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The Duty of a Father

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I just finished reading the graphic and horrifying story of the young eight year old Phoenix girl lured to a small shed by four boys aged 14, 13, 10 and 9 and then brutally raped by all four who took turns holding her down. It is difficult to describe the roller coaster of emotions I experienced while reading the story. I am the father of three beautiful young daughters that are more important to me then my own life. Were a similar event to happen to one of my girls, there is no limit to what I would desire to do exact justice. Go watch the movie Taken and you will get some drift of what my mental state would be. Vigilante justice may be condemned by the law, but despite the fact that I am a lawyer, it would not be the laws of man that would stay my hand. It is only because I ultimately answer to God that I would “try” to stand by as the legal system ran its course. However, even with that limitation, I am simply unable to make any promises. The truth is I would probably just obtain my revenge and seek forgiveness later.

Why would a law abiding Christian trial lawyer speak of retribution through violence you ask? I’ll tell you why. Daddies defend their daughters – at all costs - it’s just the way it is supposed to be. In fact I once asked my oldest daughter if she knew what my job was. She responded “Daddy, you are a lawyer”. I told her being a lawyer was my profession but not my job, that my real job was to protect her and her sisters, even at the risk of my own safety. I gave her a very visual example so that she would understand the depths of my duty to her and her sisters. I asked her to picture a big, mean, snarling, vicious dog coming toward her with fangs bared intent on biting and attacking her. I asked her if that would scare her and of course she responded that she would be very afraid. I let her know that I would be terrified too, but that even though my instinct would be to run away from the dog, if that vicious dog, filled with brutality and strength, was headed toward her, I would instead run at the dog and would position myself between her and the dog so that she could escape to safety. That is what Daddies do. Even at the risk of great personal danger, a father has the duty to defend his children. There is no risk to great and no excuses that allow for any other course of action. A father should never fail to protect his children – never. There are no allowances and no circumstances that permit such a failure.

Unfortunately the father of this poor little Phoenix girl has not assumed his mantle of responsibility. Instead, he has chosen to abandon his child. He is a failure of the highest magnitude. That evil exists and that little girls are preyed upon – even by other children – does not surprise me. But that a father, at the most vulnerable and terrifying moment of his young daughter’s life, will abandoned her instead of taking her in his arms and wiping away her tears with reassurance of his love, well that shocks me. That this father, if that is what he can be called, has turned his poor little baby over to the state telling a case worker “take her… I don’t want her” and then blaming her for being raped and for bringing shame to the family, that shocks me.

His young daughter physically and brutally raped by 4 predators last week and instead of wrapping arms of comfort around her and assuring her that it would be all right, he chose instead to mentally rape her. He stole from her trust, comfort, love and security. He should have stood as her protector but was unwilling or unable because he is a worthless and poor excuse of a man, without honor and lacking any redeeming qualities. I do not care that he is Liberian and do not care that his culture permits the brutalization of the weak and defenseless so long as they are female. A coward is a coward by any name in any region.

It would seem the four young predators chose their victim well. She was too young to fight back and had a coward for a father. I am saddened for this little girl. I am hopeful she recovers and am even more hopeful that someday she meets a real man with true honor and that he will protect her where others have failed.

13 Comments

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  1. Paige henderson says:
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    I don’t think we can pray too often for God to protect our family from danger and evil. It surrounds us. On the positive side, I believe the best way to do that besides prayer is to surround ourselves w/ friends and family who love the Lord and edify us and to show grace and mercy to rest of the world in a way that still wisely protects our children. I don’t want to be so afraid of evil that I do not teach my children by example of God’s mercy and grace upon all of us. In that area I am still a work in progress.

  2. Kirstie Carter says:
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    It is all I can think about since reading the July 24th article regarding an 8 year old girl who was raped in a shed by four boys ages 14, 13, 10, and 9. Phoenix Arizona Liberian girl was raped when 4 boys offered her chewing gum to get her into a shed. The 14 year old was charged as an adult for two counts of sexual assault and kidnapping. The others were charged as juveniles with sexual assault.

    This is extremely disturbing to me but what I am losing sleep over is the adoptive father of this little girl. Police say the girl’s father told a police officer and a Child Protective Services worker that he didn’t want her anymore. This adoptive father and family SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED to further adopt anymore children. And I believe charges should be pressed against this family as well. Arizona Child Abuse Laws Code Section 13-3620, 8-201 constitutes aduse as: “Infliction or allowing of physical injury, impairment of bodily function or disfigurement, serious emotional damage diagnosed by a doctor or psychologist, and as evidenced by severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or aggressive behavior caused by acts or omissions of individual having care and custody of child” ~ it also states that “Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting is a Class 1 misdemenaor. I believe the state of Arizona should charge the adoptive parents with a Class 1 misdemenaor. They, as well as the four boys, have abused this little girl by “omitting” her.

    The Maricopa County Attorneys Office (maricopacountyattorney.org/contact) needs to be contact and we must stress to them that something must be filled to prohibit this man and family from ever adopting or fostering any further children. These boys must be held accountable for their actions but so must this father. I ask anyone reading this to click on the Maricopa link above and email the office as I have done asking them to do something to keep this father from ever adopting or fostering a child again.

    Even more disturbing to me is the comment from one of the boys’ Uncle stating “he knows the girl’s parents and doesn’t believe allegations that they blamed or shunned their daughter”. He also “denies that his nephews are capable of sexual assault, and HIS COUNTRY DOES NOT HAVE A RAPE PROBLEM”.

    This is the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard. Of course our “country” doesn’t teach rape it just happens – and when it does rapist should be held accountable no matter the age. And blame needs not to be on a civil war and country. Just because you grow up somewhere and see wrong doesn’t mean you should be allowed to do wrong.

    The other problem is that the residents are “tightlipped” when asked about the incident. If anything people should be speaking out on behalf of this little girl. She is 8 years old and needs people all over the world to speak for her and others who are victims of sexual abuse.

    RAINN – Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network – reports that every 2 minutes someone in the US is sexually assaulted, 60% of sexual assaults are not reported, and only 6% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail.

    These are frightening statistics and a main reason I believe girls and women don’t feel comfortable going forward with their sexual assault case because they feel they will be blamed for something that caused the rape.

    No one who has been sexually abused should ever feel blame or be shunned. We should all start being voices for these victims no matter their age, gender, or nationality. We should start holding the abusers accountable along with the adults who are not willing to protect the victims. Please contact the Maricopa County Attorneys Office and ask that the adoptive parents of this little girl be prohibited to adopt and foster any further children. Also ask that these boys – no matter first offense or not – be held accountable for their actions. We must start showing victims that when you stand up for yourself justice will be done.

  3. Hope Wade, RN says:
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    It’s amazing to me this “father” was allowed to adopt in the first place. I pray that if they have other children in the home, they are taken away permanently.
    The fact that the little girl is being shunned by her family and the community is unbelievable and speaks volumes. Where’s the mom? Is she standing by her daughter or the sleeze bag she is married to?

  4. Jaci says:
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    This is sickening. Absolutely the family should be barred from further adoptions. There is a tiny, tiny minority of adoptions that mimic celebrity “trend” adoptions, and this seems like one of those. It’s sad, because it distorts the truth about families made through adoption, and makes kids of certain ethnicities more like accessories than children, which is apparently how this family viewed their daughter.

    And tried as minors? What about their actions constitutes that? Even if the younger boys were goaded into it, that still doesn’t make it like it didn’t happen. In my opinion, the mind of man has not yet conceived of a punishment cruel or unusual enough for someone who hurts a child this way, and those boys should all bear the responsibility for their decision.

  5. egregious says:
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    Are you kidding? This case has knee-jerk written all over it. Four kids ages what…? 8-14 go into the closet and ten minutes later is characterized as a “sexual assault” I *challenge* you to show anything based on fact or even cited in the media to show that the girl was violated in any way. Your gross characterization that she was “brutally raped” is completely unfounded. I haven’t chosen a side in this case, but I am highly skeptical. There is a lot of hype in the media about professor Gates and the supposed racism surrounding his case when in reality, Mr. Gates didn’t know how to keep his cool in the presence of white officers performing their duty. The case of the 14 year old ‘sexual assailant’ on the other hand has racism written all over it. The Phoenix police are foaming at the mouth at the prospect of putting a 14 year old black male in prison for the rest of his life. If I were a betting man, I would wager than when the dust settles, this case will turn out to be nothing more than a proverbial game of spin the bottle.

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    As another father of three girls including one in which I have adopted I find the acts by this father sickening. Children are a blessing and through their trials and tribulations a true father is there for support, caring and love.

  7. Kirstie Carter says:
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    Mr. Egregious Postman –
    Clearly you have no children nor are you intelligent enough to know the difference between Mr. Gates’ situation and the tramatic ordeal a little girl has been through – both by rape and abandonment by her Father. Funny thing is Mr. Gates’ has been a brillant man through his ordeal and I am sure he’d agree with all of us in saying your comment definetly lacks brillance, taste, class, heart, and Jesus for that matter. Your “challenge” statement is the reason why many victims don’t stand up for themselves. I hope you are not a man of law enforcement or a Father of children for that matter.

  8. huh says:
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    “I think this issue is best handled by black cops and lawmakers, who are more sensitive to and undrstanding of our culture.”

    – Barack Obama

  9. Steve Lombardi says:
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    If the father doesn’t want her I’ll take her as my own daughter.

    And Egregious Postman: Are you serious? If you think otherwise perhaps you can explain exactly how many minutes and penetrations it takes to be considered a vicious rape; when you’re a young inexperienced girl? This has nothing to do with skin color, it has to do with behavior.
    And are you saying what this father did is right? If so explain yourself.

  10. John James says:
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    As far as I’m concerned, this is the same thing as when some idiot judge tells a good dad that he can only see his beloved children every other weekend. The same thing you’d do to these rapists needs to be done to most of the family court judges across this country.

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    I loved what you said here. Well said and beautifully put. I too feel the exact same way you do only I’m a mother, not a father. I have often put myself in between “snarling dogs” and my children. I would die for them. They’re grown but that changes nothing. I hope you don’t mind but I posted this on my blog. If you want me to take it off, I will, but so many fathers are out there fighting for custody of their children that feel this way. I think they’ll enjoy reading it. You can email me at bwalexander3@yahoo.com and I will remove it from my blog upon request but I hope you’ll allow me to leave it on. I gave you full credit. Thank you.

  12. egregious says:
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    Thanks for all of the follow-up comments, heated as they may have been.

    In short: Obviously if there was penetration or if this girl was forcefully subjected to sexual acts that harmed her emotionally, something must be done. I think that everyone missed my point here. I believe that the legal definition of ‘sexual assault’ is subject to great interpretation in the context of a group of children spending time in a closet together. Did they merely touch her chest, grab her buttocks or play a game of ‘show me yours and ill show you mine’? If so, does that constitute a sexual assault in this scenario? Was she emotionally or physically harmed? THESE are the facts that we do not know… The story wreaks of facts taken out of context and spun way out of control. Clearly, if the girl was harmed and suffers enduring emotional damage, the boys must be taught a lesson. All I have said is that we don’t KNOW this to be the case.

    Since the conversation has taken somewhat of a turn, I will state one thing that we know for sure — whether or not she has good parents or bad parents, she has been forcefully removed from them. Given what I have heard about the case, forcefully removing the girl (a girl that has already been removed from her native culture, perhaps) from her parents WILL cause irreparable emotional harm — there is no question about it. The bar for such action is ridiculously low these days. (see also: FLDS kids) Was it appropriate to take the girl from her parents in this case? Others may differ, but I think not. Kindly share your alternative viewpoints without attacking me personally.

    Best regards…

  13. egregious says:
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    Indeed, this young girl has been brutally assaulted by the state of Arizona. This we know to be true.

    From: http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/2009/08/09/20090809liberia0810.html
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    Edwin Sele, the Liberian deputy ambassador to the U.S., said he met the young rape victim at a Valley foster home. He hugged her and brought her a teddy bear on behalf of the country’s president, though he said the meeting was troubling.

    “She does not even know that her parents are in this country,” Sele said. “She thinks they have taken them away. She wants her parents.”

    “I mean, she cried so bitterly that I almost cried,” he said.