First and foremost, I request that my name be withheld; not for my sake, but to protect my grandson’s privacy. From here on out, I will refer to him as “one small boy”.
You see, this one small boy is only 5-years-old. He was just 4 when he was sexually assaulted by Paul.
Paul managed to slither under not just my radar, but my daughter’s as well. I had always imagined a child predator as white, overweight, middle-aged male: the classic stereotype. Paul is indeed a white male, but skinny. He was only 20-years-old when he started dating my daughter, one small boy’s mother.
His mother was an acquaintance of mine, whom I’d always liked. She knew what her son was-is- but never told us. I may have forgiven her, but I will never forget.
He had worked as a respite care giver for a friend’s disabled young child. As he was paid through the state, I had assumed he passed a background check. Wrong. My friend thought that she knew Paul well enough that, at his request, she waived the background check.
At the time he worked at Blodgett’s, a traveling midway company. Again, I incorrectly assumed that a background check would have been required since he would be working with young children. It turns out that, even when working around children, a background check is not required.
It was around the 4th of July, 2012, that someone came forward and warned us about Paul. A relative stranger to us, he had let Paul live with his family. After Paul moved out, this person was cleaning up Paul’s former room when he happened upon some papers. Papers exposing Paul as a sexual predator. Because this man knew that Paul was dating one small boy’s mother, he immediately notified us. As you can imagine, the impact was devastating. It felt as if the world had dropped out from beneath our feet.
On September 3, 2013 justice finally caught up with Pau. He was sentenced to 13 to 20 years in prison. We appreciate the people who worked so hard to see justice served.
In Clare County, they were: The Honorable Judge Thomas R. Evans, Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis, and victim advocate Annette. From the Department of Homeland Security, I’d like to thank Agents Megan Queally and David Desmarets. From the Escondido, CA police department, I’d like to thank Detective Damien Jackson.
I’m saving the two biggest thanks for last.
Thank you so much, Detective Sargent Gary Green of the Michigan State Police, stationed in Mount Pleasant. Without you, a dangerous child sexual predator would still be free to terrorize God only knows how many other children. Every parent in this state owes you their gratitude.
Finally, my thanks to one small boy and his incredible bravery. By standing up and speaking the truth, one small boy has saved countless other children from this predator. He has had to relive the most terrifying, painful, and humiliating moments of his young life, time and time again-to complete strangers no less-in order to put Paul away.
I stand in awe of you