It has been a long time since I have sat down to write...much less write the ending to this story. I don’t have much of a reason for that...other than life. Life happens...and unfolds...and also, timing. Timing is everything. It took a long time for Alicia to get to the place where she and I could talk about the ending. It took a long time for me to get to the place where I felt to write it. Nevertheless, here we are...at the end.
To recap for those of you who are not familiar with this story and also those of you who need a refresher: Alicia and I have known each other since adolescence. I went to school with her. I watched her graduate (she was a year ahead of me). We lost touch over the years...but as Facebook is known for, we eventually reconnected. From all accounts, Alicia had a great life. She was stunningly beautiful, had two thriving children, she was successful. It was great to see.
I still remember seeing a random post of hers that eluded to something...something ominous...something she was facing and going through. I could feel the fear...I could feel the trauma...I could feel it was a matter of life and death. To make a very long story short for this recap, Alicia was accused of something that could send her to prison pretty much for the rest of her life.
Alicia had been in an ongoing relationship with a younger man, way younger. He was successful, just like her. Intelligent. They bonded on many levels. They had their ups and downs. There were moments of seeing the end, moments of feeling their relationship wasn’t working. What all couples go through. One day, when returning to his home for some things (he had a fire and was waiting for repairs), he and Alicia walked through the door of his home only to be accosted. He was severely beaten. The intruders ran. Fast forward to a year later and Alicia is suddenly arrested for being the mastermind behind her lover having been beaten to an inch of his life. Why? Well, the ADA and DA concocted quite a story, with little proof. One of a salcious sex hungry older woman, knowing she is losing her younger man, and maybe if she had him beaten up he would come to see he needed her, that she was there for him in ways no one else was, and with the now shared traumatic event they had experienced, a deeper bond. Ludicrous right? Yep.
The last time I wrote about this, I left it that the trial was coming in the following months. And it was. I was on standby, going to fly in for the trial for jury selection, to assist in any way I could.
Before the trial was to begin, more of what I want to call “fluff,” was presented. None of it relevant. All of it hearsay. No proof showing she was connected to the people whom they eventually caught. In fact, the interrogation of these people has so many holes, it resembles a block of swiss cheese. So let’s call their “proof” swiss cheese from now on. There are even blocks of time missing from the video. In the beginning they claim they have never met Alicia or the victim, or even know of her. Then all the sudden chunks of video disappear and poof! When they come back on the video, all of a sudden they know what she drives, etc. They were offered a deal to point the finger towards her. These people who physically harmed another human being. They were offered a deal...to put Alicia behind bars with their testimony.
The DA cut the swiss cheese. Pun absolutely intended. It was nothing but air. They offered Alicia a plea before the trial, which Alicia turned down. She felt confident that she could fight it. She also couldn’t bring herself to say she did something that she did not do. The weeks start approaching; family is wanting her to take the plea. Her children want her to take the plea. Her friends want her to take the plea. Alicia stands firm. She can’t admit to something she did not do.
As the trial comes closer and closer...reality begins to set in. What if? What if she doesn't get a fair shake? What if the jury is not on her side. This is a military town. He was a military hero. We live in a society when older women with younger men have an actual label to it. Yet men, have been doing it with younger women since the beginning of time. There is still a stigma. Close-minded, judgmental people still believe there must be something off about a woman dating a much younger man. She must only want one thing. It couldn’t possibly be they have an actual and true connection. What if the jury couldn’t open their minds and let down their prejudices?
Days tick down...and now we are right at the trial...and one more plea bargain comes in. This one even “sweeter” than the one before it. Really makes you wonder why the DA, who was so hot to nail Alicia, is now so hot to not go to trial with it.
After much consideration and many family discussions...Alicia decided to take the plea bargain.
Two weeks go by and the ADA who was so out to get her, disappears. Rumors fly. Was she fired? Did she leave on her own? Funny. She moved to Alicia’s area... This woman who was so intent on bringing Alicia down, and climbing her career ladder...leaves her ADA position two weeks after Alicia accepts the plea...
Some of Alicia’s old friends, casual friends from the relationship, took her plea as an admission of guilt. Alicia had to deal with messages of anger, blame, accusation. But none of it compared to the fact that Alicia got to see her son admitted to a top tier dental school. She got to see her daughter make it into an Olympic training program. She got to spend the holidays with them.
None of this, however, subsides the anger. Just because she is free, she is not free from the anger. The anger of being falsely accused. The anger of what was done to her reputation. The anger of having to say she did something she did not do just to ensure she would not put her children through having to visit their mother in prison for the rest of their time.
At the conclusion of this story, I would like to add that we should all be more conscious to the many, many people who are fighting for their lives, and the families who are fighting with them. People who are innocent and caught up in a broken system. If there is nothing that you can do, at least hold them in your thoughts. That they would somehow find the support and defense they need to be let out of the nightmare of being accused of something they did not do.
To the innocents.
Read the full story here.