That was the verdict today in the trial on which I was a member of the jury. I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am that it's over. And I am absolutely positive that we returned a true and correct verdict. I really don't think there was an ounce of doubt, reasonable or otherwise, of this man's guilt.
Rape in the first degree (2 counts) - Guilty
Sexual abuse of a minor (2 counts) - Guilty
Coercion - Guilty
Insest - Guilty
Those charges should give you an idea of what the trial was like. The defendant established a pattern of behavior that shows he felt he was above reproach by anyone and that he takes no personal responsibility for anything he does -- it's all the fault of his kids, his ex-wife, the prosecutor, whoever, but certainly not himself. His testimony was fraught with inconsistencies and disingenuous statements. He watched his two children testify to terrible things and get very upset about how badly he had hurt them, yet the only emotion he showed during the entire trial was when he was on the stand and talking about himself or how he felt others had forced or ordered him to do things.
The defense attorney seemed unprepared and inexperienced. I have no idea how long the man has been practicing, but clearly he needs to learn how to phrase questions, how to establish a chain of events with a witness, and that he should never ask a question to which he is not fully and completely aware of what the answer will be, and that witnesses presented in support of his client should be believable and should understand English. The prosecutor presented a good case. At times he was a bit over the top, theatrical, and repetitive, but that's the way these things go. After all, not every bit of drama on TV is manufactured.
The panel of jurors was great. Everyone was well educated, well spoken, and took the job very seriously. We had teachers, social workers, a psychologist, engineers and . . . you get the idea. Although we had enough votes to convict in the first half hour, we discussed every element of the case, reviewed all the exhibits in evidence, reviewed our notes, discussed some more, and after four hours, delivered our verdict to the court.
I hope that the defendant's daughter can now move on with her life. She's only 15 and she's been through a lot. I hope her brother, who is 11, is getting help, too. Both had to testify against their father, and for both of them it was their first time seeing their father in quite a long while. I cannot imagine how hard that must have been.
As for the defendant, I'm sure he will continue to blame others for his woes. He's already spent time in both Oregon and Washington jails for physical abuse of his daughter and ex-wife. Now he'll be going to "the big house" for raping and sexually abusing his daughter. He will be lower than pond scum in the prison hierarchy.
Works for me.