This week, Reveal revisits the story of a woman who decides to confront the man she says abused her decades earlier.
Reporter Tennessee Watson was sexually abused by her gymnastics coach when she was a kid. Over 25 years later, when she learned he still was coaching children, she called the police. Her inside account of the arduous process of seeking justice in her own case exposes discrepancies in prosecutors’ responses to reports of child sexual abuse and spotlights a lack of accountability.
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
From the centre for investigative reporting and p r ex. This is reveal a lesson from New York to California,
states are looking at extending the statute of limitations on sex crimes victims, especially child victims, often and prepared to step forward until years later,
and then they have to figure out how to navigate a legal system that doesn't always feel
like it's on their side, Tennessee Watson, and indeed
radio produce. It knows this from personal experience.
At her story last August, it starts with a home view. It was recorded when tenancy was just a kid in the nineteen eighties going up.
Virginia suburb stand up to some coffee
This video of me is from one of my private lessons with my gymnastics. Coach Purvis. You Sufi back
Recording was made, I was about seven years old and he was in his forties. That's good step.
I was a spunky little kid with a lot of attitude. I'd go to up
dressed up in tights and an oversized off the shoulder teacher. I have
here's because my dad brought our camp quarter with us one day to the gym, I'm out on the floor and you Sufi
behind the camera. Filming me
doing cartwheels look
right here that he hasn't access, go
They from IRAN,
calling me by my nickname, tiny, I always
uncomfortable and uncertain around him. I like this special attend
you gave me, but his critiques could be harsh, faster
in turn right away.
Disciplined said and wasn't disciplined enough and he to learn focus.
After you get me one on one lessons which sounded fund
the giant having all giant trampoline all to myself. It also meant
would spend time alone with him
was during those lessons that the sexual abuse began.
I don't know exactly how long it went on, but I knew it
a bad and wrong to make
stop. I pretended to lose interest in gymnastics and we stop going.
I never told anyone not until I was grown up, because I was scared. It was somehow my fault,
I carried my secret for years and years, and eventually I told him to leave.
Tennessee. It's gonna take us, along with her journey from victim to survivor, to report,
she investigated her own story and recorded everything that happened four years documenting her decision to report her coach and what happened when a police detective and a prosecutor to garner case. It's an intensely personal story, but it's also one that looks at how the system handles cases like hers and the consequences for victims of sexual abuse. Everywhere we should warn you there will be a description of the abuse. This is not a story for all the spurs.
As I got older, what happened would occasionally come to mind and I knew it.
Right, but I don't know
to do about it, and I was
men twenties. I was working as a radio producer and I started making recordings of myself snow. Twelve thirty, three and on November tenth
I guess it's really hard to figure out where just I think,
It was a way to coax myself into going public about the abuse. I have
all of the lights on in my apartment. I sort of like China,
all the nooks and crannies to make sure that there is no one hiding here, and I could
Like myself say exactly what had happened out loud, it was hard enough. Just to say something happened,
kind of scarier to accord it and documented make it permanent burdens really important.
I put those recordings on a shelf.
A couple years later, my dad came to visit me in Washington DC
had gone to live every time you
come to visit me. I've thought about.
Having this conversation and something else better always comes along I'd already.
Hold my dad that you he had sexually abused me. I called
and told him on the phone back in college, not an
details just that it happened.
Ask me what I wanted to do about it, and at that point I didn't know, but now I needed is how to deal with it.
I would really part of me would really is rather avoid. This topic
the rest of my life, but I can avoid it.
It always comes up again and again. I don't know how you
I don't I go got my dad's, an ex journalist in his late sixties,
I usually colonise first name bill.
My mom died when I was sixteen. So since then has just been
me and bill since I called you and told you has it come up, I mean, do you think about it
yeah I wore away. You can't help but feel sort of like you failed as a father
The job is to protect you done
you missed mystic fleet, so I kind of like taken put it away,
failure and put it away
You can't I wanted to confront what had happened head on.
My dad help me take the first step to find out if the general still open
I wonder if it even exist Saturn Hour, I've, never looked it up that night we went for it. I gotta do it. You know I do hooker she en masse Jim their website. Should we coconut
sure DNS, kids, please. I have a picture of a bicycle.
If you see I'm way? Let me no sir, not look as I typed my dad was sitting across the room
add up to put his hand on my shoulder and we appeared at the screen together
you: click on start fires, sure o God
you said he was still running the german Manassas Virginia
cringing re down cringing. It was almost men
but my dad and I decided to drive out there, you wanna come
The Jim was in the same cinder block, building tat behind some Big box stores.
I stood in front of it wondering
How could somebody did what he did to me still be,
business. Twenty five
Years later looks just like I did twenty years ago, two decades, what I'm thinking as is the same thing, still happening.
I wondered that too. Was you Sufi still abusing kids? How many other people like me were out there trying to deal with what he done to them? I was ready to confront him still afraid about how people would react, how he would react rate after this visit to the gym I moved to New York City. The distance took some pressure off mean it aside. What to do it took me three years to take the next step. I learn that he started another side: business working with disabled catch, one on one doing something called Sensory Motor integration therapy. I called you set me and said I was doing a documentary on healing and injury and how childhood injuries can affect us as adults. I asked forget interview him and he invited me to the gym.
When I arrived there a couple parents and winning area and hands of kids on the floor
counting on tramplings,
bowling around on those giant exercise. Balls you suffer. You walked out
kid, the waiting area and then brought
me back to his office. It was filled with. Thank you. Cards and kids are
He looked the same as I remembered still super fit, but now with more gray hair
You say you want I'll, be cool everything here,
I'm a radio producer. Suddenly
then I may use when I got a note YAP and then said
because I had you following numerous teddy, though TAT made them genuine, satanic anywhere from power used
go on my audio recorder, getting good levels, and that keeps me from totally freaking out
I started asking him about old wounds and healing hoping
something that would give me a way to bring up the abuse. If there are certain patterns that are set,
in the time that you're a kid and then
adults. How do you sort of disrupt that, and, and and
but those injuries is so difficult to go back to say, like someone from dying, for instance, height involved,
they function. That depends on the. How much fear you created if you
but those injuries is so difficult to go back to say like
someone from diving, friends and height involve speed him all present
on the on the high bar giant. Jointed has lots of speed right. If I can,
the interview going what sizing him up, we talked about a lot of different kinds of injuries, but I never brought up the abuse after that day, seeing him in a general of kids. I realize this was bigger than what I could handle on my own
Fell like I had no choice had
the police and tell them what I knew. I wasn't calling to press charges.
Even now, for my coach done to me was technically illegal,
Good morning, sergeant Brown, my got your phone number from a call someone at a special victim soon in Virginia, and
my name is Tennessee Watson,
before an agreement, so actually give me a call back. That would be great when tenancy, let that MRS, she had no idea if anyone would even holler back that phone call set off a big chain of events, which is where will pick up her story in a minute. You're listening to view from the centre for investigative reporting, Impey are ex. This is reveal a matter
from the centre for investigative reporting in p r ex this.
Reveal a mallet
reporter Tennessee Watson has been telling us the story of how she first reported that are gymnastics coach had sexually abused, her ass, a child
people were victims of this kind of abuse. Often hear refrain, come forward and name your abuser. Justice will be done, but actually
don't usually get to hear what happens next. That's what,
I'll get into, but
let you know it includes a graphic.
Of sexual abuse. We pick up his tenancy at each thirty. Two has just made a police report. This was into them.
Thirteen she flew from New York City to Virginia to meet a detective named Kimberly, Norton,
I have said on that site
Detective Norton were her dark, hair and along grade she was strong and compact and look like
to be hard to knock over
I found out later she was a military police officer before she became a candy detective members is heard about the case number that will always refer when you call me or something like a year later. Just to refresh my memory of that, this is good,
More serious than I had anticipated new
and brought me up to an interview, room, cinder, Bach walls.
Simple table in a couple of chairs. There is
you're, a glass to an observation area. She agreed-
say when I called the police. I wasn't even sure what happened was a crime and I figured it was too late, but Norton told me that emerging yeah there's no
I wasn't even sure what happened was a crime and I figured it was too late
but Norton told me that in Virginia
attitude of limitations on felony sexual abuse. You sufi could still be prosecuted
memory. Now you have something that you felt outcome
Let them what that,
In terms of their.
The sexual abuse that
I was about to say out loud to Norton things that I'd only thought in my head and I had never told anyone, even my parents, the details of exactly what you Sufi had done. He had set up there
a former but that he could prop up.
Explain to me that, because I had tunnel concentrating.
And focusing- and they didn't want me to be distracted- that I had to stretch of him behind the man he said these
make a big deal out of how I had trouble concentrating and focusing in that he said was
oh, I wouldn't be distracted by my dad who came to my lessons with me. Really, the mat was to hide what was happening.
You said you would start a stretching routine with me and then ask me to sit on the floor across from him with my legs wide open in a split you got
into the position and then serve like stuck there.
And then it was in the moment when he is certainly
earlier leotard. Is too big.
And in order to show me how big it was slight his hands
my my wiser, like spread, wide, open and found them.
Really compromising position, but he would.
Brother, my lady, at the outside my vagina legal stroke,
my body with his hand,
at that moment. Did you feel uncomfortable at that age? Yeah you already found like this was something
and then I remember having the sort of lake deeply
ball slash, sick feeling,
knowing it was wrong, not knowing exactly what to do
Always be the same same
That would be ass. The man was up
and only telling someone exactly what happened. All the details felt really good.
And I was telling someone who could actually do
something about it. Are you as a kid I trusted my coach. I wanted to trust him. Norton told me,
It is typical of kids who are sexually abused, most of them
oh they're abuser abusers,
create a trusting relationship. What's called grooming, not just with a kid but with their parents to you. Sufi did that with my dad
he invited him to use the gem to work out and given exercises to strengthen his bad knees.
As I told nor not only in its heart,
I think that there is a really sort of optimistic part of me and also the tenacious part of me. That's like this one.
Happen again, you know like
almost giving a doll. I trust the benefit of the doubt that the first time that it felt weird and wrong there
is a mistaken. I wouldn t be a thing, never happen again.
Now as an adult, I was thinking about all
the kids he had access to who might be going through the same thing. I did you,
if you look at the end of a dirt road and now
I dont know I wouldn't be sitting here
I bet he.
Is an isolated and on the fact that he does still work with young people.
And if he said to me, you were the only one.
I mean I don't know what I would do, but if he can fix the piece, if he could say that to me, if I could know that I was the only one
then I might walk away. Look ok,
At this point right, when I got really emotional detective Norton suggested that we call you sufi is right, then, today
and get him to take responsibility or apologize shadrack.
Or the conversation I mean I'd like to try
Stu that now at this goes in on the phone I mean, wherever you put your
to my great here and
The phone up to
whenever you're ready
has started Sufi hey. This is ten Watson calling you again. I came an interview you last February. I think it was as well.
I was holding our quarter up to the phone. So it's a little hard to hear you sufi. How are you doing?
I'm calling is. There was when I interviewed you,
There is something that I wanted to talk about the day. I didn't really get the chance.
The talk about and
when dealing with the impasse
actions that you took
when I was one of your students
An unkind to see if I can
at an apology for what you did.
He says I don't know what you're talking about.
Do you want me to tell you what I'm talking about
I remember you doing the straddle stretch with me and you reaching forward and telling me
Repeatedly that my weary time is too big and showed me
that my we're targets to bake by sliding your fingers in between my genitals and my way, attire thats. What I know he has the same response to everything that I ask him that he is no clue
what I'm talking about. That is when I know you did
He said he had never
ever done such a thing to anyone, you something didn't admit anything in fact:
At the end of the call she was denying, I was ever even his student
This is a point where a lot of cases like mine stop. I reported you safely to the police
the phone call, but we didn't get
confession, or even an apology
like a dead end, my keys didn't stop
because of a woman in Christina Robinson Robinson, is an assistant prosecutor in Prince William County Virginia
She has long blonde hair and dress is pretty casual, Robinson keeps a black blazer and a pair of serious heels under her desk, just in case her office in the court.
Says tat other couch. Would you can hardly see under the stocks of files? There are papers everywhere on the couch and death
floor of work. It is right is right there on the top.
She remembers getting the call about my case from Detective Norton
think it was one of these hook: Christie we gonna have a duty and a republican or bring out other victims because in
Jim setting an end.
Setting where adults or supervising children. If there's
one victim, often there's more Robinson, thought
This could turn into a much larger case, but even if it didn't, she told me,
she could legally charge, you Sufi, just with my account of what happened. Let me explain this to invite.
Junior, the testimony of a victim, if believed, is
after conviction. Ok, if believed that
The tough part the reality of trying a case.
Or a jury is
It's usually not enough.
Robinson was already thinking ahead to what might happen at a trial by jury needs proof beyond reasonable doubt that the crime happened. They want physical evidence, injuries, DNA.
Swat. All the stuff you see on crime shows that, with child sex abuse cases a lot of the time there is no physical evidence. There is no force used. There are no bruises, because kids are groomed to trust their abuser. Amid the case like mine, far in the past, the best Christina Robinson could do is find a way to prove that the abuse could have happened. So what we always want to look at is for corroboration weather,
a five year old that disclose something that just happened the night before or if it's a twenty year
that is disclosing something that happened when there were five
so a lot of times. It's me ferreting out and saying what else is there? She asked me if I had check stubs or other records of payment for the private lessons photo of the two of us together
I didn't have any of that stuff and found that old. Who movie me at the gin back, then I don't even remember it existed, so my
stop, can also. My worst fear was that he's happy had other victims.
Detective Norton went to police departments all around Virginia hunting for police reports about you. Sufi an hour
in county just one county over. She found one in ninety
These are then a woman who was a little older than me reported to police that you Sufi had sexually abused or in the nineteen eighties that case had never been prosecuted.
And because it was in another county, Christina Robinson, wouldn't be able to use. The police report is evidence. We were getting close to running out of options
We need to get past a certain point. So
the media at least knows about it, because I want a fake fair.
Out if there are other victims.
Going on my testimony alone, without any other evidence, Robinson decided to charge you set
Virginia Gymnastics, coaches behind bars, charged with aggravated sexual battery power.
Bessie Use Effie, is accused of abusing a student starting when she was six years old whose foresters you Samuel,
Jeff for two days before use released on bond were shocked by a couple
after the arrested the news to more women came forward in Maryland. They gonna seem school where he said he was their Jim teacher. They said they both
and tat appropriately by him, and they tried to bring
charges in the nineteen eighties when they were kids. Here's Christine around
and send again
two young Ladys, who actually had reported the things very close in time to when they had happened, and
why Maryland did nothing about it, then
I don't know- and I can't answer that robinson-
hoping there was a way for those other victims to testify. In my case, when I tried to get in touch with at least one of them
The response was undone dealing with this, even though I came forward.
Collaborate. I'm done dealing with this. I can't face it anymore and that also
it's not an uncommon reaction. Sometimes people just shut down
a date was set for the trial June. Eight too,
In fifteen a year away, at this point, a lot of the reservations I had about the criminal justice process flew out the window. They believe me and they were taking it seriously. I was like a wow. This is for real, but then at the preliminary hearing, none of the other victims for their realized. It was just going to be me facing you, Sufi in the courtroom, with our lawyers, who was the first time. I've seen him since the interview Jim he looked straight ahead, didn't make eye contact with me. Sufis defence attorney cross examined me for over an hour I use if he watched. He asked me about details. I didn't remember like the exact months. The abuse happened every time I said I don't know. I was like damn he's getting me. It was really defeating. It was a taste of how hard the trial is going to be only there'd, be twelve jerk, scrutinising me to nine months whereby I was teaching documentary production, two teenagers in New York City in May of two thousand fifteen, I told my boss, I was going to miss three days of work, sent out emails to friends, asking them to come to the trial.
But a balance out you sufi side of the court room with my own policy of people. I heard the defence attorney and gathered hundreds of letters of support for you sufi and they had twenty character witnesses lined up on the other side was me and my dad and Detective Norton. I was planning to drive to Virginia early on Friday morning. On Thursday night I got a call from Christina Robinson
I've been thinking about that came hunger blaring just
Sounded like he's about to give me some bad news, I can never forget that we are going to do what you can see there s a merry young woman in our birdies, remembering something that happened when he was seven years ago.
Yeah, I read about society Gun your boss and he'd said you're gonna lose
There's no way we're going to win and I wanted
work out a collegial tissues,
I offer you a lesser chart or right
contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a misdemeanor, it's kind of a catch
charge for adults, exposing a kid to something that might harm them like buying a kid six back, a beer.
His original charge was a felony with the potential for up to twenty
jail time. If he took his deal, you said you would get just a year programme
I didn't want to go along with this, but it wasn't up to me
these to be away from kids for a year and early hour, I have a good night
as soon as I hung up with Robinson. I called my best friend
their forcing a plea.
They're, not giving me the option to go to trial
got off the phone with a prosecutor. What happened
I mean it's like. I don't really understand it sounds like so. Nice
and like her heart is in the right place, but she basically said it like she's a ghetto actually have a choice:
I was upset, but not because I necessarily wanted to go, see the trial or see a harsher punishments. I was upset his eight a deep fear that this whole thing would become just another very police report for another victim to find a decade. Now, Christina Robinson told me my case was challenging to put in front of a jury because the crime that occur twenty seven years earlier, that the other three women had reported you safety when they were kids and nothing was done then either. So what happened to those other cases in hell off into peace like this just go nowhere. I don't even know how you look at the big picture, there's no like record keeping with in this office after I do something with a case I say: okay, this is my statistics, and this is what the ultimate resolution other cases that's coming of mixed reveal.
From the centre for investigative reporting and p r ex this is reveal I'm outlets
sure, and I want to talk to you about something. It's very person, your body when it's your body and no one should tell you in a way that you feel is wrong from the time the little kids across Amerika had dismissed.
Drilled into them. If you ve been touch that way, don't be ashamed. Tell someone you trust, like your parents, your doktor, your teach, or can we say to kids? Tell someone will take action? Will protect you
they promised, doesn't always come to pass when she was
Thirty two years old, Tennessee Watson told the police said: she'd been sexually abused by gymnastics coach when she was just a child back in the nineteen eighties. Three other women had reported the same man, Parvin, Giuseppe their cases didn't leave any charges. Lieutenancy case you said he was arrested, but he never went to trap. Tennessee picks up the story on the day of her coaches plea here I went with my dad the courthouse Salmanassar stretching out,
of a trial. There was a hearing,
then don't usually make a statement at hearings like this, but I insisted on being able to speak
I wasn't a louder accord inside the courtroom that day, but I said that
reported you savvy to the police to protect other kids. I hope that you
if you would get help to prevent this from happening again,
and everyone there. You know how hard it was to fill in the burden of taking action
was all on me. My dad was there watching me on the stand.
I think. More than anything else, I was
Looking at me,
three four year old daughter and
listening to my thirty four year old daughter.
And the scene, my seven year old daughter and now
still. It was scary. The story to finally
when it occurred. I knew
I had never heard her story, so I was very, very focused on that.
It was scary, the powerful to finally get my story out in the open but use of
you're, not the last word. He did
don't bother to deny the details of the abuse instead
estimation, he discredited my entire account by saying that I'd. Never,
the at the statements made by me and this point my dad was seething
They were together in that Jim, that here
was giving her private lessons I paid for them. I know that
this information was not true,
been a trial, the statement
made by me and my dad would have been a part of the public record. Even if we'd lost, I would have
been able to stand there and corroborate her testimony
in front of the judge and say yes, indeed, it did happen.
From kids for twelve months he go to counselling and as long as he didn't violate the terms of his probation at the end of that time, he'd be free to work with kids. Again, when I told people
the man who molested me behind a mat on Jim floor. When I was seven years old was told
stay away from kids for twelve months. He go to
sang and as long as he didn't violate the terms of his probation at the end of that time? He'd be freedom
With kids again, when I tell people what happened, it couldn't believe the prosecutor, let you sufi off so easy. So what did happen was as a normal. Our commission have expected the whole time pretty good
I figure it all out. I went back to my prosecutor, Christina Robinson. I felt frustrated with the outcome of your case. I feel frustrated. I was frustrated
two, I felt robbed of my chance take on new Sufi directly going to trial
a giant stamp of approval,
saying that we as a society agree that sex abuse is a problem and that you Sufi deserve to be held accountable.
I wanted to have a permanent conviction of something on his record. I then that's why
come back to it was am disappointed. I am disappointed, but
I don't think we would have won anything a child, but
Actually a lot of child sex abuse cases in Virginia and like this
is no trial and apply bargain. Instead with reduced charges.
Little or no jail time. That's according to Camille Cooper
researchers, an organization called protect the pushes for a stronger response to child abuse Cooper is found.
People driving these weak outcomes are prosecutors really
prosecutors, the one that says
the level of priority in his in his or her community. You know the buck stops.
He can he can reject a case discuss he doesn't want to do it and prosecutors.
We have to explain their individual decisions knows,
I am aware of. Has a state wide data system where
where you can look at what prosecutors are doing in every district statistically and make some sense of what's gonna, so the prosecutors.
This were all the important decisions are made- is kind of a black hole.
There's no way to say this. Many reports,
Its came in your summit
went to the police.
And here's how many the prosecutor accepted and actually brought to trial, there's no way to connect,
But I wanted to connect the dots
in the county, where my case was handled.
To the investigative reporting workshop at American University and review
data. We looked at thousand
of child sex abuse cases going back fifteen years.
Explain county. It wasn't,
possible to track each case all the way through this system so to a large degree,
We still can see much of what was going on, but we did
about half of reported cases didn't make it passed the police somewhere close for lack of evidence and some are rejected by the prosecutor?
why were those cases rejected to find out?
I went to Christina Robinson's boss, Paul either he's the one. You calls the shots, reprints, William County and he's the one who told Robinson she had to
Ripley deal to use Effie
no! She bade me when I wanted,
talk to ever expected stern man in a power suit. Instead,
got kind of a wizard of OZ feeling Amanda
The current was an elderly gentleman and Khakis cotton polo sure he's been in office
a long time shooting
was remain for fifty years,
frankly its forty years, Edward
Virginia longest serving prosecutor when he last
then for reelection. One of his platforms was that he's tough on crime that affects women and children. His office does have five special prosecute,
If we work on child sex abuse cases, but even says he doesn't keep track of how many
since his office decides to prosecute for
how many they turned down.
Been foolish by upon contribute? One, I think, is right on the circumstances.
No stone polygon, understand, you, don't know the facts in law
elected, to do if you follow done right like what to do. I kick me off.
It s our system, but given the fact that there is little time
apparently the idea that voters will take action if their dissatisfied is a little far fetched rose court
as a researcher Drexler Universities LAW School in Philadelphia, she looked into how prosecutors treat sexual Sol cases Oliver.
The country. It was so frustrating to see the enormous, ongoing and often unacknowledged problems. Corrigan, travel,
The six different states interviewing victim advocates there. The people
victims, navigate reporting to the police and dealing with the prosecutor.
So he's talking with one advocate
In kansas- and I was asking
about their prosecutor in sexual assault cases.
And she said we don't prosecute sexual assault out here she had been
everything for about ten years and there
secure had literally never brought a sexual assault charge. That was one extreme and on the other end of the spectrum, there was a hopeful, surprising Corrigan, research, a small group of prosecutors scattered around the country thoroughgoing above and beyond. They were prosecutors who seem to be an usually driven to seek justice for victims of sexual violence. Corrigan says the prosecutors like this are rare and Christina Robinson fits the profile. I've been thinking Robinson, let you Sufi off easy, but maybe she's squeezed everything she could have out of my case with nothing to go on. Besides my testimony, my inclination, I think, is usually to charge if I can- and I think that that's probably different from a lot of people on the do this job robinsons willing to charge, even when the risk of eventually losing it trial, which sets are apart from many prosecutors, and they may think that what I am doing is overreaching or trying to press the case. That may be can't be proven, but I get angry
an angry another other prosecutors, because they understand how important this is. Other
teams did speak out when they heard about my case, but those reports roadside robinsons jurisdiction, one of them
next door and Arlington County. My name is theme
steam us, and I am the Commonwealth attorney for Arlington County and the city of false church. In Virginia Theo, Stay mosses office didn't charge, you Sufi
She wouldn't comment on. Why not the one asked to talk
pathetically about my case where
It was only my testimony against the abuser. Would she have prosecuted him? It would be a very
odd situation, where I would authorize a prosecution to go forward against that individual amassing. It can't be done but
upset and admission by the defendant or a car.
Action to law enforcement, its virtually impossible to go forward so first day mouse.
A victim's word alone. Just isn't enough in charge
in a case based on that. Isn't right, I think that's a miscarriage of justice. I think that's a real problem for the community if you have prosecutors,
feel they need to do something and go forward when they really know in their hearts.
There's no way and he was going to conduct this guy, but if prosecutors won't put these cases before jury, my word,
Testimony and the testimony of other victims won't get heard. That leaves us with no power to convince churches and no power against our abusers. The woman who made the police reports about you suffer in Ireland in county was named. Gina Dodd Gina grab one town over from me. You said he was her coach too. She was about ten in the early nineteen eighties when he abused her. She told a councillor in our school and the council are contacted the police, but our parents to push for prosecution. They were scared to put her through retrial where she'd have to testify understand, but Gina couldn't put it behind her somewhere.
ninety ninety seven, she brought the case to the police again
final attempt to get Arlington County to take action was when she heard about my case. I heard GINO wanted to talk to me, but I will
too long to Call-
may twenty second, two thousand,
Fourteen Gina dad died.
I reached out to her to find out what happened. Didn't wanna talk
the story. It was too painful for them, but they
you mean a backing Newton, one of genus, dear friends,
I called her at her home and Little Rock Arkansas. She says: Gina stood out there
the first time they met at church. She was what I called.
I hippy friend, and I use the word hippy with the greatest affection. It was clear that she can a lived outside the law,
and she made me laugh right away. Becky says
I had an edgy sense of humour. She spent years Working
rescue animals and one photo. I saw genus hugging away, people and smiling, but Becky says inside she struggled because of the abuse. It was
huge. I think it impacted every aspect of her life. I think it was just this incredible weight
Did she was never meant, carry as a little girl, she was never meant, carry as a girl and as a woman
but she did just this. This heaviness this weight and the start clout.
She carried around
to go to you started using drugs. She's trouble
but the diction must have heard all by
Early Twentyth Gina got a job at Starbucks near where she grew up. You sent me
the incoming and regularly for coffee
after seeing him a lunchtimes, Becky says,
couldn't take it anymore at one point before
but she actually
looked him in the eye and said I just
I want you to know you ruined my life. That's when Gina first decided to go back to the police in nineteen. Ninety seven she tried to sting phone call with the help of a detective, but it didn't go anywhere, but in
doesn't thirteen. When I brought my case detectives found genus police report and call her
He remembers that day she was so excited.
Because she had gotten the call that debt and she had been informed about.
You informed that they were looking
pursuing the case and just a deep sense of relief that this might actually be pushed forward.
To confront this, to be able to be honest about it to voice what happened, and then nothing was done. I think the way to screw so
I remember that Kimberly, Norton told me: Arlington County was reluctant to take the case because Gina wasn't a great witness that might have been.
Drug use every time
She brought herself to a place to be able to confront this, to be able to be honest about it to voice what happened
me too and she would have loved you Tennessee. She would have loved the fight in you. Just would have left you and she would have been right there at your side.
Tear it makes me so mad thence, add me too, and she would have loved you
Tennessee, she would have loved the fight in New Jersey.
Left you and she would have been right there at your side.
Right alongside you, Gina
I have a drug overdose. She left
find a ten month old daughter, no
quite sure whether Gina intentionally took her own life or overdosed by accident.
Estonia Sufi for women have reported to the police. Now, do you have a? What would you have to say to them? You got your call for the man. What are you gonna go back to coaching young children? Please let them pass
Mr Liese Ethic
for women have reported to the police. Now, do you have a? What would you have to say to them,
You guys come. Why do my confidence?
you are you going to go back to coaching young children? Please let them pass them down.
The summer there was a final hearing. I couldn't be there, but my dad when he called me right afterwards
So what happened?
The bottom line, Christina Robinson,
said mister yourself. He had completed ah all terms
and the judge who doubt breaker said
The motion is granted. The matter is now as it does it.
You set these final plea was not guilty of the reduced charge contributing to the delinquency of a minor because he complied with his probation. His case is marked as dismissed now. If you look up his arrest record, it will show that he was originally charged with a felony aggravated sexual battery and his mugshots will turn up in internet search indefinitely, but he was never put on the sex offender registry is free to work with kids. Again, people always ask you what I think should have happened to you sufi years in prison. Intensive counselling, I'm still not sure. All I know is this: when Gina Dad told her school counter about you, Sufi hadn't even started taking gymnastics. Yes, if her case it move forward, maybe I wouldn't have become his victims. We want to figure independent producers, Tennessee Watson, for sure your stories as we mention the period of probation, is over for parties you surfing legally, he can work with kids again, we don't know she players to, but Jim is still up on its website. His daughter is listed as the owner of this topic is important too. You can hear very different version. Is the story of the hard part cares about introducing merely pure x ray utopia, many season of hard episodes of solid evidence. Tennessee tell us more about the emotional told or abuse her on her and what finally led her to speak out reported police. Those special emphasis will produce by Caitlin pressed up dates order. If so, today will produce both Uribe Chan and edited by David Richard. The original episode was produced by lost or Chaskey, and our senior editor was damp. George Jim breaks composed original music jostled, Frank provider for you. We are hopefully investigative reported workshop in American University Perry, David Donald Carol, largest special thanks reveals Delity coup in general of Sir William Martinez, and some do jirga, garage or sell design team is still wonder: twins, mermaid, J, Breeze, Jim Bricks and clear signal cloth or hit a studio.
The sheriff Bert
paths are editor in chief Suzanne Rivers, executive, editor and our executive producer is consulted. Our theme music is by Colorado lighten.
Support for veal is provided by the River David Logan Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the John Dene Catherine Team, Macarthur Foundation, the giant S and James might foundation, and the ethics of excellence and journalist foundation.
Tenancy Watson's reporting was also made possible. Funding from the W and Howard cheap buffet fund for women journals ravine,
The computation Xenophon
let's get a reporting, p or ex about Latin and remember. There is always more to the story.
Transcript generated on 2019-12-21.