My Brother is a Sexual Predator
I always knew there was something different about my brother. He was over a decade my senior but always seemed more immature than me. I had a job from a young age, while years would go by without him working. My brother had been in several physical altercations over the years with strangers and family members. He had been arrested several times for drunk and disorderly conduct so when my father called and told me my brother was in jail, I wasn’t exactly surprised, but I was disappointed. He had recently received his one year sober chip from AA and had also mentioned a new girlfriend that he met online. He was completely smitten and I was hoping between the new love and AA he had gotten over his anger issues. I blew it off and went about my day assuming the arrest was due to alcohol or fighting. The next day my dad called and asked me to go “clear out” my brother’s apartment. My brother wasn’t getting out quick this time and my dad wanted me to go box up anything that was important.
The Way He Lived
I had visited the pool at my brother’s apartment complex one time before, but I had never been in his apartment. It was heartbreaking. The apartment was completely lacking any real furniture. There were several folding tables lining the yellow nicotine stained walls, chords under the tables, and a mattress on the floor. I noticed a paper that was detailing what had been confiscated by the authorities. The paperwork was labeled F.B.I., and listed 7 computers that had been taken from his apartment. Why the hell did my brother have 7 computers? He didn’t have a proper table or a lamp, but had 7 computers?! My family was under the impression he was arrested for crossing state lines while on probation. We didn’t understand the severity of his charges until we read the article on Nola.com.
There, in black and white on my screen, were words such as coercion, solicitation, sexually explicit material and juvenile. He was referred to as a child predator. He was accused of creating fake social media accounts and coercing young girls into sending him pictures. He was also accused of sexual conduct with multiple girls, one as young as 13. My family’s initial reaction was denial. This was somehow blown out of proportion. There is no way! Teenage girls? Coercion? Sexual Deviancy? NO! They have the wrong guy. My brother denied the ages and number of girls to my parents. He admitted to one of the girls being 17 to me, but denied everything else. My family, especially my mother, truly believed him. I wanted to believe him. He had been a good brother, right? He rode with me on roller coasters. He dropped me off at school. He taught me how to play Monopoly. He always called to ask what movies I wanted to rent.
Sure he had his moments of rage, but those were usually alcohol induced. He wasn’t evil? I KNEW him. I knew he had some problems as in, he dropped out of high school and he often fought with my dad. Sometimes he was aggressive with me, but I was an annoying little sister, right? If these charges were due to drinking or violence. I would have been better able to understand. But this? Coercing young girls into sending him naked pictures, lying to children and claiming to be their age? I had a young daughter, had he done this to her? The same brother that visited my grandmother weekly to play cards was now this monster in the newspaper.
Trying to Understand
It wasn’t until months after his arrest that family members began to discuss my brother’s childhood. He had crying fits and headaches with no medical explanation as a young child. My parents brought him to doctors but nothing ever helped. They were told medically, he was fine. It seemed like it was definitely physical, and this was in the 70’s, so I don’t believe psychiatry even came into my parents’ heads. My family found out only a few years prior to his arrest, that my brother had been severely molested as a young boy by a male family member. My mom was always a pushover, but when she found out about this she began to completely excuse his aggression. My brother finally telling his story 30 years after being attacked, left my family completely shocked and they didn’t know what to do. My brother joining AA and gushing about his new online girlfriend had felt like such a blessing. We thought he was healing. We were wrong.
Realizing the Truth
I read every article I could find and read any case files I could. The more I read and truly thought about it, I had to come to terms with the depth of my brother’s darkness. He had done these terrible things and would now spend at least 29 years in prison. In the last decade, my family has never been the same. My mother always suffered from depression, but after my brother’s arrest she fell deeper and deeper into darkness. She spoke to my brother everyday and once explained to me, “a mother will only be as happy as her saddest child.” She passed away with her son still in jail and his suffering still on her mind.
His choices affected not only the teenage girls and their families, but also his entire family. An open dialogue about what their uncle did is something I have had to have with my children. I needed them to know that not only can this type of coercion happen TO anyone, but also you may know and love someone capable of committing this horrendous act. My brother’s choices ruined so many lives. The sick man that molested him ruined my brother’s life. I hope and pray the cycle ends now. I pray for the girls affected daily, and yes, I pray for my brother too.