Monday, October 02, 2006

The Court System And Restraining Orders

I can finally write about this. This isn’t a normal post today; this is something very serious. I’ve thought a lot about whether or not I should write this. But I feel my experience could possibly be of help to somebody now, or in the future. So if you’re looking for something upbeat, you’ll probably want to visit tomorrow or the next day, or next week.



About 3 weeks ago I started getting threatening phone calls directed at my family. I’ve never had anybody in my life try to terrorize/harass/threaten the life of me and my family - ever (this is crazy stuff that happens to “other people”, or only seen in movies or the news), so imagine my shock that this was actually happening to me. Normally I shrug crazy people off but the person doing this stuff actually has a very physically violent history and has followed up words with actions on more than a few instances - A person that I haven’t personally seen in about 7 or 8 years, at least. And have had no regular communication with in about 12 or 13 years.
I've had about enough after 2 days when this person left a real threat to come after my family and I, so I went to the local Sheriff station with my wife (who was completely freaked out), I was advised to go get a temporary restraining order immediately. I’m not sure if people are aware of this, or have even tried or have known of anybody that has gone through this process, but it literally sucks. I had to wait nearly 6 hours to finally speak to a Judge sitting through felony trials, DUI cases, civil whatever’s, etc. When my turn finally came up the Judge asked about 5 or 6 questions, granted it, and then set a court date - which was today.

What most people must be thinking right now is “why?” What happened to cause this? The short version: I reported a known and admitted child molester to my father's family to keep him away from a family reunion. And this pedophile just didn’t molest one boy – more like 8 that are known. And I got some major retaliation for it because some people are willing to do anything to shield and protect these monsters so they can still interact with kids. There are some serious F’d up people in this world.

I did end up getting the permanent order earlier today, the Judge agreed that the person doing the threatening is pretty dangerous after providing 7 declarations, playing recorded messages, and giving some back-story. Thankfully the person didn’t show up (which built a lot of anxiety wondering). In the end the court system does work. It just takes a lot of time, preparation, and effort.

After speaking to a few close friends today, I got asked this a few times - if I should have just stayed quiet and was it was worth speaking up – most people don’t. Yes! Absolutely, because it was the right thing to do.

And do you want to know the clincher to this whole thing? This person is my biological mother. Who now has a permanent restraining order coming to her later this week by Marshal. The pedophile is her uncle, and the victims are her brothers and a whole lot of cousins.




If anybody out there wants to know how to put a domestic violence restraining order case like this together or needs advice, I would be more than willing to help. I have lots of good information. I did get a little legal help and it really helped, but you generally don’t need it in cases like this. Feel free to email me and I promise; I’ll help as much as I can.

26 comments:

Corinne said...

Dude, that sucks... I'd be terrified too. I'm sorry this happened to you guys, but in the same breath, bravo to you for speaking up. Bravo.

Waya said...

OMG Tony! I got goosebumps reading this! I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I know I'd be freaked out too but YOU DID THE RIGHT THING! And now I'm sure that uncle won't be hurting innocent children any more!! What's wrong with this justice system? How many more kids does this guy have to molest in order to throw his a*s in jail? You know how fellow prisoners love those pedophiles.

Kara said...

You are so brave for speaking the truth and standing up for your family. Inspiring.

Sorry you had to experience this.

radioactive girl said...

You did the right thing, but the whole situation sucks! Good for you. I'm sorry you have to deal with this!

Diana said...

So glad you spoke up. This world is totally f*d up if there are people getting mad at YOU for reporting it...screw that. I would have done the same.
Hope the system keeps working, God knows how many people they have failed...

InterstellarLass said...

You did the right thing. But one thing to consider is that your mom may have been a victim too. Victims can be very protective of their molesters, because they don't want it to come out that they too were molested. It's sad though. I hope your family stays protected through this.

MetroDad said...

Holy crap, Tony! So sorry to hear that you had to deal with a situation like that. I absolutely and wholeheartedly believe you did the right thing. No need to second-guess yourself or listen to other people. Screw that! There's nothing to be gained by protecting the guilty and staying silent. Your first priority is to your immediate family.

Anonymous said...

I've only been reading your blog for a short while but want to comment to let you know that you definitely did the right thing. I'm saying that from similar personal experience and having gone through all of the family crap that comes with it.

Anonymous said...

I think you are an amazing human being, Tony. GOOD job on putting the scarlet letter on that pervert; GOOD job on not letting your family intimidate you out of doing the right thing; and GOOD job on standing your ground.
::shakes your hand::

dennis said...

someday I'll tell you about what my grandfather did to our family. Lucky for me and my sibs, our grandmother stepped in. However my cousins were not so lucky.

Job well done.

Rob Barron said...

Absolutely, positively, the right thing to do.

But do not, under any circumstances, let your guard down. Please stay safe.

And keep up the good words.

Mrs. Chicky said...

OMG! Tony, there are no words to express how shocked by this. I don't know if it means much but I am incredibly proud of you for standing up for the younger members of your family. That couldn't have been easy. I hope something positive comes out of this.

junebee said...

Wow, that took alot of cajones. Surely it wasn't easy but you did the right thing. In the meantime, can you get your phone number changed? I know, you shouldn't have to go through the inconvenience.

But at times, I wonder if restraining orders really work. A couple of years ago, a local politician (or city employee, I forget which)in our area was killed by her psycho ex boyfriend, who ignored the restraining order she took out against him.

metro mama said...

Oh man. I'm sorry. You're right, you did the right thing--scratch that, the only thing--you can do. If only more people did the right thing.

lynsalyns said...

I'm so sorry. I have experience dealing with family members who are sexual predators. You did all the right things. Stay safe.

dadinprogress said...

wow, tony. more people should take a page from your book. it's like the woman who lets her husband abuse her because she loves him and he's her husband. it's sad, and can be lonely, but there's more solace in separation than when there's union of mismatched parts. it takes a lot of courage to make a decision like you did, and it also hurts, i'm sure, because it's your mom. but, as i guess we're all struggling with in our blogs, it's hard to be a good parent, let alone a good person. you're doing both in protecting your family and doing what's right. congratulations, man.

Kristen said...

Oh my god. What a scary situation for your family. You most DEFINITELY did the right thing, especially considering how easy it would have been to stay quiet in an attempt to protect yourself and the status quo. Wow. I'm so sorry you had to go through that, though.

Ryan said...

I am proud of you for standing up in a situation like this. That took tremendous courage. Way to go. I am very sorry to hear of the threats though, and I hope you and your wife have more peace now that the restraining order is intact. You did the right thing.

What happened to your uncle? Was he arrested or simly barred from family get-togethers by the rest of the family? And what do the cousins think of what you did? Feel free to answer or not answer as I know that is a lot of information.

Take care, man.

L.A. Daddy said...

I'll echo what the others have said - you did good, my boy. And sorry it had to fly back in your face like that.

If you want to see the bright side. Know that you're raising a happy family away from all the b.s. that many other people have to go through.

I sometimes tell L.A. Mommy that we were lucky, not the norm, just because we grew up in healthy and safe environments.

J said...

You did a great service to protect anyone else from getting hurt. Good for you!

Izzy said...

Way to go, Tony. you absolutely did the right thing and I'm certain that the world is a little bit safer because you spoke out.

creative-Type Dad (Tony) said...

Thanks for the support everybody.

And to answer ryan's question – this great uncle (my mother’s uncle) who did this was never arrested. When the victims brought it up to their parents, the whole family was to humiliated and ashamed to do anything. They stayed away from him for a few years, but ultimately let him back in their lives thinking they would just keep an eye on him. That didn’t work and he started doing it again to new victims. Including his grandson and his 2 sons (we think, they don’t talk about it, both don’t talk to any family and the grandson didn’t want to prosecute 7 years ago out of fear). The whole family stopped talking to him again for the exception of my mother who somehow views him as a father figure (just makes me sick).

Almost 30 years later, my uncles, grown cousins, etc. tried to have him arrested in recent years but the childhood discovery statute laws for sexual assault (In California) is 26 years old. Most of the victims are now in there 40's. The only way they could go after him is if he were to assault a child now. Then past violations can join in suit.
I can't even believe that there is even a statute for something like this. There are victim groups trying to change that, we all have written letters to state legislatures here.

I just can't wait for the day it changes (the age has been creeping up in the last decade). Even if he's 80 and gets convicted, sent to jail, that wouldn't be a bad thing.

kittenpie said...

Wow, Tony. that's some evil stuff. And you're right, most families prefer to sweep it under the rug rather than cause a rift in the family. And it allows them to victimize more children. So I for one applaud you.

Ruth Dynamite said...

GOOD FOR YOU, Tony! That was incredibly brave of you and, though difficult, the right thing to do. Sorry the problem even exists in your extended family, but sadly, you're not alone. You did a good thing!

T. said...

You are a brave man and I applaude you Tony.

My husband was molested by a much older cousin. After repeated assaults, he finally got the courage to report this to his mom and dad. Turns out said cousin repeatedly molested other little cousins, including my husband's brother.

Well, my husband's mom and dad didn't want to deal with it and just told my husband to stay away from this man.

Can you believe it? Now my husband, who is full grown has to occasionally see this man at family functions and cope with his rage and all other feelings associated with the assaults.

And I just want to slap his mom silly. (Dad too, but he passed away.)

I'm over here, up in the sticks, applauding you.

Kim said...

Far OUT. This is one of those situations where people say to you that you are brave, when in fact all you are doing is what is right. Is courage the same thing as bravery? Is love the same thing as you taking out this order to protect your family while others use it wrapped in a cloak of threats and violence to protect someone like your mother's uncle? This is the stuff that makes up our lives. And some of it is breath-takingly suckful. But through that is a deep resilient vein of human spirit. Well done. Stand tall and watch-over your family and those around you just as you have detailed here. Then life becomes yours once more.

here endeth the lesson/soapbox for today!

Seriously dude, that is some woeful crap - that you handled brilliantly.