In October of last year, I was forced to make a horrible choice…After years of lies, excuses, manipulations, promises to get help, and increasingly disturbing behavior, I reported my husband (he’s now my ex-husband) of 14 years to DCF in order to protect my children and yours. It has been a long and extremely painful fight. There are no laws at this time to protect children from sexual predators in their own homes if the child isn’t aware that they are being violated and used as a sexual object for the perpetrator’s sexual gratification. Even though my local police department filed for an arrest warrant, it was denied by the prosecutor. I spent the first 6 months fighting “the system” writing to and calling the State’s Attorney’s office, pissing off prosecutors, etc. I typed a 100-page statement detailing the nightmare that I had been living for the past 5 years. It started in 2011 after our house burned down when I began to discover that my husband was not the person that he pretended to be. It detailed the years of abuse that I put up with and how he used gas lighting to make me question my own sanity and how I began to get stronger. It includes him being diagnosed, in July of 2015, with Covert Narcissistic Personality Disorder with Sociopathic tendencies and my final plea for him to get help. In the document, I provided plenty of proof from emails, text messages, a list of all of the ways that he had violated children in his own handwriting, audio recordings (which he was aware of) of him admitting to me what he had done, etc. I asked for help from every organization that I could find that advocated for the protection of children. I spent countless hours on the phone and sending emails asking for help. At the same time, I had just started a new job after being home with my kids for the past 5 years. It was 1 hour away but paid well so I had to take it. In addition, I had filed for an emergency ex parte order of custody and a divorce. I was terrified and couldn’t afford a family law attorney but my sister was kind enough to lend me the money for a retainer. I secured a divorce attorney and my ex-husband hired some hot shot attorney whose whole practice is fighting DCF cases. It was $10,000 just to retain this attorney. Thankfully, because of all of the proof that I have, the judge granted the emergency custody order and he was not allowed any visitation. Then the family court battles began. He filed a motion to seal the case claiming that he wanted to protect my children from any further harm or trauma that could result from the public having access to the affidavit. Can you imagine? He was concerned about the well-being of our children all of a sudden? NO, he was concerned about himself and how this affidavit detailed his disgusting behavior. He didn’t want the public to know what a fraud he really was. My attorney and I fought this and asked to have my children’s names removed from the document but not to remove his. The judge agreed and denied his motion! We continued on with the monthly family court battle. Then a breakthrough……. I received a response to an email that I sent to the Governor’s Task Force on Justice for Abused Children. It read….” Thank you for your email. I shared it with the Co-Chairs of the Executive Committee of the Governor’s Task Force on Justice for Abused Children. As a result, your case is being forwarded to State’s Attorney Michael Regan, who is the head law enforcement officer for the New London Judicial District. Additionally, the DCF Ombudsman has been made aware of this case. Please do not hesitate to contact the GTFJAC in the future. Thanks” This was the breakthrough that we needed. I was granted a meeting at the State’s Attorney’s office. I spent 2 hours going over all of the evidence that I had and they agreed to apply to the judge for an arrest warrant for the charge of “Risk of Injury to a Child”. I felt relieved but incredibly sad. Mike was arrested on April 7, 2016 and immediately posted bail which was set at $50,000. My mother died on April 13, 2016. I wasn’t sure how much more that I could take. Finally, in June our divorce was final and I received full custody of my children. I then went through the criminal court process of meeting with the Victim Advocate regularly and the plea bargaining process. It was exhausting and extremely painful. The worst part was going through this entire process alone. His family completely shunned us and I’ve been estranged from my family for a few years for finally standing up to my mother about not protecting me from the same issues. Here is a piece of an article explaining what my children and I have been going through because I have chosen to stand up to these abusers and sick family systems. It’s a scary, lonely road but I know that it is the right path.
“As a therapist, I have worked with people who have been beaten, raped, psychologically tormented, severely neglected, and in many other ways profoundly betrayed by their parents or family members. Never, in my 15 years of working with people, have I heard of one of these abusers taking responsibility for what they did. Most of the time, my client is the one person in the family who is dealing with the abuse. The rest of the family and extended family refuse to talk about the incidents. Frequently, they belittle the truth teller, depict them as the one in the wrong, and even call them crazy. These clients over years of time, experience blame, shaming, walls of silence, verbal attacks, and are disowned if they continue to try and bring up the subject of past abuse. Many clients pretend the abuse never happened in order to stay close to family members while secretly suffering from the horrors of the damage. Most people don’t realize how common the pattern is- the one who remembers loses everything. The one who got hurt carries all the pain. The one who was a child victim is victimized again as an adult. It is wrong and it happens every day.”
I have already begun the process of advocating for new laws that will prevent this from happening to other families and to help empower women to protect their children and be supported by the law. I’m sure that implementing these types of changes is a long and slow process but I have faith that I can make a difference.
I’m asking for your help in getting my children and I back on our feet. Between attorney fees, therapist visits for my children and myself, trying everything possible to keep my house, we are struggling. Asking for help is really difficult for me and I feel like a failure. I am embarrassed that this is what has become of my life and my family but I know that we will rise above and be better than ever. Thank you so much for listening and supporting us on our journey. I’ve included links to the 2 news articles from our final court date and the letter that I read to the judge at my ex-husband’s plea bargain and sentencing.
Thank you, your honor, for providing my children and I an opportunity to be heard. There aren’t words to describe the profound impact that Mike’s behavior and choices have had on us individually and as a family. There have been times where the pain has been so unbearable that I was sure that I wouldn’t make it through. I’d never felt that much pain and loss, and fear and responsibility all at once. Seeing my children in so much pain was excruciating. I wondered if I would ever stop crying.
Reporting my husband to DCF and having to reveal to my children the truth about their father was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my entire life. It was an awful choice to have to make. The pain of knowing how much it would hurt the kids when it all came out and how it would forever change all of our lives was terrifying. I’m still coming to terms with the trauma of realizing the person that I once believed in was just an act and the marriage that I fought desperately to save was all for nothing.
When everything first came out my children would ask me repeatedly, “How could he do this to us?” My daughter asked, “How could you not have gotten me away from him sooner if you knew he looked at me that way? “The only answer that I had for her was that I believed him. I believed that he really did love us and that he really did want to get help. I believed that he was sick and would ultimately do the right thing so that we could remain a family. I didn’t want to believe that I’d been married to a monster for 13 years. I didn’t want to believe that he’d been playing me all this time. Watching my children experience so much pain cut through my soul. My son told me that he always noticed how different Mike would act when my daughter’s best friend would come over or around other young girls but he never knew that that was the reason and he feels stupid for not realizing. He said that now it made perfect sense. He also said he always knew that his Dad liked his sister better and at least now he knew why. How do you console your child when he says that to you? How will he ever get over that? Shortly after, my son told me that he wished that his father had been sexually interested in him instead of my daughter so that he would’ve paid more attention to him.
I was completely overwhelmed with trying to provide comfort for both of them at the same time but in different ways, trying to keep myself from falling apart so that I didn’t make them more stressed or worried, DCF visits, the police, filing for divorce and an ex parte order of custody before I had enough funds to secure an attorney, getting each of us to individual and family therapy, 3 dogs and a cat, soccer, lacrosse, talking to the school psychologist and guidance counselors, , Halloween, the house and laundry, starting a new job the next week that was 50 minutes away with my 11 and 13 yr. old kids are afraid of Mike and afraid to be alone after school for 3 hours so trying to find someone to care for them for a little while until they were in a better place. This was just the beginning. Regular attendance in Family Court for our Divorce and Custody piled on more stress and cost over $10,000. Mike was arrested on 4/7/16 and my mother died on 4/13/16. The kids and I were completely alone with no familial support. I wrote a letter to Mike’s family at this point because I wanted them to know how badly we were hurting. I felt so abandoned and was really struggling with the fact that not one of them picked up the phone to call me to ask what had happened, if we were ok or if we needed anything. Nothing. Support the abuser and vilify the victims.
This is the letter that I sent. Of course, I never received a single response.
As you all sit back and ENABLE and SUPPORT Mike you should know how deeply his FAMILY is suffering. You should know how unbearable today was as I sat and watched my husband of 14 years get arraigned on a felony charge while acting as if I am somehow the villain. I fought desperately to keep our family together for the past 5 years. I stood by him after learning that he was a pedophile because he promised to get help. I stood by him even after he admitted to me that he was sexually attracted to our 10-year-old daughter and had been trying to look at her naked in the shower. I stood by him after he admitted that he looked down her tank tops every chance he got. Do you have any idea what it’s like to know that your husband is more attracted to 10-year old’s than he is to you? Do you have any idea what it’s like to try to do normal things as a family like going to a waterpark, a beach, or worst of all your own pool and have your husband ogling and trying to catch a peek at every little girl that is within 10 feet of him? Do you have any idea what it’s like to have the person that you love and the father of your children lie to you incessantly and then act as if you’re crazy for being afraid? Do you have any idea what is like to catch your husband masturbating while secretly watching his daughter in the shower? Do you have any idea what it’s like to have your husband promise to get help repeatedly and never follow through or some days just pretend like there’s no problem at all? Worst of all, do you even have a clue what it is like to confront your husband on those issues, demand that he seeks help, try to protect your daughter and other children, live in complete isolation (because who can you tell these things to?) keep your family together, keep his dirty secrets so that your children don’t have to find out the truth about their father. Do you know what it’s like to have someone project all of their problem behaviors onto you and blame you for their abuse? I’ll tell you that it is a living hell!!! And after all of that, he proceeds to tell me in June of 2015, after I caught him with Kaitlyn, that the past 4 years had been a lie. He told me that he lied his way through “The Ranch”. He told me that he never intended to change a thing about his behavior but that now he could finally see what a problem it was. He agreed to see a specialist in Manhattan that diagnosed him with a personality organized at the borderline level, narcissistic personality disorder (Covert Narcissism. Read about it, its’s the scariest kind) with Sociopathic tendencies. The doctor told both of us that he needed immediate treatment for the attraction to and problem behaviors with children and that he could seek treatment for the personality disorders after he was established in a sex offender treatment program. That was on July 2, 2015. Mike promised to seek treatment yet again and he went to one group therapy session and refused to go back. He told me that he had to be ready and that it had to be his decision. I told him that I had reached my end and would turn him in if he didn’t get into treatment immediately. Why would anyone put up with just one of those things? Why would I stand by him? The police detective asked me a similar question. “Why didn’t you turn him in sooner?” The answer……….BECAUSE I LOVED HIM, BECAUSE I BELIEVED HIM EVERY TIME HE BEGGED ME NOT TO LEAVE, I BELIEVED HIM WHEN HE TOLD ME HOW SORRY HE WAS AND THAT HE THOUGHT THERE WAS SOMETHING WRONG WITH HIM AND NEEDED ME TO HELP HIM. BECAUSE I WANTED SO DESPERATELY TO BELIEVE THAT THE MAN THAT I MARRIED REALLY DID LOVE HIS FAMILY AND DIDN’T WANT TO HURT US. I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO FACE THE FACT THAT HE WAS NOT THE PERSON THAT HE PRETENDED TO BE WITH ME AND EVERY OTHER PERSON HE’S EVER COME IN CONTACT WITH. HE TOLD ME THAT HIMSELF. DEEP DOWN INSIDE I KNEW, THOUGH, THAT SOMETHING WAS VERY WRONG. I ALSO KNEW THAT IF I STOOD UP TO HIM AND HELD MY GROUND ABOUT HIM GETTING TREATMENT, THAT WE WOULD END UP WHERE WE ARE TODAY!!!!!! WITH HIM PLAYING THE POOR VICTIM. HE REFUSES TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS ACTIONS, HE LIED TO DCF AND THE POLICE AND TOLD THEM THAT THESE WERE JUST HIS THOUGHTS AND THAT I WAS JUST LOOKING TO MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING. THEY KNOW BETTER NOW BECAUSE I HAVE THE EVIDENCE TO BACK UP EVERYTHING THAT I HAVE SAID. WHEN THE POLICE SAW EVERYTHING THAT I HAVE THEY WERE BLOWN AWAY. THEY SAID THIS IS ONE OF THE SICKEST ONES THAT WE’VE SEEN. MEANWHILE, THE KIDS AND I ARE DEVASTATED. WE ARE COMPLETELY ALONE, WE ARE AFRAID, AND WE ARE IN A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF PAIN. WE ARE MOURNING THE LOSS OF A HUSBAND AND FATHER WHO HAS PROVEN THAT WHAT’S MOST IMPORTANT TO HIM IS HIS SELF PRESERVATION. NOT HIS CHILDREN, NOT HIS WIFE, NOT HIS PETS, NOT HIS HOME. DON’T BE FOOLED BY HIS SO CALLED “THERAPY” THE ONLY REASON THAT HE IS GOING BACK TO *********** IS BECAUSE HE WAS ABLE TO CON HIM WHEN WE SAW HIM AS A COUPLE. EVERY DIME YOU SPEND ON HIS LAWYERS, EVERY DIME YOU SPEND ON SUPPORTING HIM, EVERY TIME YOU LISTEN TO HIS SOB STORY AND BLAME GAME, KNOW THIS. ……… YOU ARE HURTING HIM, YOU ARE HURTING HIS CHILDREN, YOU ARE HURTING HIS WIFE, AND YOU ARE GROWING THE MONSTER INSIDE OF HIM THAT REALLY NEEDS HELP!!!
Your Honor It is my request that the strictest probation conditions possible be imposed upon Mike. He is a talented manipulator who is very aware of what he is doing.
We should never have been put in this position by Mike. Even after losing everything including custody of our children Mike still continues to place blame outside of himself and refuses to accept responsibility for the harm that he has caused our family. My children haven’t seen their dad for almost a year. Not once. This is at their request. He continues to blame me for our children not wanting to see him or have any contact with him. It is sort of ironic that for the longest time the only person that I protected was him. Your honor it is not punishment that I seek and I have no desire to see him go to prison I don’t believe it would be helpful and may even make things worse. It is protection that I am after. Protection, not just for my own children but for all children. Accountability in the form of sex offender treatment program which includes regular polygraph exams, teaches empathy, teaches him how to have adult relationships without exploiting people and provides strict monitoring. That is all that I’ve ever asked of him. I don’t believe that Mike chose to be sexually attracted to children but I do believe that because he is, he has a responsibility to manage his behavior in such a way as to not cause harm to anyone whether they know it or not. I have always been able to separate Mike as a person from his behavior. It is Mike that struggles with this and to admit to bad behavior is like self-annihilation because he sees them as the same. We would not be here today had he made the choice to hold himself accountable and sought that treatment on his own. I do know that he still doesn’t understand that because just 3 weeks ago he said “I’m guess I’m not sure what choices I haven’t made that would get my family back.”
Finally, I would like to request that he be required to register as a sex offender for the protection of other children because of the repeated failure to take personal responsibility for not harming them.
Please let justice be served in court today for the sake of my family. We need to be able to take another step towards healing today.