Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Parent's Right

At this point I am sure there is speculation about why I don't/didn't believe Ruby's allegations.

Many of you will argue that like beauty, "truth is in the eye of the beholder", and I would have to agree, to a point. Any two people won't see the same incident the same way. But just because you are a parent, you don't have to believe everything your child tells you.

And when you have access to multiple episodes of contradictory evidence, why would you believe unfounded allegations?

Ruby repeatedly demonstrated that she was not afraid of Jon and didn't avoid being alone with him, despite her later testimony. That testimony directly contradicts what we as a family knew to be the truth. Below are some very specific examples:

  • Anytime that Jon wanted to run an errand, she would request to go with him. When she was told no on occasion, she would get angry with me and/or Jon and whine.
  • Ruby rode to school with me every day for two years - it was about 20 miles from home. We had to leave the house at about 6:45 am, and Ruby was definitely NOT a morning person. About once every other week or more frequently, she would be impossible to get out of bed. When I would insist, she would tell me that "Jon can take me later." Sometimes that would cause an argument if Jon had appointments to keep and couldn't oblige her.
  • In 9th grade, once Ruby got involved in drugs (Tramadol, Valium, marijuana that she got at school), she would want to leave school early at least once a week, because she "didn't feel well". This was often not an option for me, and despite me telling her to rest in the nurse's office, Ruby would text or call Jon to come pick her up.
  • In spring of 2012, a few months before the allegations, Jon and Ruby and I had tickets to go to a Chickenfoot concert. I had another obligation before we could leave, and Ruby tried insisting that she and Jon leave me behind and go themselves, even though the concert was five hours away and meant an overnight stay without two drivers. (After that concert, Ruby even began searching out concerts that she wanted Jon to take her to, and insisted that if they were too far away, the two of them could stay in a hotel - Jon repeatedly told her that wasn't going to happen.)
  • Most telling of all was the period of time when Jon was working on an app for smart phones, a few months before the allegations. He sat the family down and explained that if he was able to get the app developed, he would need to go out to California to access funding. Ruby insisted that Jon take her with him. Jon refused and told her that he would be couch-surfing with friends, but Ruby began telling her friends that she was going to "move" to California.
Ruby had a history of making false allegations. 
  • Less than a year before the allegations against Jon, she insisted that I call the police because a former friend of hers had been "threatening her", and Ruby showed me the text messages. When the police officer investigated, he found that Ruby had been sending equally threatening and nasty messages, but that Ruby had conveniently deleted them from her phone before involving me.
  • A year before Jon moved in, Ruby claimed that one of her classmates had been bullying her, as an excuse for why she wouldn't do her homework. I called the parents, and they grounded the "bully". The next day Ruby went to school and began laughing at him and teasing him. School got involved and it turns out that Ruby had a crush on the "bully" and he wouldn't pay attention to her, so this was apparently her way of forcing his attention.
  • The statement of Mike Heisler isn't the only documentation we have that Ruby was threatening him with police involvement if he didn't see her - there are at least two other witnesses to that information that have come forward.
Ruby was constantly introducing and describing Jon as her "father" to all her friends and their parents, as well as to casual acquaintances. She would repeatedly tell everyone that he was a great parent. This was reported back to us by teachers, parents of her friends, and even her friends. We even had a friend who is a social worker in a different county (who has adopted children that have been abused) tell us that when she learned of the allegations, she did NOT believe them because she had witnessed Ruby's relationship with Jon and it was not characteristic of abuse. Ruby didn't limit this to just when we were around, she would say this when she was away from us also, including in her social media conversations and private messages with people who didn't know us.

Ruby had multiple opportunities to report the alleged abuse to people who would believe and support her including at least ten mandated reporters that she spent time with alone, three individuals that she knew had been sexually abused and would support her, and most of her friends. Ruby never bothered to make any allegations until Jon and I stepped between her and her relationship with Mike Heisler. Not only didn't she report any abuse, she repeatedly told multiple individuals that she was going to get Jon out of the house because she didn't think I would be able to monitor her as well.

Ruby had repeatedly threatened Jon and me with arrest or CPS involvement any time that we wouldn't give in to her demands.
  • She wanted to go to a bonfire party one night, and when I told her no, she said that she would call CPS on me and report that the bruises she got from skateboarding were from me. I reminded her that she had already posted pictures of them all over Facebook describing the skateboarding incident so she backed off. 
  • A few weeks later she assaulted me (I have photos of the bruises and multiple eye and ear witnesses) because I told her that we were going to have Mike arrested when we learned that they were trying to make arrangements to go to Camp Bisco for the weekend together with friends. 
  • She would even threaten her sister Maura in the same way if Maura let us know about Ruby sneaking out or being involved with people who had police records or inappropriate behaviors.
  • The night of the allegations, while at the police station in front of the police officer and the detective, and then again in the lobby, Ruby repeatedly threatened to "call CPS on you too" when I tried to file charges against Mike Heisler. This was witnessed by an additional police officer who came into the lobby to check on me and make sure that Ruby wasn't a threat to me.

The details of what Ruby gave for allegations don't match reality. 

She described going over to Jon's apartment "every week" and that the abuse allegedly occurred 10-20 times or more. Unfortunately for her, and fortunately for Jon, teens these days live on the web and leave a detailed digital footprint, in addition to what we have for records from school, the pediatrician, sports schedules, play practices, etc. We were able to develop a very detailed calendar that demonstrated that Ruby in fact had almost NO opportunity to go to Jon's apartment even once a month. Her social media (and that of her friends) demonstrated that she was at swim practices and meets, musical practice, and her friend's houses almost non-stop during BOTH periods of time (her first story and her second version). Since there were additional friends that she spent time with during both intervals that we didn't collect data from, it further limits her version of how she spent her time.

Additionally, since Jon was living at my house for almost the entire time period involving the first set of allegations, and Ruby didn't even go to Jon's apartment during the second time period (with his depression, it was his "safe place" and we were just friends and not dating), her story just doesn't ring true.

The only direct correlation was that Ruby only began escalating her behavioral problems AFTER we discovered the inappropriate relationship with Mike Heisler (he was 21 and she was 14) and tried to put a stop to it by whatever means possible.

I am and always have been an involved parent and insist on knowing where my children are, when she first began telling her story I knew that it was "off" and there were major issues and discrepancies. I expressed that to the police officer, to the detective, and to the CPS investigators, all of whom chose to ignore my concerns.

Ask yourself, do you have an obligation to support someone who you know is not telling the truth, no matter how close your relationship, if the false allegations will destroy someone else's life?

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