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Chastising Charlene

charlene
“Ronald Jenkins, I sentence you to a term of ninety-three years imprisonment in a state correctional facility to be determined by the court. What you have done sir is deplorable and you have forfeited your right to live amongst the rest of the good citizens of this community. Some of the damage you have done to these children is irreversible. You not only violated their bodies, you violated their minds and souls as well. Thirteen years and five children’s innocence have been robbed by your heinous crimes. These are precious years of childhood that these young people will never get back; you took that from them. Fear, shame, emotional and physical pain was felt by these children daily because of your acts of perversion. You sir, are a serial child molester and if I have anything to do with it you will never again see the light of day because I will see to it that someone from my office attends every parole hearing to remind the board of the despicable things you did to so many people and for how long. I pray that these children can only find some healing so that they may learn to live normal- well adjusted lives. I also pray none of them repeats the vicious cycle of abuse you have created in their lives. I am sure that where you’re going sir you will find many friends who will be very interested in you and your crimes. I am here to tell you that every society has its rules, even prison. Inmates seem to always take special interest in criminals such as yourself. I believe sir that you may be granted the opportunity to experience the same shame, pain and fear these children felt on a daily basis, enjoy.”

In the courtroom sat a weeping and visibly shaken Charlene Jackson. It would seem by her actions that she was mourning more for the loss of her man rather than the crimes that were committed against her children. Cheap makeup and eye shadow run down her cheeks as she shed more tears. She even had the audacity to call out to the Lord for His mercy and leniency for her children’s tormentor. Her actions angered the court to no end. The judge looked down on her from his bench with great contempt and loathing, odium burned in his eyes for the willingly negligent woman. He had heard enough of her cries. His detestation of the situation caused him to turn his venomous words of fury on her.

“Ms. Jackson, I wish it were in my power to charge you as well for the harm you have done your own children. These were your babies that you allowed this to happen to while you turned a blind eye and ear to what horrors they faced daily. If not for you this monster would never have been in their lives to do such revolting things to them. You have the nerve to sit here in my courtroom today and shed tears for this monster. Who shed tears all those nights that unspeakable crimes were committed against your little boys and girls, uh! Not you! Our children should always be able to look to us for guidance and protection; from you they received neither. If you can’t run to mama, who can you run to? This is the most grotesque example of child abuse and neglect that I have seen in all my years on the bench. For you to just sit by and allow this to happen for all of those years was nothing less than criminal. I’m just sorry that there isn’t a law on the books that addresses your indifference to the well being of your own children. How do you face yourself in the mirror everyday? How can you look any of your children in the eye and tell them you love them after you sat idle while their childhoods were ruined.

Was this small man that I see before me today more important to you than your own flesh and blood? Did you not hear any of their screams over the thirteen years of abuse? Did none of their cries for help reach your ears? You and I both know that not to be true. You knew exactly what was happening to your children and you ignored their pain, for years! And years! And years! Ma’am in some ways you are more monstrous than this pitiful being I see before me. You birth these children; they were gifted by God to you and instead of loving and cherishing them you allowed them daily maltreatment at the hands of another through your negligence.”

The judge’s words were cutting Charlene deep. She thought about and grieved for her children, more tears flowed. Despite her contrition towards what she allowed her children to endure, she still felt more compassion and sadness for her man who was about to be incarcerated for the remainder of his natural life. The judge sensed this and the ugliness of the situation began to overwhelm him; he had never hurt so deep after presiding over a case. The urge to hug and hold his loving wife of thirty-two years, his adult children and many grandchildren in an attempt to protect them from the world’s ills overcame him. That urge was no stronger than the one he had to do physical harm to the defendant and his passive co-conspirator or the urge to cry for victims of this atrocious crime.

He felt his emotions getting away from him so he summarized his feelings before he adjourned court. The judge gathered himself and continued on.

“What was done to these children was the most evil and wicked thing that I have ever had to encounter. I have never felt more powerless than I do now because of the law’s ineffectiveness in dealing with criminals of your nature; the ones that should do something but just don’t because it’s easier or its suits their own needs not to. You wanted this sorry individual in your life above all else. You were even willing to sacrifice your own children to him to satisfy this sick, perverted man’s fantasies. You wanted to appease him above all else, and you have. Now you have to live with the consequences of your actions or the lack there of. Charlene Jackson I pray we get laws in place to deal with people like yourself because until we do, there will be a lot of children out there with no advocate or protector and we will be powerless to assist them. I want the ability to punish all of the offenders and that especially means you! With that being said, I pray that you get your life together and come to terms with what you have done. Get counseling, for yourself and especially your children. This court now stands adjourned.”

After leaving the courtroom that day, Charlene Jackson began intense therapy and counseling for her emotional issues. After several years she was able to repair most of the relationships with her children, some weren’t so forgiving in their adult lives. Charlene would go on to be an advocate for abused women and children volunteering her time at woman’s shelters and community centers the remainder of her life. She even had the opportunity to appear before the same judge many years later in her new capacity as crusader against domestic violence and child abuse.

“Ma’am I must say it is truly wonderful to see the change that you have made in your life and I commend you for it.”
“Thank you your honor, your chastising was taken to heart.”

The two shared a knowing smile and then moved forward with the case. Ronald Jenkins received his first raping the same night he arrived at his new home with is new family. He now found himself as the prey not predator. His hazel eyes and petite frame served him well as a rape victim. He was seen as a delicacy in the joint. Later he became the victim of one of his former victims, how ironic. After years of being turned out, Ronald took up with a mate for protection. He died three years later of complications from AIDS, never having developed a personal relationship with Christ.

Chastising Charlene

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