I lived in Fear
I was abducted, beaten and raped by a stranger. It wasn't a neighbor, a coach, a relative, a family friend or teacher. It was a recidivist pedophile predator who spent time in prison for previous sex crimes; an animal hunting for victims in the quiet suburbs of Lincoln, Rhode Island.
I was able to identify the guy and the car he was driving. He was arrested and indicted but died before he was put on trial. Thirty-five years later, no one has ever been charged with the crime.
In the time between the night of my assault and the night he died, I lived in fear. I was afraid he was still around town. Afraid he was looking for me. Afraid he would track me down and kill me. The fear didn’t go away. Although he was no longer a threat, the simple life and innocence of a 14-year-old boy was gone forever. Carefree childhood thoughts replaced with the unrelenting realization that my world wasn’t a safe place. My peace shattered by a horrific criminal act of sexual violence.
Over the past 35 years, I’ve been haunted by horrible, recurring memories of what he did to me. There have been dreams–nightmares actually–dozens of them, sweat inducing, yelling-in-my-sleep nightmares filled with images and emotions as real as they were when it actually happened.
Out of fear, shame and guilt, I’ve been silent for over three decades, sharing my story with very few people. No more. The silence has to end. What happened to me wasn't my fault. The fear, the shame, the guilt have to go. It’s time to stop keeping this secret; it’s time to speak out to raise public awareness of male sexual assault, to let other survivors know that they’re not alone. For those who suffer in silence, I hope my story brings some comfort, strength, peace and hope.