Thirty three months after the investigation first opened, I can finally announce that yesterday, May 6th, my ex-husband James Christmas pled guilty to possession of child pornography. He was immediately incarcerated and will remain imprisoned until his sentencing in August, 2013.
I was contacted late last week and told he would be pleading. This came as a complete surprise to me as he had previously chosen to take it to trial, which was set for the week of May 20th. As a witness in the trial, I had been subpoenaed and was scheduled to meet with the prosecutor to prepare for the trial.
However, I think when he realized he was not going to win, he chose to plead early in exchange for a more lenient sentence.
I had planned to go to the hearing, because no one knew yet whether he would be released until sentencing or immediately incarcerated, but the night before I became extremely ill and was sick in bed for several days. It was probably just as well, as it would not have been an easy thing to watch. I think my body was letting me know it was okay to sit this one out.
I have waited so long for this day to come – almost three years. I had expected to feel immense relief, which I did, but what surprised me was the grief I also felt. I think perhaps that grief lay just beneath the surface of the fear and I was not able to feel it until the fear lifted. I don’t know. I just know that when it all came down, I was struck by the tragedy of it all. In addition to all the darkness, he had good in him too, and it made me sad to see the path he had chosen to go down, to take our whole family down. As a wise friend pointed out, choices, however limited they may seem, reside even in dark circumstances.
Another friend sent me a link to a story that one of the local news stations had run last night, and when I googled his name today, I saw that the story had been picked up by media all over Kansas and Missouri. I felt a little sick seeing that. One of the stations called for an interview, which I declined. I sat the children down last night and gave them the news, and then sent them off to school today praying that no one would say anything to them.
The stories are reporting that I found the child porn, which is not the case. I think one paper ran it and then the others picked up and repeated it. I found and handed over disks containing horror porn, and when the police looked through it they found they also contained child porn, and showed up with a search warrant the next day. I suppose the point is academic, as I did hand over the disks. I just had no idea what else was on them. I am just so grateful that I called the police at all. Horror porn is apparently not illegal, but I was concerned with it, in the wake of the assault, and wanted it out of the house.
I want to thank everyone who lent me their support during this difficult and rather unimaginable journey. I am blessed with such a strong and far-reaching web of support. It has made a world of difference.
I still can’t quite believe it’s over. I still am a little afraid to exhale. But it appears that finally, finally, it is indeed over.