I Was Sexually Assaulted By A Registered Pedophile

Trigger Warning: My article contains accounts of sexual assault.

I was 20 years old, and it was December.

He had been a friend of mine, introduced into a community of swing dancers by a girl who danced infrequently. He was 6’4” and weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of 280 lbs. He was that kind of guy whose shaped would suggest fat, but beneath is almost pure muscle.

He was jovial, kind, a big-brother type. Studying to be a priest at the local seminary (I’m not making this up), and fun to dance with because he could pick you up like it was nothing and dip you so low at the end of a song that your hair would touch the dancefloor.

It was after a dance one night. He lived an hour away in a bumfuck nowhere town, had had a drink at the dance hall, and asked if he could crash on the fouton in my apartment. Never wanting anyone to drive home tired/under the influence, I acquiesced. His ultimate frisbee league, he claimed, held their matches in the gardens on my campus, he claimed, and several times when he had driven all the way to come play, they had canceled without telling him, he claimed, so he hung out with me and my roommate in our apartment. I knew him; we had hung out. He taught us how to make scrambled pancakes.

I had been dumped by a boyfriend the week before, and was feeling sad.

He called in to my room from the living area, saying he couldn’t sleep. I unplugged the Christmas tree for him. He asked if we could cuddle for a while. I was sad and wanted to cuddle too.

After ten minutes, he wrapped his arms around me tightly – too tightly. I couldn’t move. He told me that he liked me so much because I always seemed so innocent, so cute. He asked if we could do some of the things he had read about in his mother’s romance novels. I told him no and that I didn’t want him like that, and begged him to let go of me. He pushed me on my back and got on top of me, sticking his hand outside of my pajama bottoms on my crotch, pushing. I told him that my roommate was asleep in the other room (she was), that she was a light sleeper (she was) and that I would scream (I would).

His eyes widened, he became angry, and backed off of me. I told him he could leave now. Now. He said “With you being a good Christian girl, and me studying to be a priest, I think it’s important we not tell anyone what we did.” We? “I just wanted you to feel good.” Me?

I crawled back into my room after he left. My hips and back hurt because he was so heavy. It was hard to walk. I didn’t want to wake my roommate as she had to play with the marching band the next morning.

I woke up late the next morning. My attacker didn’t have a Facebook, and something felt wrong to me. I Googled him. The moment the first 20 search results came up, I started screaming. I curled up on the floor and screamed for fifteen minutes.

The news reports and mug shots and petitions all said this: my attacker had attacked other people before. People more helpless than me. Children – twenty three of them before his uncle, the judge of the town, told him to stop confessing. The therapist, to whom he was confessing his crimes, was sued for breaching doctor-patient confidentiality. My attacker was given 10 years probation due to his uncle’s position as judge and his father’s position on city council.

I texted my roommate and took a shower. I scraped my skin and let the water run over me even after the water had turned cold. My roommate eventually found me and pulled me out of the tub. My toes were purple. We both cried.

I insisted on telling no one. My parents were getting divorced, and I didn’t want to deal with their reactions to the news. I didn’t want to deal with more drama, more hate. A friend badgered me thoroughly until I was convinced to call the police a day after the attack.

I called the police. They told me that in the metropolis we were in, matters of small towns were out of their jurisdiction, that too much time had passed since the attack, and that since he had not managed to rape me and had complied when I pushed him off and told him no that there was nothing they could do.

I called the girl who introduced him to all of us, to warn her. She told me she knew. She told me that he lost all friends in their town because of the incident, and she wanted to help him make some new ones. She told me it was my fault what happened. “A Christian girl like you shouldn’t have let a man sleep in your apartment. You know what men are like.” I was afraid to tell anyone back home because I was afraid they’d agree. If there was one thing Christian school taught us, it was that a girl should never be alone with a guy because guys can’t control themselves, and we would be leading them into temptation.

I eventually told my family. My mother was mostly quiet and uncertain of what to do. My grandfather, who is a very quiet and docile man, flew into a rage the likes none of us had ever seen before and have never seen since. My grandmother made jokes about us being Italian “being able to do something about him.” I just wanted to forget it.

Gradually, I did. As long as I paid him no mind, he had no power over me.

When I was 21, I went to a restaurant with my family and was asked if I wanted a children’s menu. I didn’t understand. I was wearing a grey t-shirt and jeans and was a D cup. I tried to convince myself that the baggy grey t-shirt obscured the D cup, but nothing mattered after that. I excused myself to the bathroom and cried a little. Not a lot, not enough that my eyes would show red to my family, but a little. I cried enough. To me, that someone had mistaken me for twelve-years-old-or-younger aligned itself with the assault. If I looked like a child, then I looked like prey.

Children are small, and I felt small.

Often, I imagine myself running into my attack somewhere. In my scenario, I draw myself up to my full height, crush every one of his weak points, and fell the giant. In my scenario, I am not small.TC mark

Related

More From Thought Catalog

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on Big Blue Dot Y'all and commented:
    Trigger Warning for survivors…and for the record, the writer is not small. Not by a longshot.

blog comments powered by Disqus