Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Face of Evil and Their Friends, Your Legislators!

This guy, Michael Frederick Schmidt of Hastings, Minnesota raped a 9 month old baby, according to charges filed by the Hastings Police.  You can read some details at the Minneapolis Star Tribune if you have the stomach.  I tell you this awful, terrible story by way of prefacing a true experience that nearly 18 years later, still causes me to howl in psychic pain.

Years ago when my then colleauge Lou and I were nearly alone, here, in OurState filing child sex abuse civil cases against perpetrators, two wonderful female OurState legislators sponsored a bill to expand the statute of limitations.  It had become apparent that this step was necessary because in OurState the statute of limitations was 1 year (after their 18th birthday), no exceptions!  Amazingly, despite laws that provided for tolling of the statute of limitations based on "disability," the OurState courts nearly uniformly declined to see exceptions.  We argued unsuccessfully that perpetrators incapacitated their victims and that children often abused "pre-verbally" could hardly be expected to file an action within one year of their 18th birthday.  So while we viewed the new law as being too limited, we supported it as a good first step.  What a joke!

I drove down to the OurState capitol to testify as part of a panel of child abuse survivors.  I'll never forget being asked by some open-mouthed-breathing moron law maker: "Can you tell me how a grown man is gonna be turned on by a little bitty baby?"  I was stunned.  I think my answer was something along the lines of --no, look at the statistics, child abuse of this sort happens regularly.  The coup de grace, was when a OurTown local mayor who was, in fact, a child molester showed up as a "surprise" witness and described how he was a victim of "false allegations." Mayor Molester claimed those false allegations destroyed his family (two daughters had been deposed and swore under oath the Mayor had moleted them.)  The mayor described how the false charges had caused his heart attack, how the "false" allegations destroyed his marriage (in actuality he had left his wife of many years to screw his young secretary,) and how over his objections his insurance company had paid a substantial settlement.  The deeply moved, OurState legislature declined to expand the statute of limitations. 

In ensuing years, the courts kept the doors slammed tightly shut. 

I know that I've related this story previously, but the account in the Minneapolis Star-Trib reminds me that evil has friends.  They wear suits and ties and have nifty little patriotic lapel pins and these friends are members of the Jaycees, Chambers of Commerce, and the local political parites.  Sometimes the perpetrators are actually members of all these wonderful community organizations.  Readers of Bad Lawyer, know the perpetrators can be Judges, Lawyers, Doctors, Psychologists, Cops, Sheriffs, Corrections workes, social workers, Dads, and Moms.  Perpetrators and enablers, belong in the same circle of Hell. 

Oh, by the way, grown men do rape and molest "little bitty babies."

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