This is an article that's been brewing for a few weeks now. I haven't felt ready to write about it before this morning.
Urbaner is a certified military police investigator, among other things. That means that he's the military equivalent of a civilian detective. He hasn't worked as an investigator since we were stationed at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota; his career has taken him in a different direction - but he was a really good investigator when he worked the job.
His boss when he worked investigations was...well, let's just say that I didn't get along with him. He was on his second marriage at the time; he had full custody of his daughter from his first marriage and his current wife was pregnant with their first child together. To be honest, I'm not sure why they got married in the first place; they never did anything together and it seemed as if they were more room mates than they were a couple.
He put a lot of stress on my marriage. He and Urbaner were really, really close - like brothers - and he (we'll call him Bill - it's not his real name but it'll work for now) deliberately did some things that he KNEW would hurt Urbie and I. It was a constant source of tension between us, and even though I did my best to NOT let it bother me, I couldn't help but be annoyed and even hurt. A couple of examples: FTS had her tonsils removed right before Independence day and had a bad reaction to the pain medications prescribed afterwards. We were supposed to be going to a party at Bill's house, but FTS ended up in the ER so we couldn't go. Bill gave Urbie such a hard time about it that Urbie felt like the best thing to do was to take FTS and I home after she was discharged, leave us there, and take the boys and himself to party at Bill's place. I know, I know, Urbie is just as much to blame for that. He and I have talked at length about it and I've forgiven him...but I haven't forgiven Bill. He used his position as Urbie's boss to manipulate him; there were veiled threats and hints of retribution if he didn't comply with Bill's plans. The Friday before Urbie was leaving to Greenland for a year's unaccompanied tour, Bill called and asked if he wanted to go over and have a few drinks that Saturday. Urbie said 'Yeah, let me ask Ninja if she wants to go too' and Bill said "no, it's guys only, she can't come". I think that was the moment when Urbie realized just how Bill was. He was getting ready to be away from his wife and kids for an entire year, but Bill thought it was ok to have him leave us at home and go get drink with him. He wasn't working for Bill anymore at that point, so he told him where to go and stayed home with me instead.
After we left Ellsworth we lost touch with Bill. We heard through the grapevine that he got divorced again, and that he retired from the military and moved to California with his daughter...and we honestly thought that we'd never hear from him again.
We were wrong. Last month, Urbaner got a call at work from a mutual acquaintance, telling him that Bill was being held in the Pennington County, SD jail. He'd been extradited from CA and was awaiting trial in SD. The charges?
Child molestation and incestuous statutory rape.
He is accused to molesting and raping his daughter pretty much her entire life. I've had eyes on some of the paperwork in his case and it's sickening. The evidence is....compelling. It's not just 'she said' stuff, there's physical and very detailed evidence corroborating his daughter's claims. He hasn't gone to trial yet so he's innocent in the eyes of the law, but I'm pretty certain he'll be found guilty and will spent a lot of time in prison - perhaps even the rest of his life. Should the judge decide to impose the maximum sentence for each count he's charged with on him, he's looking at 135-odd years of time.
I'm not proud of my reaction to the news. My first reaction was 'no, he didn't do it. I didn't like Bill, but I don't believe THAT', immediately followed by a distinct sense of schadenfreude. I was GLAD that he was getting a taste of what he did to other people; I felt satisfaction that his lifestyle and attitude had finally caught up with him. Karma in effect, in other words. My second thought was 'gawd, I let that man into my house and gave him access to my family. My kids spent nights at his house and were alone with him on numerous occasions. Oh my gawd, what the fuck have I exposed them to.....'
I let that man, that molester, into our life. I trusted him. My kids trusted him. We ALL trusted him.....he was a police officer, someone who we told out children they could always trust and feel safe around. He was supposed to be there to put the bad guys, the people we warned our 'lings about, in jail.....but it turned out that HE was the bad guy all along. HE was the one I should have warned them about, the one I should have never let into my home or near my kids.
He was a cop. Kids are supposed to be able to trust cops. He betrayed that trust.
So, who can I tell them to trust now? If they're in trouble and Urbaner and I aren't immediately available, who can I tell them to trust? They know that Bill's in jail, they know what he's accused of. They know I'm kicking myself for not seeing him for what he was - a pedophile.
Who? If not us, then who?