Guilty Plea

Sentencing is scheduled for next week, although my lawyer may have to file a continuance if he doesn’t receive the evaluation from my psychotherapist today. One part of me wishes I could postpone sentencing indefinitely and spend as much time with my family as possible. Another part of me wants to skip the sentencing process entirely and go straight to prison so I can finally put an end to this nightmare.

The last time I was in court was when I entered my plea to the magistrate judge. My lawyer was late, and I had to sit alone at the back of the courtroom and wait for him. Meanwhile, the room was filled with lawyers and other defendants who were also entering their pleas that day. Two of the defendants were in custody. They were shackled together and wore orange jumpsuits. Both were Mexican and being charged with crossing the border illegally.

Sitting next to the district attorney was one of the FBI agents who had interviewed me the year before.

Finally, my lawyer showed up and the hearing began. One by one, each defendant, including myself, stood behind a podium in front of the judge and answered a series of questions: What is your full name and birthdate? Do you fully understand the charges against you? Are you entering the plea of guilty freely and voluntarily?

After my plea was accepted by the judge, my lawyer and I left the courtroom and made our way to another floor in the building for processing. As we were leaving, I turned and made eye contact with the FBI agent.

Processing is where they “book you.” I sat on a small stool in front of a canvas backdrop while my picture was taken. Next, I was fingerprinted. Each finger and thumb was scanned separately by a machine, and then all four fingers on each hand were scanned together.

As frightening as that day was, I’m prepared for sentencing to be much worst. My father and brother will be there for sure (I’m not counting on my mother coming). And while a part of me wants them there for support, I really think it would be much easier if I went at it alone and didn’t have to face the humiliation of my family hearing all of the grisly details.

I imagine when I walk into the courtroom, there will be an easel beside the stand with a poster-sized image of a boy being penetrated by a man. The district attorney will stand in front of my family and spout off statistics on how many children are sexually abused each year by monsters like me.

I just know the whole thing is going to be a blood bath.

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