Sometimes Nice People Aren’t Really Nice

It is always hard to write about a child being hurt. But when that child is hurt at the hands of another human being, that is incomprehensible.

Shirley Ann Holmes, was homeless. She had three girls. An 11 year old, an 8 year old and a 9 year old. She was living in a shelter and trying to care for her children and keep them in school. Likely she felt pretty hopeless and pretty desperate. She met a nice man, Rodney Williams on a bus. He talked to her about her situation, talked to her about his home, how he was separated from his wife and his children lived with him. He talked about his involvement in church. Then he did something she thought was really nice. He offered to take her girls into his home and care for them, while she got on her feet. He took her to his home and showed her the pleasant surroundings. She agreed to let her 11 year old move in with him, and shortly afterward the 9 and 8 year old girls followed.

While there, the 11 year old was allegedly raped by Williams. He has AIDS. Allegedly the 16 year old son Ryan Williams attempted to rape the 9 year old, and forced all three to perform oral sex on him. The 18 year old daughter Q’Tasher Williams is also accused of abuse.

The girls said that they were punished frequently. Sometimes they didn’t know why. One child received burns from an iron. They were forced to kneel for hours. Sometimes all they were given to eat was rice.

Altogether the girls lived there for about 5 months. Finally, the 11 year old broke, she told at school one day and had the school call her aunt, Rochelle Goodman. Now the 11 year old is living with her aunt and her two sisters are living in a foster home. They are having problems and they are receiving counseling. Mrs. Goodman hopes to get a house so that she can take all three girls.

Rodney Williams’s trial is due to start Mon. He is charged with 19 felonies. Ryan and Q’Tasher also will be standing trial.
The children’s mother also will go to trial for her failure to adequately care for her child, though the prosecution says that there is no indication that she knew of the abuse.

But, the story doesn’t end there. Last week, Rodney Williams was charged with two more felony counts. It seems that after the girls left his home, he allowed his teen son’s girlfriend and her mother to move in. It seems that they were also living in a homeless shelter. And after moving in with Williams, he assaulted the 16 year old girl.

As if that isn’t bad enough. Williams has a history of assault on children. William’s had previously been charged in 1985, 1992 and 1999 but there isn’t any record of him serving time.

I find it really hard to comment on this story. A struggling Mom, trying to care for her children. Maybe too trusting, maybe not the best provider. But she was trying.  Williams’s two children, Ryan and Q’Tasher…..their part in the girls lives in inexcusable. But I also wonder what their lives have been like, living with their father. I wonder if they were abused like this also, and so thought nothing of treating someone else the same way.

And Williams. There were three previous charges against him identified. Three times that he could have been stopped. And somehow he managed to escape punishment, free to start up somewhere else. And prey on more children. Somehow, some way we have to find a way to stop this.


Some lessons are learned the hard way

Eric Herriott, 21, was living with his girlfriend Lourdes Frazier, 20 when he was arrested for domestic battery on a pregnant person and criminal mischief.
According to court records, they were arguing over car keys, and “According to a police report written after the incident, Herriott told officers, “I hit her and broke up her car. I hit her on the arm and slapped her. . . . She hit me back and broke a tooth but I need to go to jail.”
That was in Aug. He spent 69 days in jail awaiting trial, at trial he pled no contest, and was sentenced to probation.
According to this article, the couple reconciled after the trial and to all appearances were living peacefully.

On Jan. 11, Lourdes’s mother Marcela Bisquera Frazier was killed inside her home. She was stabbed to death. Herriott was charged with her murder on Thursday. Mrs. Frazier’s blood was found on Herriott’s shoes. Prosecutor’s are not giving any indication if there are other’s involved in the murder.

Now I am not going to bash a person for reconciling with the person who abused them. There are couples who reconcile, get help, and don’t have further problems. (notice I said they get help?) I don’t know how Lourdes’ mother felt about the reconciliation, or if she ever said anything. But, I wonder if when Lourdes agreed to reconcile with her boyfriend- did she realize that she was not only putting herself at risk, but also her child, and her family? An abuser is someone who is prone to violence. Who either uses it for control or for gain.
And by going back into that situation, Herriott remained in contact not only with her- but also her family. Which means that not only was she at risk, but her child and her family was also. Some lessons are learned the hard way.

Granted, they had a child in common, so there was likely to be some contact for the next 18 years. But, those kind of contacts can be handled by asking for supervised visitation for the child or other measures the court can require.