We've finally been in court today for sentencing, so nearly 2 years down the line we can start to put it behind us and get on with things. The short story is that the original charge was of oral rape but the defence offered a plea to the lesser charge of sexual activity with a child. Which of course meant they implied DD consented (although being under 16 she of course couldn't actually consent).
The CPS gave DD the choice of accepting that or taking the rape charge to court. They would support her either way. After weighing up the options she decided the guaranteed conviction and avoiding giving evidence and cross examination was worth accepting the lesser charge so he was sentenced on that basis (after a million delays) today.
He will serve around 5 months in prison (sentence just over 10 months) and is subject to a sexual harm prevention order meaning he will be on the sex offenders register for 5 years. It's not enough, but given the conviction rates, it's a conviction and today that will do.
I just wanted to say thank you to the people who were on that thread back nearly 2 years ago, for their kindness - for the support and encouragement. It helped a lot at a very difficult time.
I'm looking forward to waking up tomorrow without a court date hanging over us!
Well done to you for supporting your DD and well done to your DD for going through the process. FWIW I think it was a good decision to accept the reduced charge.
Be prepared - both of you - to suddenly go to bit emotionally now that the date has come and gone and you know the result. It's common in these situations to go struggling on through the stress, and when that stress is suddenly gone, the body and brain kind of doesn't know what to do - they've been so used to living in a state of constant tension, with a steady dose of cortisol (stress hormone) that it's almost like a withdrawal effect.
So both of you, be very kind and gentle with yourselves over the next little while, do lots of self-love things - eat yummy but healthy food, nice bubble baths, try to get fresh air and a bit of exercise every day. Give each other space, as well, if that's what you need. And above all, don't sit there saying to yourselves "WTF is wrong with me, I should be all over this by now, pull yourself together woman." You need time to process what's happened and start picking up the threads of a "normal" life again.
DD has been amazing, she's had some really difficult times though this process, not least of which was making the decision about the charge but she's managed so well and I'm so so proud of her.
She is having some counselling and that will remain ongoing for as long as she wants it. I'll be mindful of your advice Pocket I remember having similar experiences after traumatic things previously I'll keep an eye on DD.
College interview this evening! So I'm not sure all the stress hormones will have gone, just moved on to something more positive maybe.
Well done to you, and especially young daughter for seeing this through. Hopefully she has saved another young girl going through this. There is something wrong with justice system that they think 5 months is enough. I hope your daughter goes on to have a wonderful life. Put it behind you, give yourselves time to heal. This would have opened old wounds. Best wishes to you both.