My father was sentenced on December 15, 2011. We were not able to convict him on all counts (charged with four counts of lewdness with a child younger than 14, six counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and two counts of rape of a child involving relatives), but we were able to get him locked up for a few years in state prison (eventually plead guilty to "two counts of sexual abuse of a child as part of an agreement with prosecutors that dismissed several other charges and spared the victims the necessity of testifying in trial"). I was not personally abused by him, though my two sisters, one of my brothers, and my half-sister all were. Ask me anything.

Comments: 349 • Responses: 102  • Date: 

CarbonatedSmoke65 karma

How did your family find out about it?

ragingelephant95 karma

My oldest sister was in a high school relationship with a boy that tried to sexually harass her. When she told my mother about that incident, the incidents with my father came out as well. My mom sat our family down to tell us where my dad had disappeared to and why he wasn't coming home. Later that night, my other sister told my mom that she had also been abused. My half-sister (who never lived with us and was grown up at this time) confessed to my family of the abuse she faced as well, including a recent event. She decided not to press charges because she didn't want to get involved.

petersellers55 karma

It's crazy how people who have been previously abused (like your sister) tend to seek out new relationships with people who are also abusers (like this guy from high school). It seems like because the first incident of abuse happened during such a formative time that the victim now sees it as "normal" in a very fucked up.

ragingelephant132 karma

My sister has talked about that. She had grown up being abused from a very young age. She said that when they would show videos in school about sexual abuse and how to get help, she thought everyone else was going through the same thing. She thought everyone's dad molested them. So when she was involved in relationships like that, she saw it as normal.

Luckily, she has found the perfect man now and is in a very healthy and happy relationship. :) Our story does have a happy ending.

ryandinho1496 karma

She thought everyone's dad molested them.


BlyBergen11 karma

Actually, when I was molested by my best friend's father in elementary school, I thought that might just be his way of showing affection. Different families do different things or something? It's actually pretty common.

DiscoDiscoDanceDance3 karma

I think that's the saddest part about it all, I'm fortunate to have no experience in the matter but I would imagine that your thought process as a child would seem very rational.

Anyway, sorry you had to go through that. Seems like you've coped quite well since you're able to talk about it! Good for you =]

ragingelephant8 karma

As the one not abused, it seems quite taboo to me. I always wondered why, when those videos or lectures were given in school on sexual abuse, she didn't realize that was happening to her and that it was wrong. But she said she just looked around the room and in her mind thought, "Okay well... you too, right? You and your dad? Right." It is really tragic.

Piss_n_Shit9 karma


ragingelephant3 karma

Unfortunately, yes. They're very moldable at that age.

ragingelephant2 karma

Since she had always grown up in that setting, that's what she rationalized as "normal."

Apathica38 karma

Noticed that you still have mixed feelings about him. If you were to meet again, what kind of conversation do you think you'd have with him if any? And are there things you would like to ask or say to him?

ragingelephant75 karma

I really don't know. I often fantasize about visiting him or meeting with him again. In my head, I see it as a friendly conversation. We catch up on our lives. We laugh just like old times.

In reality, I feel it would be very awkward and tense. Seeing his face.. I wouldn't know what to say and I'd probably just end up speechless and in tears.

I'd really just like to tell him what I've been doing with my life these past few years. I've accomplished a lot and I'd like to tell him about it. I'd definitely want to ask him why I wasn't abused, but all my sisters were. I don't know if I'd ever have the courage to do that, though.

pepsiredtube20 karma

Are you a female? If you're a male, he may not have abused you because of that factor right there.

ragingelephant51 karma

No, I'm a girl. The youngest of three daughters, with two older and two younger brothers. My oldest brother was abused by my father as well.

too_lazy_2_punctuate32 karma

Some abusers have favorites. My mother grew up in a house where her grandfather treated her like an angel, but molested and abused her sister. She said it was impossible to comprehend that her grandfather had hurt her sister but not her. It could have also been because he recognized you werent a very good candidate for abuse, maybe you would have told on him and he knew it. Either way its a shame he did the things he did. I hope for the best for you and your family in the future.

ragingelephant21 karma

I had never really thought about that, actually. I was always terrible at keeping secrets. Maybe he realized that and decided I would tell someone if he ever did anything to me.

too_lazy_2_punctuate5 karma

To this day my mother, and her father both feel extreme guilt for not having recognized the signs and taken action. But you cant live in the past. Unfortunately my great grandfather set her up for a life of drug use and abusive relationships, today she is 450lbs and takes all sorts of meds for her schizophrenia and other issues. I genuinely hope your sisters and brothers arent too scared or proud to get help and dont end up like my aunt.

ragingelephant2 karma

Luckily, my siblings and I were all able to receive the help we needed. My sisters were the ones who had the primary focus, of course. My emotional needs were tossed aside for a while, but eventually I started going to therapy sessions and found out that I didn't really need it at all. But all of us girls and my younger brother have all been in therapy before.

Abbigale2215 karma

That's the exact reason I waited for the death of my abuser, I still haven't told many people.

ragingelephant7 karma

That's one of the hardest and scariest things about abuse. The victims often don't even report it, so the abuser goes on doing what he's always done. Although it took several years for my sisters to come forward, I'm happy to no longer have that man in my house.

HALALsnackbar-79 karma

If you read his/her post he mentions one of his/her brothers was also abused. You would know this if you read the whole thing before asking questions!

EDIT: Right, downvote the guy who advocates reading the OP before asking questions....

UnicornPanties-15 karma

Yes and you'd know the OP was female if you'd done the same.

HALALsnackbar-47 karma

Excuse me? Where in the post does it mention this? Fucking idiots can't even read properly. Children and reddit do not mix...

I was specifically saying that to someone who was asking questions, which I was not. Get the fuck off your high horse.

My father was sentenced on December 15, 2011. We were not able to convict him on all counts (charged with four counts of lewdness with a child younger than 14, six counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and two counts of rape of a child involving relatives), but we were able to get him locked up for a few years in state prison (eventually plead guilty to "two counts of sexual abuse of a child as part of an agreement with prosecutors that dismissed several other charges and spared the victims the necessity of testifying in trial"). I was not personally abused by him, though my two sisters, one of my brothers, and my half-sister all were. Ask me anything.

Pan1cs18017 karma

You're not wrong. You're just being a dick..

ragingelephant23 karma

Let's all be friends here. :)

UltraFeeder33 karma

I think that you're brave for doing this and I really admire you.

My question is, how would you advise someone else going through the same thing to get past this?

ragingelephant30 karma

Thank you for that. It gets easier, and almost liberating, to talk about as time goes on.

The hardest thing for me was to forgive him. I never told him personally that I had forgiven him, but until I made up in my mind that I had, I carried around this big weight. I had nightmares almost every night for two years. I was filled with so much bitterness that I often couldn't even think straight. My advice to someone dealing with this is to try to understand the abuser. While his actions cannot be justified, you can learn to understand why they came about. My father truly believed that it was God's will for him to be sexually involved with his daughters. Learning this about him filled me with more pity for him than anger. And eventually I was tired of carrying around the weight, so I decided in my heart to forgive him.

Chairsniffa10 karma

Well, I'd still beat the crap out of him, dad or not, but thats me I guess....

You are definetely more civil and forgiving than I! Thumbs up, your awesome :)

But still, get a puppy american pitbull now and it will be ready to protect and serve you when that time comes. Just as a "just in case things go wrong" thats all.

ragingelephant11 karma

I had some people come to me when this was first coming out that said they'd accompany me to the trial if I wanted, even if seeing my dad's face made them physically ill and they'd have to restrain themselves from harming him. So the feeling is understandable haha. But despite all that he's done wrong, he did a lot of good as well. He should be recognized for that.

r2k21 karma

It takes a lot to see good surrounded by that much evil. I'm humbled.

ragingelephant7 karma

Well, I've been working on it for years haha. Thank you.

witchling_2232 karma

Did he ever say why he left some of you children alone, and abused your siblings? I was abused, though not by my father. He just blamed me. My heart goes out to your family.

ragingelephant47 karma

I talked to my sister once about this, because we were discussing my "survivor's guilt" over not being abused. She said that my father always talked about me like I was just very special to him. I suppose by that point, he figured he had already done the harm to my older sisters, but he was ready to make more of an effort at being a father to me.

By the time all of this came out, he really was being a good father and truly cared for the concerns of his children. The majority of the abuse happened when my siblings were young.

Chairsniffa24 karma

Does not justify a thing I'm afraid. The world has lost all trust in him if he abused little kids. Oh that occured ages ago means nothing. Thats just my opinion though,

ragingelephant37 karma

I agree that his actions were not justified. What he did was wrong. Horribly and crudely wrong. But the fact that he was actually making an effort at this point made the news even more of a shock--and even more devastating. I lost one of my best friends and found out he'd been lying my whole life.

Moppy668611 karma

What kind of effort was he making?

The majority of abuse happened while they were young, because he likes them young not because he changed into a stand up guy.

I'm sorry this happened to your family.

ragingelephant17 karma

Well, when he and my mother were married, my mom told him she wanted a lot of kids. They had seven. He was fine with her having kids, but he told her "They're YOUR kids. Not mine." Over time, though, he really became involved in our lives. He was interested in our activities and always took us out to do fun things. And you could see the love he had for my oldest brother when he died, and my father stood there bawling with the rest of us.

I don't think the age particularly mattered to him, because my half-sister and him went on a little reunion trip just a few years ago when she was already grown up. He tried to molest her, so she ran and called her mother in tears and went home.

Duxicus8 karma

Sorry to hear about your brother... Did his death have anything to do with what happened to him? :(

ragingelephant2 karma

The abuse didn't cause his death, or affect his health physically. He had a lot of health problems from infancy, mental and physical. I'm happy to know that he is resting now.

ComradeCube2 karma

I am not sure if you are trying to say he changed, but clearly he is still a rapist if he tried to do it recently. He did not change.

Odds are he felt he was going to get caught and that is what caused him to stop.

ragingelephant9 karma

I guess I try to see the good in him because he's my dad and I love him. From an outside point of view, it's easy for many of you to condemn him and threaten him and feel such hatred toward him for what he's done. But to me, he'll always be my dad. And I'll always try to see the best in him. Whether that's a good thing or not.

StepheLoo1 karma

What's the age difference between your siblings and yourself?

ragingelephant4 karma

We are all very close in age. My oldest brother would be 21 now. My next oldest brother is 20. My sister just turned 19 and my other sister turns 18 this month. I'll be 17 in August. My little brother will be 15 in September and my youngest brother turns 13 this December.

maxxramman8 karma

Survivor's guilt over not being abused? I hope I don't sound like I'm taking this lightly, but... Basically, South Park did an episode about that, Mr. Garrison NOT being abused and feeling insecure over not being abused, sexually... I've been curious about it since then.

Where does your survivor's guilt stem from, exactly? That you couldn't do anything to stop it?

ragingelephant32 karma

Basically, survivor's guilt is when you feel bad or think that you've done something wrong because you were NOT affected, or have survived a traumatic event. It also led to me suffering from self-blame (where I blame myself for basically everything, even if it's not really logical) and the downplay of my own mental issues because I felt guilty that I should get any attention when I wasn't even abused.

Survivor's guilt can be even more mentally traumatic than experiencing the event, especially in the long run, because those who were abused are able to pinpoint an actual event that caused their emotional distress. As for me, I can't really say why I feel depressed or hurt, because I was never actually abused. So I feel guilty. It's a feeling that I shouldn't or don't deserve to seek any sort of help because I shouldn't have a problem to begin with. I didn't start therapy until October of 2012, though I started feeling this guilt and depression two years prior.

sleepyhouse6 karma

Even if you weren't personally victimized, you had a firsthand experience in watching how the abuse affected your family. Your flesh and blood. What happened was traumatic. Nobody deserves to watch their family fall apart. If you ever want to talk, shoot me a PM. thanks for doing this, girl. I hope you find some sort of catharsis in telling your story.

ragingelephant2 karma

Thanks so much for your comment.(: It was very difficult at first. We had just lost my brother, and then we lost my dad. But what it really ended up doing was bring my siblings all so much closer. We have a sort of bond now that we didn't have growing up.

Crusader108911 karma

When did you last eat ice cream? When did you first eat ice cream? When do you plan to eat ice cream again?

ragingelephant13 karma

I had some ice cream last week. I'm a pretty big fan of ice cream, actually. I don't remember the first time I had it, and I don't know when I'll have it again. Thanks for your question though, I guess...? :)

BaronRacure11 karma

I very much admire your courage for speaking on this issue and living through it. I also admire the fact that you have forgiven him. It takes a strong person to forgive such a horrible thing. It also is great to see someone pointing out how this hurts entire families not just the abused.

When he gets out are you afraid he will do it again? Most specifically to any grand kids he may have.

Also you say that he believes god wanted him to do this, do you think he has some sort of mental illness or something?

Have any of your other family members forgiven him? How are they dealing with this?

Has he came out and apologized for his actions and is he getting proper treatment? My worry with this would be that prison rarely treats problems, it is meant for punishment in staid and if he is out without treatment what is to say that whatever possessed him to think god wanted him to do this would not happen again.

ragingelephant18 karma

When I was younger (I was 14 when this all started) I had nightmares all the time that he would come back for me, because I was the one not abused. I really don't know what will happen when he gets out. My assumption is that he won't have contact with us, but I can't say for sure.

My father dealt with many mental health issues. He was bipolar among other things. He believed that God talked to him personally and that somehow he had permission to be sexually involved with anyone he felt so inclined to be. Even on the very night of my parents' marriage, he slept with two other women that he met in an elevator in Vegas where they honeymooned. I don't know why my mother stayed with him for so long, but I can only imagine the guilt she feels for that after finding out what he did to her children. In my sisters' affidavits, they mentioned that he claimed to have been told by God to marry them or something. They were 7 or 8 years old at this time and really had no clear understanding.

My sisters have both talked about their journey to forgiving him. I'm sure the other members of my family have as well. We all loved him very much and he still is a father to us. I guess we just take it day by day. It's a part of our lives to deal with not having a father around. To deal with knowing he's in prison. Sometimes it's a little awkward when people ask about it, but other than that, life goes on as usual.

I believe he is receiving psychological care while he's in prison. He has apologized, but it's a little hard for me to take it seriously considering he refused to plead guilty for the majority of the charges pressed against him. Originally, he claimed to never have done any of the things my sisters talked about, but after years of trials, he finally admitted to the two cases of sexual abuse.

I can't say whether something like this would happen again when he got out. I won't say it's unlikely. But I can't be sure.

yellowsnowstorm13 karma

dude, he only didn't plead guilty to every charge because then he would never get out. he doesn't owe the justice system anything, he owes you and your siblings everything. judge him not by his actions in court, judge him by his past. he knows he did it, you do too, if he's honest with your family at least then that should be considered. my dad is a convicted sex offender too. molested my older sister. son of a bitch

ragingelephant10 karma

I don't think I should judge him at all. I think everyone who commits crimes like this isn't right in the head. No sane person thinks it's okay to rape children. It doesn't make his actions right, but it makes me just feel pity for him. He's struggling too.

I'm sorry that you've been in this situation. Would you ever forgive your father for his actions?

adventure007 karma

Our culture demonizes pedophiles and while their acts are evil and terrible , at the end of the day they are human. While he was obviously capable of great evil im sure he was also capable of good, just like all people are. Your father is a very sick man considering all his mental illnesses and that doesnt make what he did right , you are still allowed to love him

ragingelephant10 karma

Thank you for your comment.(: I believe in hating sin, not sinners. Condemn the action, not the person. It does me no good to hate him.

Hobgoblinpie2 karma

As much as I understand the reasoning behind saying that... I disagree.

If humans were not capable of freewill, then I would say to blame the actions. However, humans are capable of knowing the difference between right and wrong, as well as doing (and not doing) things.

Your father is a child molester, and always will be. This will sound very shrewd and pessimistic, but in my experience of life so far, people can pretend to change, but exactly who people are... that never changes.

ragingelephant3 karma

Ever seen Les Mis? You're sounding rather Javert-ish right now. I'd like to think I'm more like the Bishop.

Hobgoblinpie1 karma

Oh that's a good comparison! Haven't seen it, but reading it in French. Again, I'm not trying to offend or anything, and I do think it's good that you've been able to forgive him to some degree.

ragingelephant2 karma

I'm impressed. I had a hard enough time trying to get through that one in English haha.

And in my heart, although my feelings toward my father are still mixed and complicated, he is completely forgiven.

stephanieeeeh1 karma

This is the best outlook you could have in this situation. Never lose it, and don't be afraid to love him or want to update him on your life. Best of luck.

ragingelephant1 karma

Thanks for your comment.(: I can be a real pessimist sometimes, but I'll always see the best in those I love.

NickNickNick899 karma

Hi, has peoples perception of you changed because of it? Do you find you have been tarred with the same brush as your dad and if so, has it lead to any dangerous situations?

ragingelephant11 karma

I don't believe so. Most reactions I get are people feeling bad for me, and feeling disgust for my father. People recognize what a horrible thing it was that he did and how badly it affected us all.

My oldest sister, who received the worst of the abuse, was incredibly vulnerable and grew up with such an abusive relationship with my dad that she believed that sort of relationship was normal. So this led to her being in relationships where guys tried to sexually manipulate her, knowing she was submissive and vulnerable. So I guess it changed her in that way.

LDexter9 karma

How long is his sentence and what/how many charges was he convicted on?

ragingelephant19 karma

Although he should have been sentenced for life, we could only get him to plead guilty on two charges of sexual abuse of a child, each being 2-5 years in prison. This also made it so my sisters weren't required to testify in court. And it keeps him out of the way long enough for us girls to finish high school and have our feet on the ground before he's out. We don't know if he would try to find us or contact us, but we figured this was a safe way to get him locked up for as long as we could.

LDexter4 karma

Do you know if he will be receiving psychological therapy while in prison or is he going to be left to his own?

ragingelephant16 karma

He is receiving therapy in prison and he was also required to pay for the therapy of the two girls he claimed to have abused.

I can't say if he's improved or not because I haven't had contact with him since his conviction.

Chairsniffa-8 karma

yeah, and make sure your boyfriends are huge when he gets out! Or at least own a massive pitbull....

Bajonista7 karma

A protective order would be a better option. It's like a restraining order only the cops show up and take them to jail when they violate it.

ragingelephant5 karma

That's probably something my sisters and I will look into. It would provide security for us.

MrCrowley1238 karma

Well, your father said that was god that spoke to him, did it changed your religions views?

ragingelephant6 karma

Not at all. My family was still very religious, which I think helped us get through the whole ordeal. My religious views have changed recently, but it is not related to my father or his actions.

scleitrim6 karma

Do you stay in contact with him? I feel like in this situation family members either look to it that the person in question is getting help, or they completely abandon them. If your father was to seek help and try to reconcile with the rest of your family would you look to maintain contact with him when he is released? Thanks for the AMA I am sure this is a hard thing to talk about.

ragingelephant10 karma

Before he was actually sent to prison, I used to text him sometimes. He was still in contact with his sister, and sometimes I would ask her to tell him hi for me or something like that. He once sent out a message to his brother who sent it to me and my sisters expressing the love he has for us and the love God has for us.

However, I haven't personally made any effort to contact him since his sentencing. I've written lots of letters, but just never sent them. I don't really know what to say.

I would like to meet with him again someday, but I wouldn't feel safe spending an extended period of time with him.

Gravy-Leg__6 karma

What was his MO: did he use threats of violence, charisma, or something else?

ragingelephant17 karma

He told my sisters that God spoke to him, and God told him to have sexual relations with them. As a family that was very religious growing up, this must have made them feel somewhat obligated, although both of my sisters said that even at a young age, they felt that what he was doing to them was wrong and they weren't comfortable with it. They just didn't know what else to do.

laffattacks5 karma

LDS or Catholic?

ragingelephant5 karma

He was LDS, but excommunicated for his actions.

D_KC5 karma

I assume that this was all a complete shock to you when you first learned what he did, but looking back were there any signs that pointed to this?

ragingelephant9 karma

Honestly, I had no clue. I felt like I should have seen it coming, but when this was all coming out, my dad was acting like a champion father. He was into all of our school activities and sports, taking us out to eat or fish or swim. He was really involved in our lives once he started trying. And because I wasn't abused myself and my sisters never talked about it, I never would have suspected he was capable of such heinous crimes.

Satchmo843 karma

First let me extend my deepest condolences to you and yours, and I very much appreciate your strength to speak about this freely. What is your feeling on rehabilitation for people that are child molesters? I'm not convinced it's something that therapy can fix, no matter how much you receive or how much time and effort you put into it. People that are attracted to children will always be, some may learn to control their urges, but I think they're the exception rather than the rule. Do you feel like you could get to a place where you can forgive him and have a normal relationship with him?

ragingelephant7 karma

Well, I believe in the ability of people to change their hearts. But I don't think it can be done simply by putting them through therapy. That's like saying a girl with an eating disorder could simply be strung through the same generic therapy and suddenly be "healed" if she honestly doesn't want to recover. It has to be his personal decision if he wants to work toward resisting his sexual urges.

I have already forgiven my dad for his actions, but I don't think I'll ever have a normal relationship with him. I'd like to write to him sometime and give him an update on my life, but I don't think he'll ever be a big part of my life again.

Chairsniffa3 karma

Are you gonna smash the living crap out of him when he gets out? I would.

ragingelephant11 karma

I honestly don't know how I'd react if I ever were to see him again. I've definitely had a lot of violent thoughts toward him. But he is still my father and I do still love him. My honest hope is that I don't ever see him again outside of locked bars.

rayannk6 karma

Some acts dont deserve any forgivness, especially sexually abusing a child. I work with abused children myself, I'd smash every one of thoses resposible if I could. I have yet to see a single one change their ways. They are more often than not repeat offenders.

ragingelephant7 karma

Doesn't that put you on the same level as the abuser though? I don't believe it's justified to hurt someone for hurting someone. That doesn't make any sense to me.

whitneythegreat3 karma

Hey, someone I can relate to. My husband's dad is (from what I understand) a child molester. He has not been in my husband's life for the last 15 years or so, so I've never met him.

My question - what are your thoughts on the sex offender registry? Is it needed or just a long term cruel punishment?

My husband's dad stopped properly registering, which led to two federal marshals showing up at our door looking for him. We had no idea and were no help though :( But it made for an interesting morning.

Edit - typo.

ragingelephant4 karma

Well, I think it's important that the public be informed about these people. You wouldn't want to hire, say, a house cleaner and invite him into your home to work and then later find out he's a sex offender and you let him near your children. That sort of information should be public. The offenders bring it upon themselves to have that out there.

jwtemp19833 karma

How has this impacted your family? Is it divided with supporters of him and non-supporters of him, or did another scenario happen entirely?

ragingelephant1 karma

At first, it was just weird. My dad's family didn't know this side of him. At least I don't think they did. We didn't really bring it up, but my aunt did post my dad's bail when he was first arrested. He stayed with her for a while before the trials started. But she always sent her condolences to us. It was just a weird situation all-around.

Overall, though, we became much closer as a family. We even regained contact with my half-siblings that none of us had heard from in years.

jwtemp19831 karma

So now that it's all said and done, where does everyone stand? Are there members on his side and your mother's side of the family that fall on different sides of the line?

I'm asking this sort of specific question because my wife was a victim of molestation, and unfortunately her family was ripped in half by it. His family supported him (despite his conviction in a court of law and overwhelming evidence of his obvious guilt) and continues to remain in contact with him today. His wife is still married to and lives with him as well, which I will never, ever understand. I don't believe I'm capable of it actually.

ragingelephant1 karma

I don't think any of my family supports him or his crimes.

Luckily for us, my family was never separated by this event. My dad was just removed. We still have good relations with his side of the family.

shrivergirl3 karma

Hi my name is Stephanie and I am 31 years old. and My sister and I have been through the same thing I was 4 or 5 and and she was 6 or 7 when it Happened. Our moms boyfriend molested us. and would beat my mom and sometime he would have sex with my sister and mom at the same time. My sister and I went in to foster care after he had killed me. thankfully by the time the police got to me I was breathing again. my sister and I went through a lot of family's I was in a group home when I was 9 and I was raped by five fifteen year old boys that took turns holding me down and raping me. and then just when I thought I was gonna have a good family when I turn eleven They had a twenty five year old son who raped me. but thank the good lord when I was thirteen I was adopted. when I turned twenty I wanted to meet my birth family, I thought My mom would be dead or with someone better but no she is married to him. I tried to be part of my mom's life but he kept getting between us. I asked him why he molested us and he said that my sister touch him. We got in to a argument and I asked my mom how she could be with someone that could molest us and she said it was are fault. So I stopped talking to her.

ragingelephant1 karma

I am so sorry for your circumstances. It's awful that all of that happened to you. My mom initially intended to stay with my father as well, even though she knew he had been cheating on her throughout their entire marriage. And now she knew that he had molested her children, and she still didn't immediately send him out of the house. But, of course, what I've gone through is nothing compared to your story. I hope things have improved for you since then.

oldmanherbert222 karma

As someone who's father is also convicted I know the feels

ragingelephant1 karma

I'm sorry you've been through that. It is definitely a trying experience. Did you ever come to forgive him?

ThrobbingWetHole2 karma


ragingelephant1 karma

Thanks for your comment. It's crazy the world we live in today.

Flower_Fairy1 karma

I realise this may be a difficult question, so you of course don't have to answer it if you don't want to.

Do you hate pedophiles?

ragingelephant4 karma

I don't really hate anyone. I can't judge, because I don't know their hearts. I don't know the struggles they've faced or the demons in their minds. I don't know what has brought them to be the sort of person they are.

Kittenyberk1 karma

How do you feel about the length of sentence he received?

A family I know recently went through something similar with a kid accusing his adopted father of abuse, it turned out he'd been fiddling with family members for over 40 years. Got sentenced for 25 odd charges, received a 100+ year sentence, of which he has to serve 6 years, parole in 3.

Luai_lashire3 karma

My little brother had a friend go through something similar, only it wasn't a relative- it was a local philanthropist, "pillar of society" type of guy. He was convicted but didn't get any jail time at all. He went through some 6 week therapy program thing and that was it. Meanwhile, the family is under a gag order so they can't discuss anything about the case, and everyone in the community turned against them. They ended up moving to another country mostly to get away from it. It makes me livid.

ragingelephant2 karma

It's horrid how society treats these things.

ragingelephant2 karma

I don't think it's fair. I'd like to see him locked up for life. He should AT LEAST be imprisoned for 15-30 years for his two second degree felonies. Originally, he was sentenced without chance of parole as well. But over the years, we had to negotiate something that would get him locked up. We could only get him to admit to two charges of sexual abuse.

This made it much easier on my sisters, because all they were required to do was write an affidavit and sign in. They didn't have to testify in court and deal with the fact that, even standing right in front of his daughters, my father still probably would have plead innocent. It's hard to know that he got charged with so little after doing so much, but it was the only way for us to get him locked away.

whoop_there_she_is2 karma

Why was speaking in court so impossible, if you don't mind me asking?

I know this isn't nearly as bad as what your family went through, but when my parents divorced, it was messy, and emotional and physical abuse was involved. I wanted to speak in court because I knew that judges take the word of a victim far more often than they take the word of a lawyer. They also take the word of children over parents. However, my mother refused to let me testify, and because of this, my younger brother had to continue part custody with my father. There are officers and protection in the courtroom and you can stop talking at any time, so why did your sisters settle for doing so little when your father could have been locked up for life and protected from harming more people?

ragingelephant1 karma

My father still would have plead innocent either way, and it's hard to provide "proof" of being sexually abused. My sisters were very emotionally vulnerable, the trials had been going on for two years already, and we were very anxious to see the end of it. This was such a traumatic event on all of us, and it was dragged out for so long that we'd pretty much do anything to be done with the matter. Talking about sexual abuse is an incredibly difficult thing to do, especially in the presence of your offender.

jrf_19731 karma

Did you ever find out if your father was abused himself? It is one of those crimes where victims have often grown up and because of the nature of the damage inflicted on them, have gone on to abuse others themselves.

If you found out that he was abused, would it in any way make his situation more sympathetic to you?

ragingelephant2 karma

I don't believe he was ever abused, but I'm not sure. I do feel a lot of sympathy toward him because I understand now the internal conflicts and the struggle he has to deal with every day. It must be painful for him. But if he had been abused before, especially if one abusing him used the same excuses he did ("God told me to") I can see how he might have ended up in the situation he did.

JonZ821 karma

As someone with an equally "distasteful" father, it'll get better.. and just remember you are NOT him. Learning from our parents, good or bad, is what makes us human.

ragingelephant4 karma

I think it's also important to realize that other men in the world are NOT him. I used to say I'd never get married just because I was so afraid that I'd end up with a guy like my father. But there are actually good people (even men!) in the world. (:

Thanks for your comment. I'm sorry that you've had to go through this.

Generic_Cleric1 karma


ragingelephant5 karma

Well, my survivor's guilt from the incident led me to believe for a long time that the only relationship I was deserving of was an abusive one. It definitely made me think less of myself.

My father and I were a lot alike, but I don't think I have any of his abusive qualities. I can't stand the thought of ever hurting someone.

draw4kicks1 karma

Do you think he will try to make contact with your or any of your family when he is released or do you think he'll just stay out of the picture? Thanks for the AMA and i'm glad talking about it seems to help.

ragingelephant1 karma

I can't say for sure. It seems to me like he's done having contact with us. But the reason we wanted to be sure to have him locked up until all of us girls were done with school is so that if he did try to contact us again, we'd at least be grown and standing on our own feet a bit.

Trosso1 karma

how did it feel?

ragingelephant1 karma

How did what feel? Finding out my dad is a child molester? I was hurt, shocked, upset, betrayed, depressed. I came to overcome these feelings. But it is still painful to know that he did those things.

Raycu1 karma

If you could, would you have stopped what you did in the past right now?

ragingelephant6 karma

I don't like to think about changing the past, because it shapes us and molds us into the people we are today. My life would be very different today if these events hadn't happened. It has strengthened us as a family. It brought us close to my half-siblings that we didn't have contact with for years. It forced my siblings and I to take care of each other and build a close bond that I don't think we would have formed otherwise.

What happened to our family was horrible, and I do wish that I had a father that I could go out camping and fishing with and have fun like we used to. Sometimes I feel left out because my friends have dads and I don't. But it really has strengthened me and my family. I've gone through a lot and it's made me more equipped to help others.

Kirky03311 karma

I don't know if you've answered this already, but why do you think he didn't abuse you?

Also, you're incredibly brave for talking about this.

ragingelephant3 karma

I don't know, to be honest. My sister said once that my father had always talked about me in a different way, that he always said how special I was to him. Not that my sisters weren't special, but I was just always a daddy's girl. Maybe that moved him to refrain from molesting me. Whatever the reason, I'm thankful for it.

Kirky03311 karma

Besides sexual abuse, was he physically violent to you, you mother, and your siblings at all?

ragingelephant1 karma

He was never violent toward me, and none of my family came forward with any accounts of physical abuse. Just sexual.

THEAdamHill1 karma

How did your mother handle the situation? Was she strong? Did she move on? Trust issues with other men?

ragingelephant10 karma

Quoted from above threads: "She was so distant, us kids kind of had to fend for ourselves. My oldest sister took care of me and became like a mother to me. I became like a mother to my younger brothers. This event really brought us kids together and we worked together to care for each other. My mom reminded me quite of Katniss' mother in Hunger Games. She was just...gone. She didn't like to believe that anything was wrong. It took me attempting suicide before I got into any sort of therapy, although I had shown blatant signs of needing help long before that. She's better now than she used to be. But she suffers from materialism, meaning that when something goes wrong, she thinks she can fix it by buying us THINGS. Rather than showing her affection, or just listening to us. We've all learned to be pretty independent now though, so it's okay."

"My mother actually had the strangest reaction. When my sister first told her that she had been molested by my dad, my mom asked if she wanted to take it to the cops or if she just wanted to keep it within the family. My dad slept in our house that night and my mother honestly intended to keep him there if my sister didn't want to involve authorities. That fact bothers me almost as much as the abuse to begin with."

ohhitsami1 karma

I know he is your dad, but how do you even stomach the thought of him?

ragingelephant1 karma

Well, I try to think of him as just that. My dad. He's done some terrible things, but I happen to love him anyway. I may not ever have contact with him again, but I'll always do my best to remember the good times we had together, rather than the pain and abandonment.

condimentia1 karma

How did this affect the family finances, his absence? I'm assuming he was gainfully employed at the time of his arrest?

ragingelephant2 karma

We are below the poverty line, but we have enough to comfortably survive. My grandma lives with us, and we have her social security income. We have relatives that help out. It did remove about 75% of our household's income, but we're able to get through, especially now that us kids are growing up and getting jobs of our own. By the end of summer, only 3 of us kids will still be living at home.

We've never had to worry about whether or not there'd be food on the table, but we have had to learn to do with a little less than perhaps some of our peers.

emtemtemtemt1 karma

im just curious how the community responded to this...

did your friends/neighbors/colleagues find out? any weird changes?

ragingelephant1 karma

Well, because my family is so involved in religion, many people in our church knew about it. I personally talked about it with a few close friends. And it was in the news, both local and state. His mugshot was on the front page. The main reactions I got from people were either sorrow and pity and sympathy for my family, or anger and disgust toward my father. I don't think it ever really made people see us in a bad light, though. We can't control his actions.

Pupillo1 karma

I am very sorry for the question but I guess it's an opportunity for learning after all.

I have never understood what "abuse" technically means, maybe because it's so distant from my mindset.

I don't want details, just an overall understanding: it means "foreplay" or also complete intercourse (I cannot write the word sorry, I feel very dirty even only asking)?

Maybe I will regret to see your answer... but thanks for helping my understanding.

ragingelephant3 karma

Well, my father was charged with 4 counts of lewdness with a child. This basically just includes any indecent or obscene act committed by someone preoccupied with sexual desire, with the sole purpose of sexually gratifying the defendant or the child. It can include inappropriately touching the child, or making the child inappropriately touch the abuser, and the like.

He was also charged with 6 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, which is forcible sexual intercourse of any sort (oral, anal,...) where the child is forced to inflict such acts on the abuser, or vice versa.

He was charged with two accounts of rape of a child. This is basically just forced sex.

Sorry if my answer was more explicit than you wanted, but it's a horrifying subject to even think about.

Valstone45701 karma

I can not began to imagine myself in a situation like this. First of all, how did you avoid not getting molested? My second question is, what stopped you from murdering the man? If my sister was raped by my father, I would unload my walther ppk into his chest.

ragingelephant1 karma

I don't know why I was spared. Some theories are contemplated in other comments if you want to read around.

I feel that holding a grudge against him or having feelings of hatred toward him only affect myself. He doesn't know or care at this point what I think of him. So I'm only weighing myself down if I don't forgive him. I hate what he did, but I don't hate him.

That said, I would never want him anywhere near my sisters again. I would never let him alone with any of my siblings.

TheSwarre1 karma


ragingelephant1 karma

My oldest sister tried to reach out to him and wrote him several letters when he was convicted. My other sister and I have not written him, and he stopped replying to my sister's letters soon after his arrest. I don't know if we'll ever have contact with him again, but I would not feel comfortable with him anywhere near my sisters again.

Evophilia1 karma

A family member of mine has been convicted of possession of child pornography and is now a registered sex offender- it essentially destroyed his life, and he's currently recovering. He can't get a job at most places, and it makes any career in politics (he majored in political science) highly unlikely. I, like you, recognize that the only way I could get through it is without hatred, since hatred does not bring peace. I wish more people were compassionate like you and I wish you well.

ragingelephant1 karma

Thank you for your comment. I do think that after my father gets out of prison, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for him to find work. He dug his own grave, I suppose.

coxeyamanda1 karma

I am so sorry for everything you've gone through. I don't pray anymore but I'm sending you only the very best wishes and good vibes.

ragingelephant2 karma

Thank you.(:

aar0121 karma

I was in a similar situation. My stepfather abused my sister for years that no one had no knowledge of, until he tried to abuse me. My sister was like 6 years old when it started and when we eventually talked about it to each other she must have been about 8 and me 9. When my mom found out and got the authorities involved and started the process of convicting him, he got over 300 counts of child rape. And that was only what he did to her. I didn't get it as bad and they weren't really able to prove my abuse. My point is, maybe I don't understand cause my real father died young enough that I don't remember him and my only father figure was a rapist, but I could never forgive him if I were you. That is something too horrible for me to even wanna try to forgive him or talk to him or believe that bullshit that god told him to.

ragingelephant2 karma

I don't believe God really talked to him, but I know that he struggled mentally. That doesn't excuse his action, but holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Not forgiving him would only be detrimental to myself.

aar0121 karma

Do you think you would feel different if it was someone unrelated to any of you that did it?

ragingelephant1 karma

Yes, I definitely would feel different toward them. My dad is my flesh and blood. I lived with him, grew up with him, spent hours on end with him. We were best friends, so I'll always love him.

If it were someone unrelated, it would be a lot less personal. I would still come to forgive them, but I wouldn't love them or miss them or ever want to talk to them again.

Gerry231 karma

Why do you think he didn't abuse you?

ragingelephant3 karma

I have no clue. The possibility was brought up that maybe he felt I would tell someone and he'd get caught. As a kid, I could never keep anything secret. He might have been afraid that I would tell someone what he did if he involved me.

_jamil_1 karma

What did you think of the movie "Happiness"?

ragingelephant1 karma

I've never seen it.

_jamil_2 karma

probably a good idea to avoid it.

ragingelephant1 karma

Thanks for the tip.

saritaxsarah1 karma

What do you suggest for my friend who believes (has had flashbacks) that she's been molested by her father when she was very young. Her father, who struggles with autism, still wishes to be close with his daughter though maintains a great distance to avoid discomfort on anyone's behalf. She has not opened up to her father that she is now aware of the past occurrences, and is very unsettled by it all... she's no longer living at home, but is still semi financially dependent on him as she fends her way through college. Should she bring this conversation to her fathers table and tackle it?

ragingelephant1 karma

I've heard of this sort of thing happening before. I had a friend tell me that she had been raped, but somehow her mind completely blocked it. She just started having weird dreams, and with therapy, came to realize what had happened. I think with any case of abuse, the best course of action is to go to the police immediately.

saritaxsarah1 karma

The police were involved years ago, and then it came back around to say that my friends sister had been lying about the whole ordeal. I believe she did that because she felt as if she had torn apart the family. But the issue still remains from many years ago, and even if he is not actively molesting them currently it still is unsettling to my friend. I don't think she wants to get the police involved, though she does want to talk it over with her father.

ragingelephant1 karma

I feel that most pedophiles are repeat offenders and if they're not locked up, they could be out there hurting others.

I also feel it's dangerous to still invite him to be a big part of her life again. I think the safest form of contact would be through letters or something of the sort.

Popsickel71 karma

We have something in common, you and I.

ragingelephant1 karma

Well, that makes me sad. But it's good to know I'm not alone. And you aren't either. Stay strong, my friend.

Popsickel71 karma

It seems like your father went in rather recently based on some of your responses. Whenabouts did he go in?

ragingelephant1 karma

Like I mentioned in the original post, he was sentenced and sent to state prison in December of 2011. This first came out in 2009.

Popsickel71 karma

My apologies, I have very spotty internet. I had to send my original comment at least six times to get it to go through. My father went in mid September of 2003 and was released in 2011. Again, sorry for not doing my research.

ragingelephant1 karma

No worries.(: I'm happy to answer anything a second time, if needs be.

Crapzyklon1 karma

Was there anything specific you've participated in as far as bringing the family together afterwards? To sort of lighten the mood?

ragingelephant2 karma

Well, last summer was our first family reunion in almost 10 years. So that got everyone together. It was hosted by my dad's parents and siblings, but our family was a part of it, so we all became closer with our extended family. We never once mentioned my dad. I really do believe this event was a propulsive force in bringing us all closer.

Among my immediate family, my siblings and I openly talk about my dad now. Not about his crimes or anything. We just bring him up in conversation now and then. Like, "remember when we used to do this with dad? And how he would always say (insert typical dad quote)?" Or, "dad used to always..." Stuff like that. He's become somewhat of a happy memory in our house.

Cananabanolism1 karma


ragingelephant2 karma

I often thought about going into counseling or social work. However, sometimes I feel that I am too emotionally involved. I still struggle with feelings of worthlessness, self-hatred, depression, anxiety, and the works. I feel I'd be more useful as just a friend to those around me, willing to listen and provide an arm to lean on.

The few therapy sessions I went to were especially bothersome because the therapist just babbled on with psych-jargon that I didn't really understand or connect with. I stopped going after a few months because I felt I wasn't getting anywhere. Once they're trained, for some reason, they feel it not proper to connect through the heart anymore. Of course, this isn't true of all therapists. That's just my experience.

pscheekygeek1 karma

How did your mom handle the whole ordeal? Did she believe the stories initially? How does she feel toward him now?

ragingelephant2 karma

My mother never had any doubt of its truth. My dad had been cheating on her with various women ever since the very night of their marriage. I don't know why she stayed with him though, and I can't really say her feelings toward him now. Probably a lot of bitterness and disgust. As for how she handled it, I'm quoting some of my comments from earlier threads.

"She was so distant, us kids kind of had to fend for ourselves. My oldest sister took care of me and became like a mother to me. I became like a mother to my younger brothers. This event really brought us kids together and we worked together to care for each other. My mom reminded me quite of Katniss' mother in Hunger Games. She was just...gone. She didn't like to believe that anything was wrong. It took me attempting suicide before I got into any sort of therapy, although I had shown blatant signs of needing help long before that. She's better now than she used to be. But she suffers from materialism, meaning that when something goes wrong, she thinks she can fix it by buying us THINGS. Rather than showing her affection, or just listening to us. We've all learned to be pretty independent now though, so it's okay." "My mother actually had the strangest reaction. When my sister first told her that she had been molested by my dad, my mom asked if she wanted to take it to the cops or if she just wanted to keep it within the family. My dad slept in our house that night and my mother honestly intended to keep him there if my sister didn't want to involve authorities. That fact bothers me almost as much as the abuse to begin with."

cashan0va_0072 karma

First off, I just want to send you my thoughts and prayers in finding solace for your family and yourself. I think the healing lies within your family, eventually it will make all of you stronger and incredibly resilient. Also, I have to say that you are extremely well read and articulate for your age. I am glad you can share and formulate your feelings, ideas, and thoughts so well with a group of people probably much older than yourself. That is very brave and I'm sure rewarding for you --- I hope you have a great life with your family and find renewal in each other.

ragingelephant1 karma

Thanks for your comment.(: My family has been greatly strengthened by this event. The first few years were really tough. We all struggled so much emotionally. My sister and I both attempted suicide, and my little brother threatened to. A few of us became very depressed. But in the end, everyone came out on top. We've gotten the help we need and we're all much happier now.(:

Halafax1 karma

I am very sorry for your situation, and I hope you and your family are doing ok.

My ex-wife is currently in jail awaiting trial for sexually abusing one of our young children. Two of our children are young, and I'm having a hard time thinking about how it will affect them as they grow up. My step son is in junior high, and I'm even more concerned about him. He's bound to get questions, especially once school starts.

How did your situation affect your socialization? What did you tell people who asked about it? I've had some counseling, but I'm still coming to grips how to manage this going forward.

Do you have any advice on what to do (or not to do) for a parent of children affected this way (that you can share)?


ragingelephant3 karma

It's definitely hard on the young ones, because they can't fully understand the situation. At first, my mom just told us "your dad made some bad choices, and he won't be coming home." I mostly started to get questions after my oldest sister attempted suicide and we had this big celebration once she got out of the hospital. My friends all wondered why she was in there, so I had to explain the whole situation, and how the abuse led to it. I still get questions about my dad. It's kind of awkward to just come out and say he's in jail, so I usually just tell people he's not around anymore, and the tone of my voice shows them not to prod any further.

As a parent, just make sure you're genuinely listening to your children's concerns and meeting their emotional needs. My mother didn't do that at first, and it made the whole situation so much more difficult. If your kids feel like they need some sort of extra help, don't hesitate to talk to a counselor or psychologist. Make their emotional needs the most important thing.

Best of luck to you, and I apologize for your situation.

oldmanherbert221 karma

Well like he calls me from prison and sends me cheques to help out with my money situation but I was 16 when it happened and after being abandoned by most f my family it just fucked me up to the point acknowledging what he did was bad and I can't forgive it but he is my dad so I still love him it's a weird situation

ragingelephant1 karma

I totally understand those conflicted feelings. It's good that he at least helps you out though.

ragingelephant1 karma

I totally understand those conflicted feelings. It's good that he at least helps you out though.

SwampJieux0 karma

How do your sisters feel re: your father? An ex of mine, who I love/d was abused and still loved and liked her father while simultaneously despising him. I just wish I had killed him before he suicided.

ragingelephant6 karma

We've all felt anger and resentment. We've all felt sorrow. But we're at a point now where we talk about him freely. It's almost, to us, as if he just passed away and now he's a memory. We remember fun things we did and the jokes he always made. There are definitely some conflicting feelings, but we've done our best to forgive him and this has helped us to see him in a better light.

Edit: on that subject though, I did used to have nightmares where I would murder my father. It was terrifying and I'd always wake up in tears wondering what on earth I had just done. But eventually I was able to overcome those thoughts. I don't know if my sisters ever struggled with those thoughts.

Chairsniffa-1 karma

Crikey! Blokes like that need to be hung up by their balls! If I were ever abused by anyone I would blow their heads off the first chance I got, or at least shoot their groin off

ragingelephant12 karma

I felt similar when it first came out. I was upset and angry, and even moreso when he plead innocent. But I learned to understand him better through all of this, and the mental demons he faced. This, by no means, excuses any of his behavior, but it makes it easier not to be so angry toward him.

Chairsniffa-1 karma

Will your brother end up like father like son since he was abused?

ragingelephant15 karma

Actually, my brother that was abused passed away before my father was convicted. But he did have many mental health issues and above average sexual desire.

Chairsniffa2 karma

So he was affected by it?

witchling_2211 karma

All survivors are. Some can hide it, some muddle through the worst of it. But its always there.

ragingelephant8 karma

I agree. Even those of us who weren't abused (myself and 3 of my brothers included) were greatly affected by the whole ordeal.

raunchytowel3 karma


ragingelephant4 karma

It wasn't linked to the abuse. He grew up with a lot of health issues, one of which was sleep apnea. This made it so that he wasn't breathing very well in his sleep. He got a throat surgery that was supposed to help with this and he was required to sleep sitting up and hooked up to an oxygen tank. He died two days after his surgery from complications. The very day of his surgery, I found him unconscious in his room, his eyes rolled back, and blood coming from his mouth. At 11 years old, I was the one to call an ambulance (while my mother tried to perform CPR). There was just nothing they could do to save him.

ragingelephant9 karma

I don't know if the abuse directly correlated with his sexual inclinations, but he and my father shared some similar mental disorders, which may have developed in my brother after abuse. Because he was dead by the time this was coming out, we never got to hear a full account of his story, so it's unclear to me.

tylerrjones01-11 karma

oh wa wa wa. heres my question, why are you putting sob stories on my amazing website its for interesting, funny, and intellectual topics t

ragingelephant1 karma

I was asked by a couple people on another post to do a full AMA because they found my perspective interesting. So I figured I may as well put it up, so I can answer any questions the public has.

Hazza09-13 karma

Do you think he didn't find you attractive enough to rape? aha

ragingelephant1 karma

It's a possibility. I don't know why he didn't abuse me.