribed a treatment plan based on their findings.  There will be classes and therapy and group counseling.  He has to submit to polygraph tests quarterly for the first year, then at least annually thereafter, plus any time his PO has a reason to ask for one. He can be searched-his home, his car, his locker at work, his person-for any reason, at any time.  And then, if he fails to adhere to the terms of his probation, he goes to prison.  For the rest of his life.  With no possibility of parole.  Ever.

I will admit to hearing the “120 days” and thinking, “oh, crap, it really is going to be bad as we thought, he is going to get a proverbial slap on the wrist….”  but then when the judge continued on to give the rest of his sentence, well, Hannah and I both just started crying.  Just-crying.  This is so huge, so unexpected, so-amazing that I can’t believe it.  I really can’t.  On the surface it stinks, right?  But it doesn’t, not at all.  His actual sentence is life in prison.  For the next ten years, he will have that hanging over his head.  Every move he makes will be watched, not just by his probation officer but by the public (even before this happened, I regularly checked the sex offender registry, so it stands to reason that other people do as well), and he will have to worry every single second about whether or not something he says or does could be construed as being inappropriate.  The story will be on the news tonight and in the papers tomorrow, and with hope, people are not going to forget his name or his face, at least not right away.  Typically, sex offenders have a hard time complying with the terms of probation, too, so he very well may end up in prison.  The judge was very funny, too, although I don’t think he meant to.  He said, “One of the things you mentioned in the pre-sentence report is that you want to die sober; I can guarantee you can die sober in prison!”  And I really, truly, don’t think that CF thought this would happen.  Often, the defense will ask for and be granted a request to have a week or so to finalize “affairs” before having to report to jail, and J., the prosecutor, nipped that one in the bud.  He said that if the defense had been thinking of asking for that additional time, he would object, loudly, because he has had nine months to finalize his business affairs, plus he “would really like to give the victim and her family the satisfaction of seeing him taken out of the courtroom in handcuffs” ( Tee hee, it was great, too).  When asked if he had anything to say to the court, CF just said, not even looking at us, “I would like to apologize to the victim and her mother,” and the judge said, “Don’t.  And if you EVER think you need to get in touch with the victim, her mother, or any member of their family to tell them how sorry you are, just don’t.  Because I will put you in prison.”  Only at this point did CF start to look scared, like he finally realized that he was, in fact, in some major trouble.  It was a great moment, seeing it dawn in his eyes that he wasn’t going to get away with anything.

Afterward, amidst tears and hugs, the prosecutor told me that I need to gather together a detailed explanation of any expenditures related to this case.  From day one, any time taken off of work, whether it was paid time or not, and additional expenses such as gasoline and meals and the hotel from when I had to take Hannah to Idaho Falls, all medical bills even if they were paid for through Medicaid, etc…clothes for court, additional childcare needed for my other children, anything.  In 30 days, we will have a another hearing to decide whether or not he has to pay restitution.  In addition, he said we need to be thinking about taking her in to have a professional evaluation done with regards to what further counseling she might need, and have them submit a projected time frame and expenses anticipated; it might be possible to have a fund set aside by him for future therapy.  And while I can’t stand the idea of taking any kind of money from him, for anything, and of course they can’t guarantee the judge will approve any of it, J. said it IS very important.  Not so much for what we might GET, but to acknowledge the additional burdens his actions has caused our family.  So there may be another court hearing or two ahead of us, but nothing major at all, just tying up loose ends.

So.  We-Hannah, Steve, my friend Jacquie and her husband, and I-all went out to lunch afterward, giddy and silly with the relief of not just having it over with but feeling like it was a good sentence.  We laughed-over the silliest, stupidest things-and we all just feel so much better.  This is the beginning of healing, for all of, and maybe, just maybe, sometimes justice truly is served.


83 thoughts on “The post you might have been waiting for…

  1. Oh, I’m so, so, SO happy for you all right now (and crying). I hope he does fuck up and spend the rest of his life in prison.

    I am amazed at Hannah’s strength. She is phenomenal!! You are too. Obviously you both had a huge presence in the court room for the judge to get so mad.

    I love you!

    • @Julie, It was very, very good. Well, not GOOD, but all things considered, we feel like there was some justice. I would think “life in prison” might have him being very, very watchful and careful, wouldn’t you?

      And thank you; I am so grateful for the continued support.

  2. Oh, Kori, I’m crying for you and Hannah. I so admire your strength, and your perseverance to stand up and be heard. I’m so proud of Hannah, and I know that she was only able to do that today because she had you by her side. I’m so grateful that the events of today have given you both a sense of justice. I was very afraid that it wouldn’t. And I really really hope he breaks his probation and rots in jail for the rest of his sorry life.
    And I love you.
    .-= April´s last blog ..Weekend Wrap-Up (ahh, downtime!) =-.

  3. I am SO, SO happy for you. You and Hannah deserve this relief. I’m proud of you and Hannah for being so strong, and that judge sounds awesome.

    I’m so glad there can be justice.
    .-= Cat´s last blog ..BFing Pics =-.

    • @melissaz, I would assume that the clothes (mine, too) would be included…after all, J. told me that even the toiletries I had to buy when H. went to the Behavioral Health Center (they all had to be new, unopened items) needed to be listed…and wouldn’t THAT be a kick?

  4. I’m so happy for you and I’m glad the judge listened and became upset for Hannah. I’m so glad that this will be part of his life sentance. I’m glad that you are slowly healing one day at a time and I hope he pays you back for missed work days etc. Hugs
    .-= julie´s last blog ..Never Cry Werewolf- BWB =-.

  5. Not only is this part of this nightmare DONE, it is done with the certainty that the justice system ultimately DID hear you and DOES understand what you have been through. I am just incredibly glad of this and happy for you and for Hannah. With those words, the judge let her know in one certain and very official way that what happened to her was in no way her fault and it was ALL the fault of that man.
    And maybe, just maybe, it will become more real to you that you did nothing to allow this to happen- that sex offenders get what they want through patience and plotting.
    I love you, Kori, for your bravery and for standing up for your daughter and for doing everything you have done for her and will do for her under the most extreme and trying of circumstances. There was no mountain too high, no river too deep.
    You, my friend, are a MOTHER!
    .-= Ms. Moon´s last blog ..Monday. Or…Life Is Tough Sometimes =-.

    • @Ms. Moon, Those are powerful words you have spoken, Ms. Moon, and whether you intended to or not, I just felt my mother tell me she is proud. I know you are not my mom, but-it still feels really good.

      And this IS the beginning of better things ahead. So much has been put off-in my life, with my other kids-because of this thing hanging over our heads. Good or bad don’t come into play here, it just is what it is, and now? It isn’t hanging over our heads anymore. I don’t mean that life itself has stopped, becuase heaven knows it just keeps moving forward, but I have had to keep this in the forefront of my mind, and so has Hannah, and we have all suffered. So now, we can truly, truly move forward.

  6. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I am so grateful that the judge gave him an appropriate sentence although part of me hopes he does screw up on his probation and ends up in prison for life…and let me tell you this those prisoners will not look kindly upon him.

    I’m so impressed with both your character and Hannah’s character, it took a lot of courage and strength to stand up in front of everyone and say what you both said and I’m so proud of both of you! I hope that this is helps her and you and your family start to heal.

    I hope now that your family can feel a sense of peace and breath easier. I don’t know what else to say other than I am so happy for you.
    .-= Mrs. Ski´s last blog ..Lunch Breaks and Weekend Visits =-.

    • @Mrs. Ski, I still feel a little stunned. I went on my afternoon walk and his car is still parked in front of the courthouse-I guess he has no one to come pick it up for him just yet, because I don’t believe he thought he would, in fact, be going to jail-and it made me smile. It all still feels very surreal, though, and honestly, right this minute I feel mostly just really, really tired.

  7. Thank God – I am so glad that he is going to pay dearly and that justice was actually able to be served to you and Hannah today! I was thinking of you all today, hoping it was going well. Having you there for her in such a strong, visible and physical way is going to matter SO much to her in the future when she looks back on all this–I’m sure it matters to her now, too, but especially later. And hopefully, “later” starts today! =) I know you are all looking forward to moving on. Congrats again!
    .-= SJ´s last blog ..Starting again =-.

  8. I am crying tears of joy for you and your sweet Hannah! I’m so happy for you both, so happy that justice was served (for once). Hannah is amazing, strong and wonderful for going up there like that, I am so proud of her! I’m so glad to hear this great news!!
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..September: The agent of change. =-.

  9. I’ve been following along for a while. This post brought tears to my eyes. I’m so happy that you’ve all passed this monstrous hurdle. Your strength is astounding.
    .-= hef´s last blog ..Today =-.

    • @hef, Thank you so mcuh; I stopped by your blog but didn’t have time to REALLY read. It sounds like you are having a really hard time yourself right now, and I wish there was something I could do for you.

  10. This is so amazing. I’m not sure if it makes sense to say that I’m happy for you, but … I’m relieved that you and Hannah got that kind of retribution and experience in court. It is the beginning of a whole new happy chapter in your lives. Happy healing and hugs to you all!
    .-= Genie´s last blog ..I come from a long line of list makers =-.

  11. That is incredible and wonderful and exciting and totally not worth what he (the bastard) put you all thru but definitely a start. WOOHOO!!! I’m so happy for you all!!!!!!!

    • @Tutugirl, It feels like the REAL stuff can begin now that the legal parto f it is over. It isn’t as if we weren’t moving forward with our lives, because we were-but this has been just sort of hanging there, you know?

  12. Kori, I know I’ve dropped off the face of the earth for a while now, but I wanted you to know how glad I am! I’m so glad that this particular moment is over and you don’t have to dread it any more. I’m glad that the sentence is more than you expected. I’m glad it’s more than HE expected. I’m glad Hannah had the courage and strength to get up there and say what needed to be said. And, most of all, I’m glad that he’s in jail. At least for a while anyway. Sending up prayers of thanks!

    • @hugabug1, It isn’t as if you don’t have your own things to be concerned about, so no worries; i know you are there, even when you aren’t THERE. Thank you, so much, and I hope you are doing okay.

  13. My first thought was Halle- fucking- lujah!!!

    Bravo to Hannah and to you! Please tell her that she has more courage than many many adults I know and that standing up for herself is the first step on the path to healing.

    And to you my friend, I wish for you a sense of peace in your heart, rest for your soul, and some joyful days ahead.
    .-= lynn´s last blog ..I’m Somewhere Else Too =-.

  14. Kori, I have a lump in my throat and tears on my cheeks. I feel like I am dreaming. So, so relieved! I am SO happy for you and Hannah.

    “would really like to give the victim and her family the satisfaction of seeing him taken out of the courtroom in handcuffs” choking up here, GF. Who knew that a judge could be so caring. I love it.
    .-= Mrs4444´s last blog ..Best Email Ever =-.

  15. I am in tears and so happy for you and your precious daughter…
    This is a Victory

    on a side note I am still working on my letter-I have been a little side tracked with my dad-forgive me please
    .-= georgie´s last blog ..Makin Memories =-.

  16. KORI!!!
    I was thinking about you all day yesterday, and when I started reading I realized I was holding my breath…
    I have chills, I’m so happy for you all.
    Your strength and perseverance and love have gotten Hannah through this, and delivered a just outcome.
    It’s amazing what we can do.
    Hope and love, baby, hope and love
    .-= michelle´s last blog natural =-.

  17. I am so happy that things turned out so much better than you guys had hoped. I would have loved to be rolling that camera as you guys were up there talking. Thank you so much for doing what it takes to get another offender off of the streets.

  18. What a courageous girl! I am not completely clear on the what happened here, and I don’t need to be because it sounds awful. But it also sounds like the result here is a very good thing for your family. Kudos to you all for enduring what you had to to bring this type of closure.
    .-= SeattleDad´s last blog ..Scare Tactics =-.

  19. I read this yesterday morning, and felt like jumping up and down and shouting. And of course, I’d be lying if I pretended that part of me isn’t also very envious that CF got what he deserved, while Mark’s abuser still struts around free. But I can hope that he’s miserable.

    I’m so happy for Hannah, and for you. I hope everything goes smoothly with the restitution and therapy stuff. Sometimes the bad guys really do get it, huh? I love the image of him having to go straight to jail.
    .-= FreedomFirst´s last blog ..Sigh =-.

  20. I was on some other blogher blog and the title of your post caught my eye. I’ve skimmed a bit to try to understand the basics of the issue. Damn the man! So glad you got him put away!

    My thoughts are with Hannah and you and the rest of your family. Stay strong.

    • @just a random visitor, However you got here, I am glad you did. Thanks for coming by, and for your good, strong thoughts. I am just now starting to believethat is really happened, because believe me, it has been a long nine months and there were many days throughtout this process where we just wanted to give up. Again, thank you.

  21. Sometimes I ignore my google reader and then I’m really really mad at myself because I miss something I’ve been waiting for. Like this post! So I’ve caught up now, and WOW, you guys have been going through so much.

    I’ve been thinking of you guys and hoping for peace and strength, and especially for healing.

    I’m so glad he will have this hanging over him for quite some time. I hope he finds help and REALLY understands what he’s done…that he’ll never do it again.

    Your Hannah is a strong woman. Like her mother.

    And oh yes, your comment on my dust bunnies post…so true, it does NOT just apply to marriage, that was just what was on my heart. It definitely applies to all of life. Word 🙂
    .-= Heather of the EO´s last blog ..One way or the other =-.

    • @Heather of the EO, Since he has done this once before that we know of, I doubt he will “get help.” I also don’t believe sex offenders can be rehabilitated, so we might have to agree to disagree on this one. 🙂 Which is fine with me, ha ha. As for having this hang over his head for a long time, I am hoping it does for the rest of his life. He is already in his 60’s. so he will be in his 70’s before he is off probation, and he will be a registered sex offender forever, so that makes me happy. If nothing else, with hope he will be prevented from doing this again.

      She IS so much stronger than even she knew; I was so proud of her, and still am! She kicks some serious ass, that girl of mine.

      • @Heather of the EO, Oh, no, nothing to forgive, and if I came across as in-your-face, I wasn’t intending to be AT ALL. I knew that you are new here (aha, a virgin!) so was trying to clarify. And it sounds a lot gruffer than I meant it to in retrospect. 🙂

  22. I cried for you guys when I read this. I am so proud of Hannah, and so glad that she stood up and spoke at the hearing. I hope that someday she’ll know how amazing that was. I wish he were rotting in jail, but it’s almost sort of fun to think of him walking on eggshells for 10 years.
    .-= Rachael´s last blog ..Defeat =-.

  23. Kori,

    I am so happy for you and Hannah and the rest of your family. I know this whole trial/sentencing/legal BS has been a huge black cloud just hanging over your lives, and now it is finally done. Like you said, a few loose ends to tie up, but at least all of this waiting and not knowing is out of the way. I’m so glad Hannah was able to find her voice and tell him what she really thought of him, and that there were people there to witness it and publicly support her and agree with her, especially the judge! What a brave girl! I don’t know if I could have done the same in her position. I hope that was at least a little bit therapeutic for her.
    .-= Dreamybee´s last blog ..What I’m Reading Now-Ella Minnow Pea =-.

    • @Dreamybee, I believe that it was really important for her future healing for her to be able to confront him, and I can visibly see a difference in her just since last week; she stands a little taller these days. I think it is a combination of having been able to tell him how she feels in a very safe environment, having the judge totally SEE her side and punish him appropriately (which was in no way a given), AND simply having it over with.

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