Simple Assault.

"The long and short of my story is that I got a flat tire on the side of a highway and a serial rapist pulled over to 'fix' my tire but instead, got me into his car, raped and beat me. Of the victims the police know about, I was number 4. A few months later, he tried to rape another woman but he got caught and was tied back to my case by DNA. He was sentenced to 20 years in 2005, got it appealed, got 20 years in 2009, got it appealed, and in February of 2012, he was found not guilty and released from prison. I STILL got to write an impact statement because he was found guilty of simple assault. I have attached it above. I also have audio of my speech in front of him where I stand up and say, while pointing and looking at him, that he raped me regardless of what the verdict was."

Thank you, Your Honor, for this chance to tell you how this crime affected me.

I came here today because I have the right to tell not only you, but him, how this crime has changed my life. Since 2003 I have been dragged through 3 trials and 2 appeals just to stand here today and say I lost. The public lost. The amazing State’s Attorneys, Mary and Sherri lost. We all lost because the truth was not declared. Regardless of the verdict, I’m here today to say HE raped me. He did it to me, he’s done it to others, and he will do it again. Judge Rupp called him a sexual predator at a previous sentencing. I believe that is what he is. His repetitive violent attacks on women prove that he is a threat. We should all be afraid for our daughters, sisters and mothers when he is freed. We are all in danger with him on the loose. He is a man that has used the convoluted justice system to win his freedom early. The fact that he is not being held accountable for such a horrific crime makes me lose faith in the justice system. I only wish that I had the right to an appeal. I wish I had the same rights, not less right than Christopher Hutchinson.

Rape is only second to murder. If I were murdered, my pain would end. With rape, the pain will be with me for the rest of my life. I feel that I have had part of my mental, spiritual and physical self stolen from me. Lifelong problems have been caused by the initial crime itself, and by having to relive it, in its hideous detail, in front of him, three times in the courtroom. 

I now have PTSD and take anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medicines daily. I have sought treatment for hypnotherapy, counseling and attend group meetings. As a reaction to rape, my mind did not process the agonizing emotions that were caused by such a terrible crime. As a victim of rape, I internalized these emotions to be able to care for my family. I am just now being able to process any of the emotions caused by not only the rape, but the long court process.

Not being able to sleep properly has seriously affected my life. I have had nightmares and insomnia since he raped me in 2003. I fear every night that I go to bed that I will see his green eyes staring at me.  I went through a period of severe depression the months following the rape, loosing my job and having to move out of my apartment in fear of living alone. My 2 year-old son suffered as well, given that I was not able to properly function as a mother to him. 

In 2008, I was in Arizona on a business trip, alone, and pregnant with my second child when I received notice that the second trial would happen. I feared for my pregnancy because I was so emotionally shattered.   From that day until the day of the second verdict, I had to relive the crime over and over. I was forced to remember every detail of the attack for court and felt like once again, I was being victimized by him.

To my surprise and disgust, I was notified last March that, unbelievably, a third trial was going to happen. I was in the initial stages of recovering from a double herniated disc when I received that bone chilling phone call. Since then, my physical therapist suggested that my body heals very slowly due to my anxiety and depression caused by the emotional distress of this never-ending trial saga. 

I could never feel safe. I can’t drive alone to Maryland. I can never relax or be at ease. I know the evil that exists in the world. Every quiet moment I have is filled with anxious thoughts about the case or his release. All the ‘what ifs’ and all the paranoid daydreams I have, will never end.

Each trial I endured was like being raped again and again, being victimized by him again and again. And all the while, he knew what he did. He knew that he was guilty but still pursued multiple appeals just like he has pursued multiple rape victims. And his wishes were granted while mine were ignored. This story, my personal nightmare, will only further dissuade other rape victims from coming forward to testify, making it even more impossible for our legal system to either protect society or provide justice to victims. 

I am now left with the question, What do I tell my now 10 year-old son who wonders why his mother is so upset all of the time? Do I tell him that after 8 years and three trials I still have to prove that this man did a very bad thing to his mom? What kind of faith would he have in humanity if he knew this? What kind of trust would he have in justice if I told him my story? 

The mental and spiritual damage caused by this crime can never be fully described. I lost a part of myself, as do all victims of rape. I lost the ability to feel safe, to sleep soundly at night, to be alone, and to be at peace with myself. I fight everyday to be normal and to be a good mother and wife.

Rebecca Antezana