Friday, January 29, 2010
The little girl who was a rape victim picked her assailant out of a group, which must have been a horrible experience for her. The police made her do so separately from her mom. And the first group they paraded did not include the accused. But she's a tough little six year old, and she told them he was not there, then pointed him out in the second group. The mom also made an ID separately. And I spent another afternoon filling out police reports in triplicate and driving them with Heidi all back up to the station to be sure the file was complete. So, it seems we have the right man arrested. As ambivalent as I was, the mom's relief and triumph in the apprehension made me glad we kept persisting in the quest for justice. Now we just have to keep advocating for his conviction, for his removal from the community where he has done such evil. As well as the second case, the one from this weekend, involving a different man and a 12 year old girl. I can not think of many stories where the line between good and evil appears so clearly drawn as between a violent sexual assault by a possibly HIV positive man and a primary-school age pre-pubertal little girl held down and harmed. However, even now, I sense weariness more than victory, sadness more than relief. And the sickening realization that these two cases are only the visible tip of a murky multitude. And the punched-out feeling that both men are now aware of our involvement in their prosecution (shirtless, pushed up against the bars of the holding cell with a dozen other men, watching as we interact with the police), and I have a 13 year old daughter, and why should the angels protect her in a way that these other two little ones were not? Tough, tough questions, the evidence that we are slamming right up against the powers of evil, and that even small successes come with scars.