“She’s my wife”

Normally I blog about domestic violence where the perpetrator has been identified, but the case has not yet gone to trial. Today I am going to make an exception.

Anthony Woods, 42,  got married on April 10, 2006. And police say he sexually assaulted and sodomized his wife 10 days after their marriage. And on June 12, 2006 he allegedly did it again. Police say he also took her to her bank June 12 and was trying to force her to withdraw her money from the bank, but she began screaming and bank employees called police.

Police arrested Woods that day and he has remained in jail since that time awaiting trial. Prosecutor’s have said that when police talked to Woods about assault allegations he told them they couldn’t do anything because

“she’s my wife.”

Police did charge him with 1 count of rape, 2 counts of criminal sexual assault (sodomy) and attempted criminal sexual act, as well as charges of abuse for acts he purportedly committed against his stepson when the wife’s son attempted to come to her aid.

Well, in May the case went to trial. And the jury did find Woods was found guilty of all the charges against his wife. He was acquitted of the minor charges related to her son.

On Sept. 21 his sentencing trial was held. Woods was sentenced as a convicted felon. It seems that he had past convictions of rape for other women- a fact that his wife was not aware of at the time of the marriage. The defense attorney asked for as leinent sentence. And he talked about the Woods family involvement and dedication to their church. The prosecutor countered with an episode where Woods purportedly held a Bible in his hand while he threatened his wife and told her that

God wanted her to repent and withdraw her charges against him.

The wife got on the stand and said she was a “survivor.” But she also talked about how the rapes and abuse have affected her life since that time. And she talked about how Woods

“totally desecrated and demeaned her”

in front of the children she had from a previous relationship. She also talked about the fear that she still lives with.

The judge listened. The judge sentenced him to 50 years to life in prison and fined him $5,480 (the money is to come from any prison income.) She also issued a restraining order prohibiting Woods from making contact with his wife until the year 2065. According to reports Woods smiled as he signed the order in the courtroom.

According to reports the wife is filing for divorce.

buffalonews.com      wivb.com           buffalonews.com        wstm

Rape is an act that can happen to anyone, and it is a destructive act that can and often does cause long term effects. Rape is not an act of sex, it is an act of domination and control. And forcing a sexual act on any man, woman or child is an illegal act…. no matter what previous relationship or consent may have been given (and yes, there are times such as minors, disabled and impaired persons who cannot legally consent to the act.)

It always bugs me when someone tries to use the word of God to excuse an action they take, just because they want to. Terrorists use that rationale- no matter what religion they might be. Husbands don’t- or at least shouldn’t.

His wife is indeed a survivor. It wouldn’t have been easy for her. Preparing for the trial she most likely had to talk to investigators, prosecutors, doctors and others and tell what happened to her over and over. It had to have been painful to relive it all the time. Then despite her fear she had to get up in front of him, and tell it again. But she did it.

To me, a victim is a person who allows the abuse and fear to rule them and determine what they do. A survivor is a person who begins to take steps (even baby steps) to recover and to protect themselves.  She began taking those steps when she was in the bank and began screaming. And her testimony in court shows she is still a survivor.

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2 Comments

  1. Soobs said,

    September 24, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Thank God for that judge!!

  2. Becky J said,

    September 26, 2007 at 5:56 am

    AMEN!! and God Bless that wife


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