He was finally sentenced for his crimes

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Lila256, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. Lila256

    Lila256 Member

    I haven't posted in awhile, but I feel like I need the support of this community right now. My very problematic stepson (still not sure on diagnosis exactly, but something like high functioning autism as well as a cluster B personality disorder similar to antisocial personality disorder), who is now 16, tried to kill his father and threatened to kill me about 2 years ago, and then went on to get multiple assault charges, an arson charge for trying to light the building his biological mother was living in on fire and a first degree rape charge for raping a three-year-old girl. The prosecutor decided to bundle of his charges into one case, which means that every time he got a new charge, everything would be pushed back. It has been a long, difficult process.

    The court case literally just finished this week with all of the crimes that he has been charged with so far. Basically, the only thing that happened was that he was enrolled in a program called SSODA for 24 months. When he committed his first crime, taking a knife to school, he was enrolled in a similar program called diversion where he had to do certain things in order for them to clear the charge because it was his first charge. He failed most aspects of diversion, even though we were constantly in contact with his diversion counselor, and when he tried to kill his father, the diversion counselor just cleared his original charge! What a waste of time and resources that program is. So, this program is basically the same thing except with sex offender therapy on top of it. Everything else that is included as part of this program, such as not being able to access the internet, not being able to have porn, etc. was part of his probation, so he has been doing that for quite a while. The only change is sex offender therapy.

    I'm having a really strong emotional reaction to this sentence, and I'm not even entirely sure why. This has been a really long process, and part of it is I'm not sure why they didn't start sex offender therapy when he plead guilty and when they obviously had DNA that proved he was guilty. They waited 2 years to start specialized therapy, that they now think will help. This child has been in therapy as long as I have known him, on a constant, weekly basis. He is living in a facility for kids with severe behavioral issues that they can't place anywhere else, and he has regular therapy & group therapy at that location as well. (It is not specifically a secured facility, though he is required to have an adult with him at all times, but I know that other kids in the facility have gotten out and walked to their parents house before their parents were even notified.)

    So how is this going to change things? How is this justice for the little girl? I'm not saying that prison would change anything, but I just don't understand why the system is so broken. Why do they think that additional therapy that he has been soaked in since he was 9 years old is going to make the community any safer or help him? If they thought this specific type of therapy was going to make any difference, why did they wait 2 years to start it? I have been a peer counselor for vulnerable women for over 20 years, so I know very intimately what that little girl faces for the rest of her life because of what my stepson did. Why didn't they listen to us or take his behavior/crimes seriously when we warned them before she was even hurt? I love him and I still want the best for him, but my heart aches for that little girl. She didn't deserve to be the fallout.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  2. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry, I wish I had words of wisdom or advice. But I'm just as conflicted as you are! Will he be turned loose on society at a specific age?

    So, so sorry. Ksm
  3. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    The system doesn't go far enough when it comes to minors. That is my personal opinion. I think it does a great disservice not only to society and the victims, but also to the perpetrator. It sends a message that their underage status is a free pass to behave in monstrous ways.

    The focus will be on "rehabilitation" for now, which in most cases with sex offenders is ultimately not effective unless they are chemically castrated, and I'm not sure that is even done anymore.

    Once he is a legal adult, if he continues his aberrant ways they'll start with the punishment track, incarcerations and et cetera. As I so often tell adolescents, once you become a legal adult, nobody cares about you anymore except your family.

    I am sorry that your stepson is so seriously disturbed. It is a terrible burden for any family to face. I expect my eldest will murder a woman one day. I just hope it isn't my wife. I don't think he would harm me. My wife is his biological mother whom he blames for everything bad that has ever happened to him. We tried to help but our efforts were rebuffed. We are now completely estranged from him and his younger brother, and our lives, sadly, are much happier without their presence.
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I have a cynical way of seeing this. I believe that many people who work in a bureaucracy think in terms of their career, and only in a very circumscribed way, take responsibility. They may fill in the blanks but they do not take real responsibility.

    My own child from the time he was 2 weeks old until he was 22 months old, and I found him, was just left in a crisis nursery. No attempt was made to place him in foster care, or to terminate parental rights so that he could be adopted. Nor was I (ever) advised of the very terrible medical circumstances of his birth parents, and how he could be affected, and indeed was. How we found out over the course of many years was brutal and horrible. He was abandoned by the system in every single way they could do so. People were indifferent at the time of his birth, when he was a toddler; and this just rolled forward until the whole truth emerged.

    All of this was indifference and irresponsibility to the nth degree.

    With respect to your stepson. I think some people do what may be expedient, even to the extent of shirking, if they can. They pass the buck. And put out of their mind, what they can. I do not judge these people. I think I might have been one, many, many years ago.

    With respect to your stepson, I think there may be a sense of powerlessness and fatalism too: Not knowing what to do and throwing up hands. Basically, a kind of abandonment. Abandoning him. Abandoning you, his parents. Abandoning his victim (what a horrible story) and abandoning society at large.

    This modern, secular society we live in, that was supposed to delivery us all to some glorious future...has left us, most of us, I think, "hollow men" to borrow a phrase.
  5. Lila256

    Lila256 Member

    Well, that has been a big, unanswered question. We really don't know what is going to happen to him when he turns 18. The facility that he is currently in only holds them until they're 18, but he has been declared competent so I'm not sure if that means that they are just going to release him when he's 18, or if they are going to try to find a group home or what. There has actually been several lawsuits in our state because kids like him are just put into a group home with other disabled adults and they end up hurting or killing other people because it's not the right environment for them. I'm not sure if they are going to continue to try to get him on disability services, such as Social Security, because his initial application was denied. He certainly doesn't have the executive functioning to manage on his own. The only thing I know for sure is that he will not be living with us!
  6. Lila256

    Lila256 Member

    I completely agree with the entire first paragraph. It has been amazing for us to watch this process, because if we had done the same thing at his age, there would have been severe consequences, but he has managed to not have to take responsibility for anything that he has done beyond what we encourage at home. It is particularly frustrating as parents, because you constantly warn them that there will be consequences for their action, and then there really isn't any! I'm really not sure what the right answer is in this case because there doesn't really seem to be any solutions, but that is exactly the message that they are given. You can do whatever you want and there is no consequences. And then they reach the adult system!

    It was particularly weird in our case, because I definitely was afraid of him long before he tried to kill his father and threatened to kill me, though I always tried to act normally in front of him because I didn't want him to know that I was afraid. When he did try to kill his father, he was so nonchalant about it that we actually didn't realize that he had tried until the next day because he bragged about it (put poison in his coffee which thankfully his dad didn't drink because it smelled weird). He went to live with his biological mom after that, which is where he committed the majority of the things he was charged with. His biological mom has some pretty severe issues, which is definitely part of why he has a lot of issues, and it just was complete chaos until CPS said he couldn't live with her either in the location she is currently living. She keeps trying to move to a different location so she can take him back, and I just think she is asking for a huge issue because he does not like her and he blames her for a lot of his problems. He mostly liked his dad, and he still tried to kill him!
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  7. Lila256

    Lila256 Member

    It really did feel like that, from pretty much the beginning of when I became involved. Once they realized there was not any immediate family problems (just in the past with his mom, which he was unwilling to discuss) that were leading to the issues, they really just continually pass the buck. The psychiatrist would tell us to call the police. The police would tell us to call the psychiatrist. The counselors would say he needs psychiatric, in-depth treatment and they can't do anymore. Psychiatrists said it wasn't severe enough yet. Nobody wanted to do it with anything. When he got to the level of dealing with the juvenile system, his diversion counselor straight up told us that there wasn't really much she could do because "we were doing everything right" (sure got sick of hearing that!). On the first appointment. The whole system is just a failure for kids like this.
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