Rape Case in Brooklyn

The case shocked when it was first reported–a man sought help for his daughter who was being sexually assaulted in a Brooklyn park.

The story began to break into pieces within a week of its appearance.  The victim was consenting?  The victim had been having sex with her father!?


Most of us are done by this point in the story.  Too much creepy. 

The young woman refused to “do court” and the charges against all of her sexual partners fell apart.

Which leaves several salient questions–

How safe and child-friendly are parks in Brooklyn?

Why were no lesser charges pursued against any of the principals? Public lewdness?  Indecency? Incest?

And last–(the one which concerns me the most) what will become of these people? 

Especially the young woman.

The explanation of her behavior includes a life of foster care and group homes, a fundamental disconnection from her biological family–a father who could be called predatory at best.

With no more pieces of a biography than that I would hazard that she has attachment disorder, a syndrome caused by neglect and a lack of attachment bonding in babies and young children.

The question of what happens to the adult victims of attachment disorder plagues me because my adopted children have it.

None of us may want to face what happened in that park that night, but we should all question what will happen to her?  

How do you teach a woman her own worth or the value of a father who protects his daughter instead of exploiting her?

And what of the men in this story?  Each put a biological function of his anatomy over the last shred of his humanity.

My adopted daughter complains that I am not to be trusted because I judge people for things like this.

I would argue that one can only trust those who are willing to judge these things.

It ain’t love if you don’t keep all the little girls (lost or otherwise)…


At night 

In the parks of Brooklyn.

Contemplating Evil

We knew that the abuse had happened, he had been caught in the act. Because he was (and is) a child predator, he was very good at masking evil.

He was not the first child molester I knew who did this. They all do.

All do what? They all do unbearable, unspeakable things to children and then call those things by ordinary names.

It was an ugly conversation.

We went around in circles. He would say he had put his victims on his lap. He would say they played “house” or “husband and wife.”

He subverted the ordinary.

So finally I got a placeholder–an ordinary piece of luggage. In exasperation I gave it to him and said, show me what you are talking about.

He did not want to. Reenacting the facsimile of abuse was too close to the truth for both of us, but it put the lie to his words.

The devil in the details.

He grooms everyone. And he looks for weakness and opportunity the way an addict looks for drugs–relentlessly.

That night I realized how close his words and descriptions were to another child molester who had described sexual assault as “holding” on his “lap.”

Their “innocuous” descriptions of unspeakable evil were the same. The devastation and pain they created in the lives of innocent victims were also the same.

And yet we all look away. We plug our ears and turn away.

If we were brave and faced it straight up we would see the patterns in the lives of child molesters. We would be forced to face how much they rely on adults not intervening.

They count on us looking away. Because when we do we give them all the opportunity they need…

to abuse again.

Cherish Perrywinkle

From the beginning her name was spelled wrong–Charish, Peri- and Perri all were thrown into the horrifying chronology of a little girl taken and murdered.

I first saw “Charish Periwinkle” and have not changed it on my original post. I have not edited that post for several reasons–it reflects the tumult of hours in which there was a report, an Amber alert, a traffic stop, an arrest, a missing child, and then a confirmed tragedy.

If you go back a bit you might say the tragedy started May 31, the day Donald Smith was released from jail–seemingly without restrictions. Or more than a year before, when a court of law sentenced him very lightly for yet another egregious felony after over 30 years of dangerous aggressions toward young children.

The story says nothing about how the state or the country expected this predatory man to avoid his dark actions.

No one but his neighbors and his victims really cared about that.

And yet now we know what should have been addressed before–he was always capable of monstrous harm.

And now we have just a name–Cherish means to greatly love, prize, or esteem and yet she was not cherished by the man who treated her like a cast-off rag doll.

And I still maintain–if we cherish our children we will do something to ensure that every child is safe–at a dollar store, a Walmart, a McDonalds–each symbols of our drive-by, fast-food culture.

Now symbols of everything that can go wrong in the life of a dear little girl named after love and flowers.

Answers for hard questions

I force myself to ask a mixture of hard and easy answers–
Do you like scary movies?
Do you do puzzles
Mixed with
Where is your anger
He has a self-effacing way of saying he used to “act up”
This is a little like saying Mussolini used to be into public oratory
So I ask
How is your anger (anyway)?
He says his psychologist
Tells him he is letting it out
(like a Jack Russell terrier roaming the cul-de-sac?)
…When he does ordinary things

It is gone now
the subtext
I am always reading the subtext

I once

I once lived in a country with high
Beautiful walls
But most of all
Jagged glass
Like a crown of pain
Stained glass warnings
Don’t come any closer

Beware of dogs?
How do you say “Doberman”
In this other language
I knew a dead man who taught me this
And a boy I always loved
And feared
Who knew the future…

There Is more than one way
To die/to maim/to rape
A country/a people/a family/a man-woman-child

But one way for sure
Is to look the other way
When it is happening to them

And hope their blood appeases
Men trained like dogs for war.