So the attack happened two years ago today.
I’m not sure what to say about it. There are a lot of things I’d like to say, but I don’t think it’s a good idea, both because I want to protect the privacy of others and because I don’t want to open myself to more of the kind of abuse I experienced from certain people two summers ago. I’m still not sure whether or not it was a mistake to go public with the story or not. I had to deal with a lot of nastiness, but there was a great deal of support too. And my real friends stood by me. No one who knows and loves me ever believed I made the story up.
I still think about Rollo every day — often several times a day, and more so lately. What I feel about the whole thing is not so much fear as shame. Shame about all the stuff I said and did while I was with him, making him think I liked it, reinforcing every twisted belief he had that made him rape women in the first place, just because I so frightened of him. I know for a fact that he walked away blissfully unaware that I would go straight to the police. I’m very sure that, to this day, he believes he did nothing wrong. And I know in my head that I shouldn’t blame myself for any of that, but the shame feeling is there anyway.
But it’s been two years, and I’m alive and doing all right for myself, and he’s in prison and facing deportation to Sudan when he gets out. He’ll never bother me again, except in my own head, and I’m trying very hard to kick him out of there.
I guess that’s the best I can hope for.
I have decided to share with you, readers, part of an email I sent to my friend John in California the other day.
I got a letter from the police on Monday. I was in Fort Wayne at the time and didn’t open it till I came home on Tuesday. The letter simply asked me to contact them and said Rollo was serving a whopping 5 years in prison for the other attack. The very minimum he could get. Then, following his sentence, he faces deportation. So I called Austin and talked to him and he confirmed what the letter said and added that the country Rollo will be sent to happens to be Sudan. Unless, he said, I wanted to go ahead and press forward with this prosecution thing.
He advised me against doing this. A lot of stuff about how the case would drag on for another year at least, and it would be difficult to prove, etc. The arrival of the letter had in itself sent me into a flurry of anxiety and I was imagining a defense attorney trying to make me out to be a total whore — cause you know that would happen — and probably bringing up those stupid blog posts, and my website in general, to show how weird and obsessed with crime and violence I am. An acquittal would be devastating to me. On the other hand, five years in prison isn’t long enough. On the other other hand, there was the “Sudan” factor…
It was the Sudan bit that threw it for me. Sudan is a godforsaken hellhole. Google it and you will see “genocide” and “300,000 dead” and “starvation” and “UN peacekeeping troops” and “president indicted for crimes against humanity” etc. No one wants to be there. I thought to myself that Rollo might prefer to be in prison in America than free in Sudan. Suppose I prosecute him, go through all kinds of emotional hell, and somehow actually win, only to have him feel relieved that he doesn’t have to return to the motherland?
So I said okay, leave it. Let Sudan have him. It’s officially over.
I am extremely unhappy about this, John, and find myself wondering if I made the right decision or not. Aren’t I basically letting him get away with it? The entire situation sucks and just pisses me off. There is no such thing as justice and there are no winners here. It’s a matter of deciding how much you’re willing to lose. And I’ve already given Rollo enough of myself.
God, I am so tired of absolutely everything. Tired of living, of breathing. Here I am trying to get on with my stupid life.
Rollo’s real name is Mohamed Kaffi. If you Google that you’ll find articles about the other sex assault, the one he’s in jail for right now. The MO was about the same as mine and it happened less than four months after mine — mine, as far as I can tell, didn’t make the news.
I think Virginia is just anxious to get rid of the guy. Can’t say I blame them there. But I do feel like I will spend the rest of my life wondering if I decided correctly here.
In any case, it’s over.
It looks like my rape case may go to trial after all. I got some significant information from Det. Austin today and I may be having to fly to Virginia in the near future. I now know Rollo’s real name and his prior record and I have a photo of him and some other things. This man is a violent, predatory serial offender with no regard for the law. But, although I’ve emailed some of my friends about this, I have decided I had better not post about the case on my blog again, at least till the proceedings are over, because I don’t want to do anything that could screw up the justice process. For me, anyway, the system appears to be working as it should.
Yeah, so the attack happened exactly one year ago. I met Rollo a little before eight and then he let me go a little after ten. It seemed at the time like it was a lot longer, but later on I figured out just about exactly how long I was with him. Just a little over two hours is all.
I keep telling myself that I came out on top of things — alive, anyway — and things could have been a lot worse. But, my initial elation aside, Rollo’s apprehension has not really made me feel any better.
Det. Austin called this afternoon with news. It goes like this: Rollo is scheduled to go to trial on Monday for five felony charges, including rape and kidnapping, in a case not connected with mine. He is facing mucho time for that, and Austin said this case is stronger, because they arrested him only a day or so later and not almost a year later like with me. What the DA is hoping is to use me as leverage to cut a deal with Rollo: he pleads guilty to this other case, and in return they don’t bring up charges for me. The DA wanted Austin to find out how I felt about this. (Which was nice of them. My consent is not required for this deal.) I said I was okay with it. The important thing is that Rollo gets locked up for an extended period. And this arrangement would save me the trouble of having to fly back and testify. I was willing to do it — even eager to, at first — but it would be a very rough experience.
So now the waiting begins again. Hopefully a much shorter waiting. This could go nowhere; Rollo may refuse the deal. But if he does or he doesn’t, I should know pretty soon. And find out Rollo’s real name. I want to know that name.
It looks like this is drawing to a close. Thank goodness.
He said he’d call me this week with more news, but it’s Saturday and he never called. The man has always been good about keeping me informed and I don’t believe he forgot to call or anything like that. From my experiences with him, I think he just has no news to give yet. All the same, I may succumb to temptation and drop him a line on Monday. Only to be told, I’m sure, that the prosecutor hasn’t made up his/her mind yet or hasn’t gotten back to him.
When all of this is over I intend to send Austin a thank-you card or something. I know rape victims sometimes have a lot of trouble with the police. I have looked at message boards and a lot of them have said they felt ignored, the police weren’t returning their calls, weren’t taking them seriously, etc. I never felt that way about Austin, and he has always been sensitive even when he had to ask embarrassing questions. I think I’m lucky to have landed him.
Whilst napping today I dreamed that Austin called me and told me Rollo had been murdered in jail. He said the police themselves had beaten him to death. In the dream I felt ambivalent about this: glad he was out of the picture for good, but upset because he would just be dead and not suffering through a decades-long prison term.
They got him. Sweet baby Jesus, I had been waiting for so long for this. It’s been a year less twelve days, and they finally have him.
Det. Austin called me this afternoon with the news. DNA match. More than 99% probability. And the man’s been in jail for the past five months for abduction and rape in another case. A serial offender, as I thought.
Austin said that he’s going to turn my file over to the prosecutor and see what comes next. If Rollo is going to get a life sentence for the other case, perhaps they won’t prosecute him for me. It depends on what the prosecutor wants. Austin won’t tell me Rollo’s real name yet. He says he will call me back next week with more news. I don’t really care if my case is prosecuted or just administratively cleared — I just want Rollo to be in prison forever and it looks like that’s going to happen, and he will never be able to touch another woman again.
This has been a long time coming, and now that the day is finally here I hardly know what to do with myself.
I have spent the past few days in deepest melancholy, reflecting on my many personal inadequacies and failures and the fact that Rollo has not been caught yet. It has been almost a year. I swear to god I thought they would catch him that very night. Or at least before I went back to Ohio. They were certainly trying. But it has been almost a year and I am still waiting. I was imagining Rollo having the time of his life, going to bars, flirting with girls and so on, while I am at home waiting.
So I called the police this afternoon to find out where things stand. Nothing has really changed. That stupid DNA sample is still in the lab. Detective Austin said he expects the results back in June and then we can go from there. He added that the suspect in question is actually in jail right now for something else, which somewhat dims my vivid imaginings of Rollo partying and smoking weed and having the time of his life. Assuming this man really is Rollo. If he is, wonderful. If he isn’t, then I’m back to square one.
Last week I read a World War II diary by a guy named Emil Dorian. Here’s a quote from it that perfectly exemplifies my present mood: The fatigue I’ve gathered year after year and stored inside now heaves a muted cry of helplessness. Nothing but fatigue, rounding my shoulders, heavier than ever on this late autumn day with a useless sun, a world of unforgiving disasters. So many struggles and tragedies, so much sorrow and egotism in this dark, in this rotting century of hate.
Last fall I gave my rapist a name. I felt like I had to call him something, and “the guy who raped me” and “the beast” and so on was getting a bit old. In the movie L. A. Confidential, one character’s father was a cop who was killed in the line of duty, and the killer was never caught. His son referred to the killer as “Rollo Tomasi” just to give him some personality. This actually turned out to be an important plot element in the movie. I named my rapist Rollo also. (He had given me a name when I met him, but it’s no more likely to be his real name than “Rollo” is.)
I called the cops in Virginia the other day. I hadn’t spoken to Det. Austin since August, but he recognized my voice right away. He had extremely glad tidings: namely, that they have a suspect and his DNA is in the lab awaiting comparison with what they took from me. I didn’t even know they’d gotten any DNA off of me, in fact I kind of doubted it. But they did, and in a few months (lab results tend to take forever) we’ll know whether they have Rollo or not.
And even if they don’t have Rollo quite yet, they will get him. The cops have by no means forgotten me — in fact, Austin said my file was sitting on his desk right in front of him when I called. That DNA has got to match up with somebody sometime, and DNA evidence is well nigh irrefutable. I probably wouldn’t even have to testify — though I’m determined to do so regardless. I am looking forward to the day I can see Rollo sitting in the defendant’s dock looking all pitiful while the judge tells him he’s got five years to life times five and will never see the light of day again.
Until then…nothing to do but wait. And anticipation makes revenge all the sweeter, yes?
The attack happened three months ago today.
As far as the criminal case goes, there has been no very big news and I’ve resigned myself to the long haul. Last I heard, they were trying to enhance the videos they have of him to make a poster. They told the bus drivers to look out for this man, but he doesn’t really have any particular distinguishing characteristics and the bus drivers can hardly be calling 911 every time a five-foot-six black guy gets on the bus. So they need a picture. I believe the police are doing the best they can, and Detective Austin has always been considerate and professional with me and always returns my calls in a timely manner. I just wish it was like the movies or the Law and Order shows where they’ve have him arrested, tried and convicted in an hour or so. It’s all the more frustrating because I think they know who did this. What I’m afraid of is that he’s left town and gone somewhere where no one knows him and no one’s looking for him.
As far as me — I am determined not to let this ruin my life and I think I am doing okay so far. In the month after the rape, I lost twelve pounds, and I had only weighed 120 to begin with. I forced myself to eat more and better food and now I’m back up to 119. I didn’t get pregnant and I didn’t get any diseases, thank goodness. I’ve stopped dreaming about it so much, and I’ve stopped getting all nervous and trembly when I’m around men who resemble the rapist. But he’s never far from my mind and I still feel ashamed in a lot of ways and keep thinking all these what-ifs and I-should-have-dones. I wish I could open up my skull and physically remove those thoughts and memories from my head. All I can is hope they get him soon, and remind myself that it could have been a lot worse than it was.
And that’s all I have to say about this for now.
I want to say I appreciate those of you who have supported me and defended me from these ridiculous accusations. It made me feel a lot better to realize not everyone had decided I was a despicable liar. And anyone who still believes I made up this story, or that I filed a false report to the police, can go and soak their head.
I think it’s significant that the day I offered the police report up for view, the accusations suddenly changed from “lied on the blog” to “lied to the cops.” These people do not want to admit they were mistaken. (Incidentally, so far no one has asked to look at the report. And I don’t think anyone will. But it’s still available for viewing; all you have to do is email me and ask.)
But it’s not them I have to convince but the police and later a jury. And the police are already convinced. That’s why I allowed the nasty comments to appear on my blog and didn’t really lose my cool about it: what those people think of me really doesn’t matter. But enough is enough: I have defended myself as best I can and I will not do it anymore. Nor will I tolerate any more insults and attacks on my character here. Any more such comments will be deleted.
I wrote about the attack on this blog for the same reason I wrote about my pet rat dying, or that day when I found a dead fly in my milk glass — because I wanted to share some details of my life with you and thought you might find them worth your time. If you don’t want to know these details, or don’t believe them, or disapprove of them, you don’t have to read about them.
I would like now to return this blog to the topic for which it was created: missing people.