© 2018 by Kate Ryan.

I was separated from my husband at the time. 

We had been married for 33 years.

 

I was pretty lonely, going through some hard times. 

 

*

 

I met this guy online. 

I think he was 11 or 12 years younger than me.

I met him January of 2003. 

 

We chatted online for several months. 

And finally he said to me, "I'd really like to meet you." 

I met him at an Irish bar.

We had one beer together, and I left.

 

{In the coming months, he and Jane chatted.  He came over twice to have coffee.  The second time, the pair had sex.}

 

It was a quickie. 

I used to be embarrassed about it, but stuff like that happens. 

 

*

 

I didn't hear from him until November.

And he said, "Do you want to get together and have a couple of beers tonight?" 

 

I knew I was going to have sex with him. 

 

*

 

So he came over to my house, and it was about 9 o'clock. 

We talked for a couple hours. 

 

I went into my bathroom. 

I came out, and he was standing in the hallway. 

I got undressed.

 

As soon as I got on the bed, he grabbed me, turned me over, put his hands around my throat, and he brutally raped me for about 3 hours.

*

He shoved his fingers down my throat. 

He put his hands around my throat, choking me, calling me all kinds of names. 

"You like this, bitch." 

Horrible things. 

 

He shoved his fist up my vagina several times. 

He assaulted me vaginally, anally, in my mouth with his penis.

 

I was crying, screaming, begging him to stop. 

I fought him for almost an hour.

And then I thought, "If I don't do what he tells me to do, he's going to kill me." 

 

*

 

I told him I had to go to the bathroom. 

He was holding my hair; that's how he controlled me. 

He pulled me into the bathroom, pushed me on the toilet, and said, “I want to hear you piss, bitch.”

 

And I can't go to the bathroom. 

So he said to me, “If I don't hear you piss, I'm gonna piss in your mouth.”

 

*

 

At the end he ejaculated in my mouth, and I spit it out on my bed.

 

*

 

I said, "Let's go to the restaurant, I'll go with you there." 

 

I figured if I could get out, I could run away. 

 

He got dressed and he walked out of my apartment. 

 

I locked the door, went into the bathroom. 

I took a Tylenol, and I looked. 

I was pretty bruised from my neck down. 

He had bit my breast, he bit my back. 

 

I called 911.

The police later found hair all over my apartment, in the living room, in the hallway, in the bathroom. 

 

They found semen in my hallway.

They found it in my living room, in my bed.

 

They said, "Do you want us to call anyone?"

"Nope.  I don't want you to call anybody."

 

I was so embarrassed. 

I met him online. 

Back then that was so taboo. 

And I was like, "I'm a social worker.  I should have known better."

 

*

 

{The police drove Jane to the hospital.}

 

The police are in there taking pictures of me. 

I had had some dealings with the West Warwick police being a social worker. 

I knew the cops. 

So that was embarrassing too for me. 

 

I went through the rape kit.

The doctor who examined me—

She testified later at the trial that my vaginal area looked like I had just given birth. 

 

I had bruising in my throat, I had some redness around my neck. 

Not my face. 

He kept telling me how pretty I was while he was assaulting me. 

 

*

 

They told me I was going to have to use AZT for a month, because he didn't use a condom. 

 

They said, “You're going have to come in for hepatitis injections for a couple of years, because of the bites on you.” 

*

It took over an hour and a bottle of conditioner to get the snarls out of my hair. 

 

I filled my tub up with hot water, just to sooth my breasts and my body. 

I was on my stomach.

And I put my head under water. 

And I don't remember lifting my head up. 

 

That's bothersome to me.

I went right back to work Tuesday. 

I didn't skip a beat. 

 

I was working as a case work supervisor at the Department of Children, Youth, and Families.

I had five social workers who worked for me, probably about 120 cases in my unit. 

They're all high intensity life or death cases. 

 

My office was the place to be. 

I had candy; I was very outgoing. 

 

{After the assault} I would sit in my office all day long with my door shut. 

 

*

 

I faced the grand jury all by myself. 

 

He gets indicted on six counts of first degree sexual assault. 

 

*

 

Now we're in 2005, and we go to trial. 

I had told my cousin, and I told my brother. 

So they were with me.

And I had another friend from the UK. 

 

They brought in a doctor who was living underneath me in my apartment. 

He said he heard me crying and screaming for about an hour.

He didn't want to get involved. 

He felt terrible.

 

I had to identify all of the pictures of my injuries one by one for the jury, which was horrible. 

 

I strongly feel now that any type of sexual assault cases should not be open to the public. 

 

*

 

It ended up being a hung jury. 

And everybody was shocked. 

 

Some of the jurors came in and they wanted to meet with me. 

They were crying. 

They were like, "We're so sorry we couldn't get you a guilty verdict. Please go forward with this.” 

 

The state said, “We are absolutely going to retry this case again if you'll do it.”

 

*

 

My next trial was in 2006. 

 

I ended up in the psychiatric ward at Kent a week before.

I was diagnosed with PTSD, emotional exhaustion. 

 

*

 

The attorney general's office tries it very differently this time. 

They had big television screens in the courtroom and they were flashing my injuries on the screen. 

 

He was found guilty on five counts of first degree sexual assault. 

 

*

 

We go to the sentencing, and now I have my people with me. 

Half the courtroom was my family, half was his family. 

 

She sentenced him to 50 years in prison with 25 years to serve. 

I have so many blocks of time that are missing. 

 

I don't even remember the flight out to California.

My friends met me at the airport. 

And I'll say to them, “What kind of state was I in?”

And they were like, “You were not good.” 

 

*

 

I rested. 

I was in therapy a couple of times a week. 

I laid at the pool. 

I bought my first puppy, Greta. 

And she brought me so much comfort. 

 

If I was having a bad day, I didn't have to make it like I was having a good day. 

 

*

 

I've had eight back surgeries as a result of my assault.

I was taking a lot of pain meds. 

There were days that I would just take them and sleep.

 

*

 

I came back here after a year, and I went right back to work. 

 

I get notified from the attorney general's office that he filed an appeal.

 

The Supreme Court overturned the decision based on some technical errors that the judge made.

 

His charges still stood. 

 

And they decide they’re not going to try the case again. 

He was going to plead. 

 

He was going to get 30 years’ probation and have to be a registered sex offender. 

 

*

 

I got to go back again to court and read my second victim's impact statement. 

 

I sad, “You may think that you've won.  Maybe in your eyes you have.  But you're still going to be handcuffed to the probation system for the next 30 years.  And does it make me feel any better?  No.  Because I know that you will be back here again.  And unfortunately you are going to have done this to somebody else.”

 

*

 

I ended up meeting Mary and at Day One, and we started speaking.

We started our company four years ago called Survivors Speak RI. 

 

We've spoken at the state house. 

We've spoken at several colleges and universities in Rhode Island. 

We've spoken at conferences.

We've done military training in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. 

 

This past October, I got to speak to 90 judges here in Rhode Island. 

All the Supreme Court members who overturned my case were there. 

I can't tell you how healing it was for me, for them to be able to listen…

To get a little more detail about what victims go through when they're in their courtroom.

 

*

 

Mary and I wrote a curriculum to work with sex offenders. 

We told our story.

 

It was really hard for us to do, because we would hear their whole story. 

Because we wanted to know what happened to them. 

I think the majority had all been molested as children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I worked for another 5 years, was still having a lot of difficulty with my back.

I retired on a disability. 

 

I got really heavy, and I think it was a protection mechanism. 

I didn't want anybody to want me. 

I ended up having gastric bypass surgery two years ago. 

I've lost 135 pounds. 

 

I swim 3 days a week. 

I'm enjoying my family. 

I have two grandchildren.

 

*

 

I'm a pretty strong tough Irish broad, but I look at everything and I think, “How did I ever end up healing? “

 

I wake up every day. 

I take nerve medication for my back. 

And it's a reminder of what happened to me.

Am I angry?  You bet. 

 

It took me a long time to forgive.

 

 

-Jane