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Victim Impact Statement_08!28!13

Victim Impact Statement_08!28!13

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Published by Toni Momberger

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Published by: Toni Momberger on Aug 29, 2013
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08/29/2013

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Victim’s Impact Statement Your Honor, I am a victim in this case.

I have been subjected to Laura Whitehurst’s extreme manipulation and countless sexual assaults, and I am here today to explain to you and Ms. Whitehurst how her actions and her crimes have impacted my life. I am sure that I am not fully aware of the impact that Ms. Whitehurst’s physical violations and mental manipulation have had on my life. I am, however, fully aware that Ms. Whitehurst’s criminal actions against me have scarred me emotionally and will affect every relationship I have for the rest of my life. Please understand that this statement was incredibly difficult to write because every time I thought about my life and the actions that have led up to today - I feel sick. Physically, I feel sick to my stomach thinking about the manipulation I was subjected to. Physically sick that I was not the only victim. Physically sick that I am one of the very few here today putting a voice and face to the destruction Ms. Whitehurst has caused. And physically sick that Ms. Whitehurst is facing minimal consequences for her stomach-turning violations of me and other boys. When I met Ms. Whitehurst she was a faculty advisor in one of my school clubs. Ms. Whitehurst always paid special attention to me and told me there was a “special connection” between us. She was nice, caring, and always interested in what I had to say. Ms. Whitehurst and I would talk for hours about our common interests and religious devotion. She was my teacher, my advisor and my mentor. Sadly my trust and admiration of Ms. Whitehurst allowed me to believe that her romantic pursuit of me was normal. I respected Ms. Whitehurst and had shared many private feelings with her. We often discussed our religious devotion and I felt that Ms. Whitehurst and I had a unique connection. So when Ms. Whitehurst told me I was the only one she had such special feelings

for and she made physical advances toward me I felt special that she had such feelings. I now know my feelings towards Ms. Whitehurst were completely normal and that I was a regular teenager attracted by the attention of my teacher and mentor. However, Ms. Whitehurst should have dispelled my thoughts of romance rather than encourage them. Instead, Ms. Whitehurst allowed our student-advisor relationship to rapidly become a physical and sexual relationship. I know that some people are of the opinion that Ms. Whitehurst committed a victimless crime and that as a teenage boy I wanted to have a sexual relationship with her. And, I am not standing before this court stating that Ms. Whitehurst forced herself on me. I liked the attention Ms. Whitehurst gave me and when she pursued me I did not turn her away. However, as a child, it was not my responsibility to stop Ms. Whitehurst’s advances. I know now that it was completely normal for me to have become enamored with Ms. Whitehurst in her elevated position as my instructor. It was Ms. Whitehurst’s responsibility to not let such a relationship occur. Ms. Whitehurst was the adult. She was blindly trusted to act in place of a parent while I was in her custody. Instead, she pursued me. Ms. Whitehurst was very aggressive and she knew I was nervous about having sex for the first time. But, Ms. Whitehurst was persistent and would tell me that we didn’t have to have sex, but that we should, and it would be worth it. Ms. Whitehurst did not respect my education and would call me out of my other classes to spend time with her in her classroom. She also invited me to her home and provided me alcohol on occasion. When Ms. Whitehurst became pregnant she told me that she did not think she was able to get pregnant and that this was a “miracle pregnancy”. She gave me a bible for my 17th birthday and would take me to church so that we could give thanks for the blessing. Ms. Whitehurst was very controlling of my actions, she told me that she loved me and wanted to spend the rest of her life with me, she was very jealous and even directly contacted some of my female friends and

told them to stay away from me because I was a bad person. I was afraid to tell anyone the truth and spent my senior year of high school hiding my reality from my family and friends. I could not fully enjoy regular senior year experiences like the prom and grad night because of my relationship with Ms. Whitehurst. And, now I am a father of a child when I am still a child myself. I am not without blame for my actions, and I will live with the choices I have made for the rest of my life. However, my actions were not illegal. In fact, Ms. Whitehurst was responsible to protect me from such actions. Ms. Whitehurst was entrusted as my protector and violated her legal duty to protect me. Ms. Whitehurst was an adult teacher who pursued a teenage student. I suffered humiliation and the loss of my innocence because of Ms. Whitehurst’s violations. I am here before you to explain the impact of these crimes on my life, but also to tell you, I am not in agreement with the plea that has been accepted by Ms. Whitehurst. I would ask this court not to accept this plea as sufficient punishment of Ms. Whitehurst. Ms. Whitehurst’s actions were predatory and her victims will be affected for life. I do feel that the gravity of this case is easily dismissed because all of the victims were teenage boys. I am sure that a male teacher who had sexual relationships with at least three of his students, varying in age from 14 to 17 one of which resulted in pregnancy, would be condemned in the public eye and similarly in this court. I am sorry that I was unable to voice my opinion to this court prior to the offer of the minimal plea that was agreed upon. I am sorry that I was not clear with the district attorney that I was not okay with the terms. I did not know that my opinion mattered and it was not made clear to me that I had an option to agree or disagree with the plea bargain. The plea was

discussed with me and my mom while we were in separate rooms. I was unclear of the process and honestly quite overwhelmed and scared. Ms. Whitehurst needs psychological help to address the issues that allowed her to commit these crimes. However, she should also receive a punishment that is not, by the nature of its insignificance, offensive to her victims. She has stolen my innocence and tragically affected my life forever as well as the lives of at least 2 other boys and our families. I do not know what justice is in this matter, but I do know that it is not the current plea agreement.

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