27. But wait there’s more!
‘”He did it to her too!”
This is how the conversation began with Lucy about two weeks after I revealed what was happening to our family.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Lucy sought advice about how to best approach her conversation with Teigan, her daughter. When she first bought up the subject with Teigan, she denied that anybody had been doing anything inappropriate to her. However, within the next week, Teigan confirmed Lucy’s worst fears. Leon had been touching her inappropriately and then she also revealed that she knew that he was doing it to other children. When Lucy asked her to explain this, Teigan went on to say that she had seen Leon touching Kate as well.
I can’t properly articulate the feelings that we had around this. I was desperately sad that this was Teigan’s reality. I was angry with Leon, and also Jen, for putting our kids in this situation in the first place. But the feeling I’m ashamed of, but need to voice, is that I was glad that it wasn’t just our family- that by having another victim, our case against Leon was stronger. How wrong I was to think this! As the legal case progressed, this became more of a disadvantage than a strengthening of fact around what we knew Leon was- a paedophile.
Lucy phoned the detective in charge of our case and told him what Teigan had revealed to her. It’s my understanding that there was some time between her initial phone call to him and when Teigan made her statement. Being a little older than my girls, Teigan’s view of what Leon did to her was a little different from their’s. She was embarrassed to talk about it, particularly to a stranger.
The impact of this for Lucy and I was that we could no longer have as much contact with one another. The defence would later argue that Lucy and I colluded to bring these charges against Leon; that I concocted this story, got my children to go along with it and bought Lucy and Teigan in on it for good measure. They were allowed to make these allegations in the pursuit of a defence for Leon.
This effectively meant that the people best placed to support one another through this horrendous revelation, were not allowed to have contact. It was absurd.
The other thing that is difficult stomach here, is that even though everyone involved- Detectives, Prosecutors, Counselors- were sad that this happened to Teigan, there was an element of excitement about the prospect that there were more children than ours involved. It showed a pattern of behaviour and could have potentially lead to Leon pleading guilty. It’s difficult to acknowledge that there was a sense of celebration in another victim being identified, but it did feel a little like that.
Lucy and I didn’t see one another face to face again until the first trial, almost 15 months later. When we did, we cried.