Dead Boy’s Devoted Daddy

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Jusitn Harris

 

Peter was a friend of my husband.  They were both educators. They coached soccer together for several years. So imagine my shock when checking the cop logs at the Oregon State Police office one morning I came across Peter’s name.

He’d been issued a ticket for a felony violation. A sex act with a minor. I obtained the details from a reluctant Lieutenant. He knew Peter, too.

Seems an officer happened upon Peter at a beach down along the Columbia River. There was a used condom and a 14-year-old girl. The girl was from the town in which I now live. Peter met her online, in one of those chat rooms. He swore she told him she was 18. She swore she told him she was 18.

One look at the victim in the courtroom and I knew that nobody, especially not someone who worked as an educator would ever mistake her for being 18. She looked every bit like the pudgy pubescent girl she was.

Contrast that to Peter’s wife. Not drop-dead gorgeous, but an attractive, slender woman who had a pleasing smile and engaging personality. A nurse who was also well-liked, well-respected.

And then there was their daughter to consider. She was close in age to the victim. A standout soccer player herself.

“Think of my family,” Peter pleaded when I called to inform him that the newspaper would be running a story about his violation, and to ask if he had any response.

“That’s exactly what you should have been doing,” I said.

Peter got off easy. He should have been charged with statutory rape. If he had not been so well-regarded in the community prior, he probably would have been. But you know how these things go in a small town. Peter claimed he had never actually had sex with the girl. He had been unable to “perform”, he said. The victim supported his claim.

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About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.