This is a special shout out to our dear friends Steff and her husband. Steff had previously told her story in another blog entry on this site. Last monday she went in front of the judge for her husband’s (let’s call him Jay) sentencing.
Jay is a war vet, honored and decorated. He’s smart, capable, and loves his family. He’s also broken, tormented, and has debilitating PTSD. He is now 100% disabled according to the VA although he will potentially lose that support now from this ordeal – as if going through war wasn’t hard enough to experience.
When Jay came back torn, his wife, family and friends all tried to help. No one realized, initially, how bad it really was. Personally, I can understand that as my beloved nephew came back 6 months ago from a place he cannot disclose. When they can’t tell you, you KNOW it’s not good.
But Jay did return to his family, and everyone THOUGHT he was on his way to recovery. Except Jay. Things were spiraling for Jay and he decided life would be better for all if he was out of the picture.
It’s called suicide by cop. You put yourself, purposely, in a bad situation – hoping that you will either be shot, or rot in a cell – both are acceptable to the person in this emotional state.
And Jay, being tech savvy, had noticed a number of proactive sex stings online. He even pointed them out to others. And he was right. But as his world crashed down he decided to use one as a way out!
After realizing, as many people who believe their loved ones would be better off without them, that leaving his wife and kids would not only destroy himself, but permanently damage them as well, he came to his senses. Just as they cuffed him.
Steff and Jay would spend the next year fighting as hard as they could, do whatever they could, to unwind the damage. Jay was no more a child predator than Smokey the Bear but no one would listen. Friends turned away, they had to move back home for support, Steff and the kids were ostracized.
Fortunately for Steff and Jay he DID come to his senses and fight the accusations. He did not roll over but stood up for the truth, and his family. He’s a good man.
Jay and Steff were lucky enough to have a prosecutor with a conscience and a judge who didn’t own a rubber stamp. While his sentence is still more than he deserves, and marking an innocent man as a pedophile to ‘keep our communities safe’, is not the ideal outcome – Jay was able to get off with a shorter sentence and parole. He should be home with his wife and kids before next years holidays!
We can all be thankful for that!
Way to go Jay and Steff, we are all so happy you were able to stand up, fight, and maintain a life for yourselves and your children after making one mistake. One mistake should NEVER have the power to destroy lives.
In love and support – Lady Justice Myth