October 16th, 2019 – a day I will never forget. The image above is my younger brother and I leaving the courthouse after I closed the most traumatizing chapter of my life. Chills went up my spine when I saw that photo. I instantaneously felt as light as a feather. The monster who assaulted me now resides in prison indefinitely because I put him there. I feel empowered that my voice was heard and acknowledged. I have fought long and hard these past three years and I want to continue to be vulnerable and transparent. If I prevented one person from enduring an event this horrific, I will forever be satisfied.
Below is the statement I delivered in court, as I faced the man who changed life as I knew it.
My name is Katelin.
I need to introduce myself because I am in a room full of strangers, including the predator sitting at that table. I am 29 years old. I grew up in a loving, happy and supportive household. I was raised amongst three brothers who are remarkable men. My mother and father are wonderful role models and they have done an excellent job with our upbringing. The men in my family are gentlemen and my mother and I are ladies. I pride myself on having excellent manners; you should know this because the night you attacked me I said the words please stop. You didn’t deserve that. You don’t deserve my etiquette.
This morning, I woke up with a pounding heart, sweaty palms and a soul that wanted to run away from my own body – the same feeling I felt on May 13th 2017. The day that person (you are the furthest thing from a man, so I refuse to call you that) kidnapped, raped and robbed me. Materialistic items are not what I refer to when I use the term robbed. YOU robbed me of my innocence, functionality, confidence, sanity, intimacy, security, mobility and self worth. It took one night for my world to turn upside down. You made me feel numb, empty, mortified, uncomfortable, disgusted, worthless, lonely, broken, exhausted, ashamed, and heartbroken. Flashbacks of that day won’t haunt you; I know because they are not yet done with me. They are probably too scared to go near you – I know I am.
My nightmares are vivid and disturbing, my perception of the world has completely changed and I have felt trapped in my own skin. I have lived a nightmare I can’t wake up from. I can hear your aggressive voice when I close my eyes – threatening my life and making hostile demands. I can still feel the tears streaming down my face as I pleaded for you to stop, avoiding making eye contact with your beady eyes, screaming from discomfort, attempting to dodge the caress of your coarse hands and push your heavy body off of me. I didn’t have the strength then but I can assure you I have it now.
I have days where I feel okay and days where I bury my head into my hands and sob uncontrollably. On the bad days, I feel like I’m being buried alive; I speak but nothing comes out, I sleep but my mind races, and something as light as a feather can break me. My 27th birthday was on May 23rd, and I felt as if I were mourning a loss. I did not want to celebrate because I did not even want to be alive. How dare you violate me to the extent of me wanting to commit suicide? I hate that I ever gave you any power. You should feel powerless. I hate that my happy place was ever a foreign place. I hate that looking in the mirror is disturbing. These years have felt like I’m a newborn all over again – a baby learning how to crawl, eat, talk and grow. The trauma from your attack paralyzed my body. I spent two weeks in a wheel chair because my legs buckled at every attempt to walk.
You not only shattered my world, but you hurt the people I love the most – my family. My father is the strongest man I know. I have seen him cry twice, and one of those times is when he saw me the day after you attacked me. My mother lost sleep because she slept in bed with me every night to help manage my nightmares, cold sweats and alleviate my pain. My brothers were the best support system I could ever ask for, but I know it was not easy for them. My moods fluctuated constantly.
You are the prisoner, sitting there in shackles, feeling defeated, helpless, almost as if the walls are closing in on you. Unfortunately, those feelings are not foreign to me. That is how I felt the night you raped me and the continuous sleepless nights I endured after.
I WANT YOU TO KNOW that things have changed. I walked into this courtroom today stronger than ever with my head held high. I said this to you once, but I will say it again, you messed with the wrong woman. Although I wish I never had to endure this, I am okay with the fact that you chose me. If you preyed on someone else, you could still be out on the street AND I AM NOT OKAY WITH THAT. You left your fate in my hands and I put you exactly where you belong – in prison. I won’t think about you ever. I won’t even give you that much of my time. I know that if I have negative thoughts about you, that won’t patch my wounds, mend my severed heart and abandon me of my pain. I know my anger and hatred towards you won’t inflict any pain on you, I’m not sure you even know how to feel at all. One thing I can guarantee is that I will never forgive you.
The difference between you and I is that I have a heart, I am loving, I am a protector, I am a warrior, I have power, I have a voice, I am determined, I am loved and I have a full life ahead of me that I am excited to fulfill.
You are powerless, you are lonely, you are evil, you are disgusting, you are hateful, you are miserable, you are a predator, you have no freedom and you will have to live your life knowing that you have not only hurt me but the beautiful women standing here today behind me. You attempted to break me but all you did was rebuild me from the ground up & I can take on any natural disaster that is presented to me. You are nothing.
I did not want agree to a plea deal, giving you a choice was never something I was comfortable with. I DIDN’T HAVE A CHOICE THE NIGHT YOU TOOK ADVANTAGE OF ME but I made a selfless decision to not bring back the trauma for the others you have harmed. The pain you brought me is unmeasurable. But I thank you for choosing a woman who wouldn’t break, a woman who is going to set this world on fire because you never know who needs your warmth. You took a piece of me that I can never get back but This is only a chapter of my life, not my whole story. Your Honor, thank you for allowing me to share my truth and stand up for myself. I pray justice WILL BE SERVED.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.