Justice (Story by Risa Peris)

He was very athletic and studious but he had little regard for others. His father was a federal prosecutor and would brag at the dinner table how many years in prison he got so and so. Judge, as the teenager was named, loved these stories and vowed one day he would be a prosecutor and ask for the harshest of sentences. There was something calming about putting others away regardless of their crime, story, or background.

Judge, one summer in Annapolis, hung out with his friends and they focused on weight lifting and running sprints. At night, there were usually parties and he drank lots of beers. He chugged them through holes poked in the tin. There were girls at the parties and Judge followed one, in particular. She had silky chocolate colored hair and astonishing blue eyes. She didn’t drink and fluttered around the parties like a rare butterfly.

Judge corned her in the bathroom at one party and raped her. She kept yelling stop but Judge was drunk and besides, he was owed what he wanted. He was a prosecutor’s son. His mother was a Southern beauty queen from Georgia. He was owed what he believed he was owed.

A week later the police came. His father told him not to talk. His father hired an investigator who investigated and tracked the girl. She showed up at lots of parties and was not known to be a virgin.

“She’s a tramp.” The investigator was burly, balding, and seemed to say everything with a sneer.

Judge’s father knew his son would be absolved of the crime. In fact, the case went no farther than a cursory interview with his son who said the sex was consensual.

The girl, of less high social status, admitted through tears that perhaps she was wrong. The girl remembered the incident always and fell into endless bottles of vodka and chaotic relationships.

At 43, she claimed rape again, only Judge was now a Congressman. This was not a path to wellness but a last push before the breast cancer killed her. She had nothing to lose and so Judge defended himself and the girl, now woman was dragged through dirt and mire.

She died as Judge won a second term and the woman died. This is how the story came to me. And now I must make her story known. But Judge was a political darling. Her life and death would never be vindicated.

“What do you want?” asked the journalist of the woman.

Justice comes slow and sometimes not at all. The journalist reminded the woman of this on her last day of living.


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