The women of the #MeToo beat out Donald Trump for Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year.” 2017 was the year of #MeToo, with both men and women revealing their stories of harassment and assault. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was the biggest celebrity to go down. Politicians on both sides of the aisle were accused, and in Alabama, alleged statutory rapist Roy Moore is just days away from becoming a United States senator.
The right-wing media has had a field day with the people of the #MeToo movement. They’ve made excuses for Roy Moore allegedly molesting teenage girls, while also calling for the resignation of Al Franken who is accused of inappropriate behavior with adult women.
Out of all of this comes the question, why did these women wait so long before coming forward? Why didn’t they say something then and there, and put these men in prison?
The answer to this, in my opinion, is that it isn’t that easy. In the case of my sisters, the men who molested them were prominent figures in the church, and the community. One of them was a leader in the local church as a member of the Knights of Columbus, and the other was a police officer.
They preyed on very young girls from families who were on the fringes, troubled kids with families in disarray. They carefully picked their targets, and used their positions to silence anyone and everyone who could turn them in. Even the local Catholic priest, Father John Abe, apparently knew what was going on, but chose to look the other way because it allowed him cheap summer vacations in Germany where the suspect’s wife’s family lived.
This church leader, who allegedly molested members of my family was finally arrested this year, three decades after the attacks began. When a search warrant was served on him, officers found a cache of child pornography on his computer.
William Lee Kerr, a 74-year-old Staunton man, now faces more charges in connection with sexual assaults that happened through the 1990s into the early 2000s.
At the end of April, he was arrested by the Staunton Police Department on four felony counts of Forcible Sodomy and four felony counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery.
On Thursday, police charged him with 34 counts of child pornography, two more counts of aggravated sexual battery, and two additional counts of forcible sodomy.
That puts total charges at 6 felony counts of Forcible Sodomy, 6 felony counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery, and 34 counts of child pornography. (WHSV)
The girls that he was alleged to have assaulted were as young as three years old. According to the investigator I spoke with, he also molested little boys. I was not one of his victims, but like the Waynesboro, VA police officer, he used his position in the community to silence me, and others.
A young child has no idea what is going when they are assaulted. It takes years, and many counseling sessions to realize what happened, and a ton of guts to come forward. I still remember the police officer flashing his badge and gun, while saying “If she’s old enough to bleed, she’s old enough to breed.”
The police officer has yet to be charged. That is up to the victims, and I’ll be happy to testify when they come forward.
This story is an example of why women wait years, or even decades to come forward with their stories of #MeToo. In the case of Roy Moore, he was a district attorney and then a state Supreme Court justice who could have waged hell on the families of his accusers.
Let’s stop giving powerful people the benefit of a doubt. #MeToo isn’t about politics. #MeToo isn’t about male or female, it’s about all of us.