After two years of being denied access to the police reports generated by my ex-husband's case, they were finally released to me. Within two days of receiving the police reports, I also received the court transcripts from his bench trial and sentencing. So I've "enjoyed" some interesting reading these past few days. My conclusion? It is all a twist on truth.
I've certainly learned some things I did not know about the man I spent over three decades married to. I've learned, contrary to what he consistently told me, that his interest in children was sexual and that it began long before I met him. I've learned that either he or his "therapist" lied, one under oath, about who knew what when. I've learned that in police lingo, holding a gun to someone's head after breaking down their door constitutes an "invitation to talk." I've learned more about the extent that law enforcement is legally allowed to go to ferret out child pornographers. And most importantly, I've learned that truth is relevant only when it furthers whatever cause one is championing.
My ex's cause from day one of our relationship was himself--curing or controlling his hidden compulsion and using me to do that, all the while professing deep love and commitment to me and to our marriage. He championed his cause through deception, manipulation, projection and blame. He twisted truth until he could no longer distinguish between the truth and a lie. He continues to live in this twisted world of distortion, self-deception and denial.
Law enforcement's cause was first noble (eradicating child pornography) but then not-so-noble (catching a big fish and using that for political gain). It seems to me that when the media attention began to wane, they quickly made a plea deal, overlooking prior evidence of aggravating behavior. In the final analysis, they wanted to win--it did not matter whether truth or justice prevailed.
Character witnesses testified on my ex's behalf and painted him as a kind-hearted, good man. Unfortunately for them, the defense attorney banned them from the courtroom when the prosecution's witnesses were testifying. So the only version of the "truth" that his friends knew was what he provided to them. Consequently, unless they invest in the court transcripts, their view of his crimes and the prosecution is twisted--they do not know the truth.
The defense attorney tried his best to portray him as a harmless, elderly, sick man, citing a heart condition that was successfully and permanently treated over twenty years ago. According to his argument, the defendant made a huge mistake that really, in the grander scheme of things, only hurt himself. But then, I guess we pay defense attorneys to lie--unless their client is truly innocent, they have to shade the truth to defend them adequately. Isn't that the way the system operates and don't we expect that.
In a system that appears to place great importance and value on truth-telling, truth-twisting seems a bit too commonplace. Witnesses swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth and yet the whole system seems to thrive on only certain truths being relevant. Attorneys argue over what can and cannot be entered into evidence and key decisions on charges and plea deals are made in light of political expediency rather than on what is true. Everyone seems to operate in CYA mode and many of us are left scratching our heads, wondering what happened to justice and truth? And, more importantly, can we really trust that our children are safer because the police are cracking down on child pornographers when the system that prosecutes and sentences them is so convoluted and twisted?