Posts Tagged ‘ molestation ’

Children and Power

A girlfriend of mine found out in October just how much power the State of Maine grants to children under the laws involving anonymous abuse reporting. For those of you with children of your own, be afraid.

On a lazy day in the middle of October, Glen was taking a nap when she heard a knock at the door. Because she had worked all night and was subsequently exhausted, she chose to ignore it the first few times, assuming it was a Jehovah’s Witness or CMP, etc. The knocking persisted and got more intense so she dragged herself off the couch and over to the door. On her porch was a deputy from the Lincoln County Sherriff’s office and a woman she didn’t recognize. She had been having some trouble with her son lately and hesitated to open the door, fearing that he’d done something stupid and they were here to talk about it. Oddly enough, her thoughts ran along the lines of him being truant or acting up in class. Boy was she wrong.

Grudgingly she opened the door and that’s where her nightmare began. According to the officer an anonymous complaint had been made with the Department of Human Services, claiming that her then 17 year old son had been molesting her 12 year old daughter. The acts that were detailed included innappropriate touching all the way to full penetration. Like any mother, Glen was absolutely floored and could barely begin to imagine what these accusations would mean for her family. She was told that both of her children were being detained in their respective schools for questioning and that she would need to consent for her son to be interrogated.

Glen threw on her shoes and dashed out the door, rushing to her son’s side. He wasn’t exactly an angelic kid, but molestation was certainly nothing that she could even picture him capable of. He was questioned inside the office at MVHS, but it was definitely more accusation than fact finding. He was told that if he’d just come clean about the whole thing, he wouldn’t do as much time. How’s that for our justice system? Guilty before proven seems to contradict its very foundations.

While she was at the school with her son, her husband picked her daughter up from the middle school and brought her home. The investigator’s required that she have a full rape kit done at her physician’s office in light of the penetration allegations. When she arrived home she called the family Dr. and drove down immediately. The doctor, who’d known the family for countless years, was highly suspicious of the circumstances and greatly doubted he’d find any evidence of penetration. At the tender age of 12, before she’d even begun to go through puberty, she was put through the embarassment and invasion of a complete pelvic examination. The goal was to rule out penetration by viewing her intact hymen. Of course, it was completely intact and there was nothing to suggest this had ever happened to her.

Her daughter was in a state of shock and her son was truly devastated that he had been accused of something so disgusting. Glen allowed him to stay at a friend’s house that weekend in hopes he’d calm down while the investigation continued. Little did she know that the trauma he’d experienced forced him to decide to never come home. After the weekend was over, her son refused to come home, stating that he was afraid to be around his sister for fear he’d get accused of molesting her again.

A few days later, the Department of Human Services closed the case as unsubstantiated. A Waldoboro Police Officer assisting with the investigation stopped by Glen’s house to inform her that he had discovered that just before the anonymous tip was received, her daughter had had a fight with some girls in her class. It appeared as though her family had been torn apart because of the twisted whim’s of a couple of little girls.

Life carried on and the allegation began to fade into the background of their busy life. Even though her son still wouldn’t come home (Mom, what if it happens again?), they managed to get through the holidays and start out the new year fresh. Glen had major surgery in January and had just gone back to work in February when…

She was napping and heard a knock at the door. With a sinking stomach, she looked out through the glass only to see Waldoboro PD and the same woman from Human Services. Her immediate reaction was to roll her eyes and head back to the couch, but somehow forced herself to answer the door. Without letting them speak, she asked, “Again?” They nodded in agreement. Glen asked for details about the latest allegation and was told that another anonymous complaint had been called in to the DHS and this time her son was supposedly using her daughter as “his sex toy”. Also that he’d been picking her up from school and innapropriately touching her.

There were two glaring defects in the allegations. First, the accuser didn’t seem to account for the fact that the children hadn’t even seen each other more than twice since the October incident, each time supervised by multiple family members and that her daughter had never once missed the bus or been late coming home. There was no way he could have been picking her up from school. Glen was also told that another argument between her daughter and a couple of girls had occured just prior to the accusation. Now it was time to raise hell.

What we have here is a case of two little girls who thought the only way to get back at their former friend was to toss out allegations of incestuous sexual abuse. Is this an eye opener? Instead of name calling or removing her from their clique, they decided that they’d tear at the very foundations of her family life by making up vulgar stories. Glen was forced to wonder when the next allegation would occur and who would be the victim then. Would it be her husband? Herself? How many times would these girls use the system to their advantage and cause her entire family this utter devastation?

In Maine, and probably most other states, children are encouraged to report any possible cases of molestation to an authority figure. The accuser is given complete anonymity without any fear of recourse, even in Glen’s case where both allegations were proven to be unsubstantiated. It’s not a stretch to see how a particularly spiteful and imaginitive child would figure out how to use this to their advantage. Scary.

Glen pursued all legal recourse she could and found a dead end at every turn. Her family has no rights and these little girls are holding the cards now. They cannot be punished for their actions and are free to use this ‘tool’ whenever and to whomever they choose. What is particularly terrifying is that there may just come a time when the reports can’t be proven wrong and a child is forever scarred. Here’s what I mean.

Suppose her daughter’s hymen had been broken during rough play or even bike or horseback riding. These things happen. How could they have NOT taken the allegation seriously? Glen’s son would be in Juvi right now and his future would be bleak indeed. What if the next child these two girls attack has actually been sexually active? There will be no help or hope for their brother or father or uncle. This isn’t something you can simply deny and have go away.

Glen spoke with the Superintendent, the School Board, the Principal’s of each school. Noone could or was willing to help her. In fact, noone would even respond to her requests for assistance until she threatened to take the story to the press. Strange that they insisted they were all doing the right thing until the word Newspaper entered into the conversation. After that they offered to hold a special session school board meeting and it was revealed that the second report had come from Julia Levensaler (the principal) herself.

It’s all well and good that people are required to report these things, however some accountability needs to be in place for those that abuse the reporting system. As in the case of these two girls. As far as we know, neither of them have been punished for what they did and we’re just waiting for them to have another fight with her daughter and the next round of interrogations to be begin.

Teach your children to do the right thing. Understand their motivations. The parents of these girls were fully aware what was going on, but because of the secrecy involved in the process, noone was able to put two and two together, even after the second allegation. The parents weren’t informed that there had been an argument, and that the son hadn’t even been living in the house after the first complaint. They were taking their devious little child’s word for it and probably assumed they’d get a medal for their valiant efforts.

What needs to happen is that these children need to be punished for abusing something that was put in place to be helpful. They need to be subjected to the humiliation of a vaginal exam. Having their siblings taken away from them. At the very least, be spoken to. Filing a false report is a crime and an adult would have been fined or jailed for a similar offense. These girls cost the tax payers money and caused emotional distress to this family that simply will not go away.

To this day, her son still refused to come home. Justifiably I might add. Why would you want to set yourself up for jail time. The next allegation might be the last even though it’s untrue. These two previously loving siblings now have no contact with each other and it had devastated them both. Not to mention the stress its caused their parents.