Part two - Danny’s secrets lasted for many years. He raped his children, the neighborhood and church children and others that he caught in his web. His secrets were safe, his ability to abuse unfettered until the day when one child was unable to function any longer and seeing no escape from the abuse sought refuge in the idea that death would free him of the world of depravity at the hands of this monster. Searching the cabinets of his home he found drain cleaner and proceeded to drink all that he could. He lay down and waited for the world to end. By some miracle he was found before it was too late; rushed to the hospital he was saved although he suffered from permanent damage. Questioning at the hospital revealed that one of his kin, and older man named Danny had repeatedly abused his for years. Danny was brought in for questioning and later arrested.
As word got out of the arrest other children came forward to tell their folks, teachers or any adult that would listen to them, some of the horrors that Danny meted out to them. Most parents and other adults were very supportive and did what they could to help make sure they received justice; some parents however sided with the man from the church and derided their children as sinners who “must have seduced the poor man of God into succumbing” to the sexual wilds of the children. This side of the isle continued to blame the children, did what they could to deny the issue and to try to block the authorities access to their children. We have no idea how many children never spoke to the authorities; how many held those abuses in their memories and added new ones, ones where their parent’s blamed them for “ruining such a good man” from the church. The children really were the dirty things that Danny called them all those times.
Danny was arrested and reluctantly admitted to some of the abuses. He claimed that he too was the victim of a pedophile while he was a wee lad and thus should be shown the maximum of mercy; leniency was called for he wailed; he was but a victim who was acting out on the abuse he had suffered. He needed treatment and not jail time. To him the countless victims were irrelevant. Just as it was when he victimized; it was all about him…
So the investigation and criminal cases continued, more victims emerged; so many of my friends were either abused by him or in retrospect were being primped by him for abuse. Some spoke of his attempts but being able to run away; they were too afraid to tell anyone but they never allowed themselves to be alone again if they could help it. At least one spoke of jumping off a slow moving vehicle in order to escape. It would be assumed that Danny was unused to children fighting back.
I would love to tell you that Danny got life in prison, that he was never seen nor heard from again but this was not the case. You see, these were the years before some of the laws that protected victims were in place, they were a time when some current politicians would likely feel at home because lack of bruises and lack of DNA evidence (not yet invented) meant it was very hard to prove rape so prosecutors were eager to release on bond and equally eager to plea bargain. Released, he “innocently” walked the neighborhood intimidating parents and rape survivors alike in an attempt to get them to change or redact their statements. Police were called on occasion and he reported that he was simply taking a walk to clear his head due to his impending divorce and legal issues. When reported for being in the yard of a victim he simply brushed off the issue with a casual story of simply taking a short cut. For whatever obscene reason he was not arrested nor barred from the neighborhood simply because he lived nearby.
Witnesses were called to the stand; Danny appeared to enjoy the retelling of their abuse, or so I have been told. The children however continued to live in fear. Finally he was ordered to a short stay in prison and to have counseling. I find it ironic that his sentence was so much shorter than the sentence he gave his victims. I have since seen vandals and petty thieves get more time than that of this serial sexual predator. In a matter of months he was back on the street, no real protection for children as this was before the sexual offender lists. He was a free man, free to victimize again and free to use the abuse excuse for continued leniency which was again granted. I mean, he raped children, it’s not like he was caught selling weed or spray painting cars in a rich neighborhood; that would warrant real time. Besides, what’s another set of poor children being raped worth?
I remember one time driving through the McDonalds/ Centre Mall parking area with my dad. I was still a child and still trying to understand the world. My dad saw Danny and punched the steering wheel and attempted to leave the car to “kill that F**king son of a b*tch” when my mom grabbed his arm as advised him that that would only get him arrested but would not change who Danny was. We left the scene disgusted as Danny hung out by his car.
I will never know how many or for how long Danny abused children; he may be at it today. What I do know is that this inspired me to help the survivors of sexual abuse, to become an advocate for the survivors and victims of abuse. I even studied on treatment approaches for sexual offenders but found that there was no way to successfully cure a sex offender. They have tried everything from medication to castration with little to no affect. Meds can be spit out, castration lead to rapists using pseudo phalluses to penetrate their victims. It also lead to cries about civil liberties; it’s funny but some who screamed the loudest for the perpetrator were silent when it came time for the victims freedoms and liberties…
I learned that Danny Jr filled the shoes left him by his father. This generation however learned that children do matter and that parents can get justice that was denied past generations. Abuse excuse or no, Danny Jr received a nice long stay at one the the states jail bird motels. In my dreams he is constantly hearing and experiencing Nirvana’s song Rape me which affectionately calls for the continual abuse of rapists by fellow inmates. May you forever “kiss their open sore’s” Danny.
One of my first trainings was as a sexual assault crisis worker. As a very large man I opted not to enter the hospital rooms of the victims but to focus on trainings, presentations and post acute counseling. My goal has always been to give a voice to those silenced; provide an ear for those who speak and to help raise the fallen until they can stand tall on their own.
If Danny is reading this I want him to know that he failed to ruin us. He failed to silence all of us and he failed to make us all victims. Most of the kids have moved past his abuse and have instead become survivors. Many of us have gone on to help others and to lead normal lives. He failed to destroy while we succeeded in strengthening laws for those who were victimized. We have succeeded in providing education to children on ways to speak out when abused, on ways to help prevent abuse and on ways to report when abuse occurs. We have made sure that they will be silent no more.
To the survivors of abuse I offer you my compassion and desire to help. We can help others by giving of ourselves. Through painting our own portraits instead of having the predators paint them on their own.
Warren Corson III (Doc Warren) is a counselor and the clinical & executive director of a community counseling agency in central CT (www.docwarren.org).