Blogs > Liberty and Power > A Mother Speaks Out

Aug 27, 2008 2:24 pm


A Mother Speaks Out



For more commentary, please visit WendyMcElroy.com.

An interesting letter from a reader opens by quoting an article she mistakenly attributes to me. The article/blog post in question is Support Your Local Rape Gang by William N. Grigg on the Pro Libertate blog. The confusion arose because the post ends with the note, Thanks to Wendy McElroy and "CLS" at Classically Liberal for their work on this story -- in short, my name was the first one the reader saw at the end of the piece. (BTW, I thank Grigg in return for his impassioned and in-depth analysis of the story upon which I commented on August 11th in the post Teach Children to Fear the Police.)

The news story in question dealt with an 18-year-old high school student who was brought into a detention center in Kentucky on traffic charges. Three deputies teased the teenager about his physical appearance and, then, broke procedure by housing him with violent criminals who proceeded to rape him repeatedly over a period of hours. Some accounts state that the 3 deputies solicited the assault upon the boy. Certainly, the deputies and their co-workers would have been aware of the boy's screams for help through the night. Reports were falsified to cover the incident.

That's the background. Here's the letter I received from a mother who had a less dramatic but chilling story to tell about her young son's run-in with the police state. One of the reasons her story is chilling, BTW, is because I think it is more typical and far more common than the jailhouse rape. Two key differences: her son's brutalization by the system is stretched out over years, and no one will be held accountable for the boy's nightmares.

K. writes...

I recently read your article on the prison guards in KY where you said...

Living down to every cinematic stereotype of the dim-witted, in-bred rural prison guard (stereotypes have to come from somewhere, I suppose), the deputies told the young boy he'd make a good"girlfriend" for some of the other inmates. [Note: the quote is from Grigg. The photos of the deputies that Grigg posts at the head of his article, however, do look like the nightmare trio from a rough roadhouse bar...They look like the type that casting agents would send up for dumb thug roles.]

This has bothered me since I read it because it is so absolutely true.

There is something desperately wrong in Kentucky. I am a Buckeye from XXX living in KY due to being rendered homeless by foreclosure.

Please let me tell you about my 14 year old son. I will try to summarize so please bear with me.

Last Sept. two 17 year old boys climbed over a fence and entered the swimming pool which sits right beside the skate park in a tiny little KY town called West Liberty. Once they got in, they opened a gate and 5 younger boys also went in. My son who was 13 then was one of them. The boys engaged in what boils down to vandalism or possibly criminal trespass. They drew on the walls and unrolled toilet paper took down the mirrors and put them outside. They did not to my knowledge steal anything or cause any major damage. I am not sure how the police found out who the older boys were but when they questioned them they admitted what they had done and gave them the names of the younger ones.

The next day my son was walking down the street and was stopped by the police and questioned. He was told if he did not tell them what they all did they would take him to jail. He was forced to write a statement -word for word - what they told him to write or once again they would take him to jail. He was not allowed to contact me or offered the opportunity to speak to a lawyer. Just forced to write. He has had no prior dealings with the police so needless to say he was very scared.

When he came home that night he told me about his encounter. I had him try to write down exactly what he wrote for them. Once he told me his part in this which was"I helped carry a mirror out" I saw a completely different story on paper. I knew something was wrong.

A week later a cop called me and wanted his SS number. He then told me 6 of the 7 boys were being charged with Felony 3 Burglary -mine was one of them. When I asked why such a serious charge he said"Because all of their stories match".

I guess they would all match since they were all forced to write the same thing. So FF to court. None of the boys could afford a 'real' lawyer so all were processed by a public defender - all 6 boys had the same one because there is only one! 4 of the 6 plead guilty very early on and one I was told got a deal to testify against anyone who they needed him to. Only me and another Mom held out and asked for trial because we both knew our kids rights had been violated. When I told the public defender I would not let my son plead guilty he got pretty angry. He told me he would not be allowed to represent my son unless he plead guilty. I would have to pay someone else.

There was also the matter of restitution. When I asked how much, he got annoyed with me and said no one had came up with a dollar amount -yet. I knew this was a lie because this was now JULY. The pool was repaired and had been open since May. Let me add that the pool is owned by the Kiwanis- who just happen to be all the men who own and run the town including the court system and including the one and only prosecutor. A special prosecutor had to be brought in from another county.

So, on Aug XX, I was forced to allow my son to plead guilty. The other mother too. Both boys received 30 days in Juvenile Detention - 23 were suspended. They have to serve 3 weekends. After your story on the guards I seriously considered fleeing the state but I am quite sure they would issue a warrant for me because restitution has not been paid. Restitution has been determined to be $4200.00 which is laughable. My son's (my) share is $710.00. I guess they bought the expensive paint.

Here is the best part. My child is on probation until he is 18. I have met with the probation officer the same day. During our first visit she informed my son that if she comes to our house someone better open the door because she would come with the cops. She said if she felt like it she would come into our home and flip the beds over if we were sleeping. This woman has threatened 3 times now to"take him away for a year if he does anything wrong" She goes to the school and talks to him alone and the principal must report any problems to her. He has 8 pm curfew which is fine - he is never out anywhere without me anyhow. He is on voice monitoring which is a automated phone call to check and make sure he is at home. If he is not going to be home he has to call her long distance ahead of time, which is ridiculous.

My son has done 2 of his 3 weekends so far. This past weekend he spent his time listening to a 16 year old girl tell him how she and some others robbed and murdered a old man. She gave him all the details too. The other boy did one weekend and then missed a day of school so when he returned he was arrested and got 30 days.

The young man in your article who was raped should have never even been taken to jail. Come on - it was traffic and he was 18 years old. In KY people have NO RIGHTS - Its do as you are told -or else. Schools are the same way. There is no rewards for the positive just punishment for negative. People are taught not to BACK TALK. My kids are afraid to ask for a pack of ketchup at McDonald's these days. Roadblocks are set up just to try to catch people driving with no license. God help anyone who is dumb enough to try that -you automatically go to jail. Where you are placed in a life threatening situation where you are helpless. Especially children.

The young man in your article who was raped should have never even been taken to jail. Come on - it was traffic and he was 18 years old. In KY people have NO RIGHTS - Its do as you are told -or else. Schools are the same way. There is no rewards for the positive just punishment for negative. People are taught not to BACK TALK. My kids are afraid to ask for a pack of ketchup at McDonald's these days. Roadblocks are set up just to try to catch people driving with no license. God help anyone who is dumb enough to try that -you automatically go to jail. Where you are placed in a life threatening situation where you are helpless. Especially children.

Your comment on the stereotype is driving me insane because it did come from somewhere and it is so obvious to those who do not belong here. I am forced to turn my son over to people who I swear look just like the 3 guards. There is something very wrong here, something very evil. I want to say - its all about the money... but it is more than that.


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