Tuesday, January 12, 2010

12 Year Old Heroine

Steve Mayes of the Oregonian completed a gut-wrenching, detailed three-part series about a 12 year old girl the reporter calls "Ashley" who confronted her narcissitic-rapist father in court, the father who raped and molested her for three years.  

On Octeber 22, 2009, Bobby Gene Palmer, 40, was in Clackamas County Circuit Court about to start the rape trial.  His daughter sat in a corner on a folding chair out of his sight-line.  In a delaying move, Palmer sought a continuance for a "mental evaluation," the Judge wanted to hear from "Ashley."  Ashley could not find her voice but she provided a written statement that prosecutor Shannon Kmetic read into the record.  Reporter Mayes relates:

"She had not seen her father since his arrest three months earlier. When the time came for her to speak, "Ashley" could not [talk], 'She didn't think she could do it,' said prosecutor Shannon Kmetic, who read Ashley's statement to the judge.

Ashley wept as her words were read. 'I love my dad to death, and he needs to say, 'Yes I did it,' because I can't handle it anymore. It is killing me,' Ashley wrote. 'My whole body is hurting. I am only 12 years old. I'm too young to be having to do this.' 

Clackamas County Circuit Court Presiding Judge Steven L. Maurer denied Palmer's motion and ordered the trial to proceed, a few hours later, Palmer entered guilty pleas.  As he stood in front of Judge Maurer for sentencing this piece of garbage insisted he was a loving father.  Judge Maurer said, "It defies description that you can utter the words that you love your kids and will always be their dad," Maurer said. "The horror of this is you have never been her dad."  Judge Maurer sentenced Palmer to 58 years in prison. 

I urge you to read Steve Mayes original articles, and weep for Ashley and all lost children.

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