I just wanted to send an update. I have dreaded the calendar changing to this month, for some odd reason the change signifies something in my gut and heart that I cannot put into words. Here we are.
Warrior has met with the prosecutor and our VA numerous times so far. He watched his VIS which was very traumatizing for him. He even stopped the video during the first session himself because he had enough. The prosecutor was so proud of him for standing up for himself like that.
Earlier this week, we started the trial prep. Warrior has voiced concerns about being scared and nervous. I know this is going to impact him severely, I just hope it is in a positive way. The unknown is so scary. We will go each week until trial. I have asked God to guide us and walk with us because I am not sure how we are going to make it. I keep trying to focus on the positive.
Warrior has received over 30 cards from the campaign. We did not tell him about it but he found my stash a week or so ago and I explained to him about when we created 'Warrior' and shared his story, that so many people wanted him to know how brave he was. We will sit down as a family the night before trial and go through them all so that he is brave and encouraged and empowered and strong for the next day.
I cannot thank you enough for all you have done and for all these strangers that have prayed for and praised our son. It will be a bench trial due to the perp being a juvenile and we have many obstacles to overcome due to evidence being inadmissible due to technicalities, etc. but we are going in with a positive outlook and Faith and support.
Regardless, Warrior will overcome this and I know by his brave, young voice, he has saved other children and we cannot be more proud of him for that. Man does not provide final justice. God does and he is on our side. I will update as I can.
Please continue to keep Warrior in your thoughts and prayers.
Young Warrior not only has to relive the abuse and be questioned by the defense team about his painful experience, he also has to face the possibility that he won't be believed, or that his testimony may not be enough to prove he was abused. Since it is a juvenile trial his parents have not yet received permission from the court to be allowed in the room, but the perpetrator and his parents will be present during the testimony. Closed circuit testimony is also not permitted.
Many families often choose a plea deal or forgo prosecution all together to avoid the possibility of further traumatizing the child. We support Warrior and his family in this journey and believe that, despite the outcome, he and his family will be able to continue their path of healing knowing that he was able to speak his truth.
Unfortunately there is no B.A.C.A. Chapter near them to attend the trial and support Warrior, which is why it is even more crucial that we each take the time to send a card of support to Warrior, so that he can know he is not alone - that we are all rooting for him and are inspired by his courage and conviction to do all he can to protect other children.
Below is his story, provided by his parents. At the end we have included a PO BOX address where you can send him a card (please, no packages or gifts - it has been advised that it could influence the trial if any child testifying is receiving gifts prior to their testimony. If you wish to send a stuffed animal or other physical item, please look out for a post-trial update and you can then send a second package.)
Warrior continued counseling for a very long time and we, as his parents, chose to proceed with the legal stuff without him being aware of what was happening. Our family relocated and tried to pick up the pieces the beat we could and survive. He had a rough time at first but I think getting him away from the neighbors was crucial to his healing. We moved in October of 2013.
Counseling was amazing for him. He ha a relationship with his therapist that still exists and we will continue his therapy after the trial to ensure he is doing ok. He received a citizenship award from his school at the end of last year which he was nominated for by teachers. That was very helpful in our healing as parents. It was then that we knew what we had been doing was what was right.
We had always said we would not let him know about court of have him testify but as it nears, we have sought outside professional opinions and have chosen to have the talk with him. We were scared because we didn't want to dig it all back up for him. However, he is so strong and so determined to make sure the kid is held accountable and doesn't hurt anyone else. With his therapists testimony and the children's center testimony being inadmissible due to some technicalities, Warrior's testimony is crucial in the trial now. While he doesn't know that, we do and I am so scared.
We want him to be strong and be supported and know that he is doing what is right, no matter how scary it is. He is nervous and has asked questions. He is scared to face the perpetrator and his family. Which is understandable and so sad since he knew them so well.
He loves sports. He is currently playing his first year of tackle football. His favorite NFL team is the Patriots. He has played baseball for 5 years. He is obsessed with WWE wrestling as well. Hence his pen name of Warrior or Ultimate Warrior. We cannot thank you enough or this. I have no doubt it will give him the confidence and strength he needs to stand tall and be brave when he needs to at trial and even thereafter throughout his life when he thinks back on what has happened to him. He is a fighter. A survivor. Our Warrior.
The prosecutor wanted to move the trial to October/November to allow himself time to establish a relationship and trust with Warrior which is crucial due to the fact that the VSI from the Children's Center and his counselor testimony cannot be used. He said he feels confident that Warrior will make a strong witness and impact. As mush as I want this over, I want it to be right and just.
I am so grateful for the cards of support from the members of the site. We plan to give Warrior what has come so far, this weekend and continue to have a designated time to share them with him as they come in and the meetings get more difficult. We go again tomorrow.
Can you please thank everyone, from the bottom of my heart for their support. Warrior is going to be blown away and so empowered! It will make all the difference in the world!
Cards for Warrior
6260 E Riverside Blvd.
Loves Park, IL 61111