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Years after man raped 8-year-old ex-stepdaughter, college essay leads to conviction

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NEW YORK (AP) – Raped as an 8-year-old by her then-stepfather, a woman kept the secret from her family for nearly a decade until she drafted a college application essay, prosecutors say.

When it happened, “I never told anyone … at that point in my life, I was scared,” she wrote.

But after she told her story to a Brooklyn jury, her now ex-stepfather was convicted Thursday of rape and other charges. He faces up to 25 years in prison at his sentencing, set for June 30.

The man was arrested after the woman’s mother saw the essay and called police.

His lawyer didn’t immediately return a call after the verdict. The 62-year-old man has denied the allegations, and his lawyer had portrayed the essay as a bid for admissions officers’ sympathy.

The Associated Press is withholding the man’s name because disclosing it could identify his accuser. The AP generally does not identify sexual assault victims unless they come forward publicly.

The man raped the stepdaughter three times in 2003, according to a court complaint. But the accusation didn’t come to light until 2012, when she set out to answer a Florida religious college’s application question about what had made her who she was, Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Anna Krutaya said in a closing argument earlier this week.

When her mother married her ex-stepfather, “at first I thought he was OK, but as the years progressed he really was not,” she wrote in the essay, which was aired in court. “Toward the end of the marriage he began to rape me.”

By the time she wrote the essay, her mother and the man had been divorced for years, the mother had remarried, and the daughter had reconnected with her religion, she wrote.

“All I have been through has made me the person I am today,” she concluded.

Her former stepfather’s lawyer portrayed the charges as a product of an ex-wife’s vengeance and a college applicant’s ambition.

“It’s her best effort to try to get the attention of the admissions committee of that college, said the attorney, Ernest Hammer.

 

5 comments

  • georgefinnegan

    People who were children when abused never really make these things up. It’s a horrible thing that happened to her – I hope she can find peace and healing.

  • Robert

    Clearly this guy is guilty (and disgusting), as there are many other ways to try to pull on the heart strings of admin officers than falsely accusing a guy who has been out of her life. But it’s so sad to see that a man can get 25 years for JUST the testimony of a young girl. Haven’t we learned anything from the Salem witch trials?!?! I have a infant step daughter that I know I will never say no to or anger her..I’m terrified of the power she has..

  • Let

    Shes not an accuser, she was a victim and now survivor of this heinous act. Stop using language that would make it seem as if it were her fault. She was a child and victimized by someone her mother obviously trusted. It is so disgustung when someone can do somethjng so disgusting it changes a human’s life forever more. Young woman, i i send you pisitice energy and that yoy are free frim the shackles he binded you with.

  • alex

    Yes, children can lie about abuse sometimes ex-spouses may make allegations to “persuade” the child that they were raped or that something happened to them, ed jagels did similar actions in the 1980s, often victims recant years or decades later.

    Although one could give the benefit of a doubt, I think the system did not work well, there is no evidence at all, any other victims who’ve came forward,etc Again, children and teenagers are made to lie at times, as evidence by victim recanting decades later and folks “couched into thinking they were abused”.

    There was an alleged statement that he said his daughter did a disgusting act to him, I don’t have all the facts, but sometimes the police will make false allegations that he/she said something to “fit the crime”, to make the person look guilty even if he/she didn’t make the statement.

    For example they can falsely claim that the defendant admitted to doing certain behaviors such as a porn addiction.

    I don’t know all the facts buts its scary because people will lie and juries will believe it with scant evidence. I think the defense attorney may have not been that great as far as I know suggesting that one would write a college essay just to impress admissions, although I wouldn’t rule it out. Remember defense attorneys CANNOT commit perjury if say the defendant tells the attorney that he or she in fact did the crime, the defense attorney cannot directly say my client proclaims innocence or that there is no evidence to prove it, reverse discovery.

    I don’t have all the facts and evidence but judging by the story, I ain’t buying it so far.

    • georgefinnegan

      The difficulty in what you’re saying is, children who have been sexually abused and have Post Traumatic Stress will lie in order to avoid the effects of the PTS, that is, they say ‘no I wasn’t abused’ in order to get people to leave them alone; to prevent having to go to court; to avoid reliving the trauma. The ‘recanting’ you may think of as so important here is a symptom of the abuse itself.

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