Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Mother's Day horror

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It may go down as the worst Mother’s Day gift in history.

A Winnipeg woman opens a card from her common-law husband – and finds a startling confession inside. The man admits he has been sexually abusing her 11-year-old daughter (his stepdaughter) for much of the past year.

As you may have read in Thursday’s Winnipeg Free Press and online here at winnipegfreepress.com, the man pleaded guilty this week and was sentenced to two years in prison.

But that’s hardly the end of the story.

What happened to this innocent little girl will stay with her long after her abuser is out of jail and back in the community.

I’ll leave it to the victim’s mother to explain the true impact of this crime. I received the following email from her shortly after my story hit the paper.

Mike,

I am the mother and former common law wife of the man in the article you wrote today in the Winnipeg Free Press.

I felt the need to contact you after reading your story. I was devastated to find out what was happening in my own home after teaching my girls "Stanger Danger" for years. Our family has been ripped apart. He had a biological daughter with me and she has lost her father as well as family and MANY of our friends who could not deal with what happened. I still have to explain why her grandparents, aunt and uncle have turned their back on her.

We had it all ‘till one day my world came crashing down. I have been disabled since 2000. He took to helping me care for the children and the house. I thought he was my best friend and best partner anyone could ask for. Little did I know he was the devil in disguise.

His victim was only 4 when he came into our lives and we spent the following years camping and spending our time with our children and having dinners for our friends and family every year for every occassion. Lots of those friends turned their backs on us - some told me that sometimes in life you have to write people off and unfortunatly we fall under that catogorey. The friends that stuck by us are our saving grace. They picked up the pieces when I couldn't do it. They are my true heroes.

Anyway to move on... When this happened Child and Family Services called me on the phone. I thought it was some kind of sick joke. They NEVER once came to my house, they never contacted her father that has joint custody and that she lived with half the time. I had to phone him.

When I went to their office the next day they could not give me even a pamphlet on where to get help for me or the kids. She told me I could walk across the street to "Clinic" if I wanted help. I statred phoning every counselling place I could get my hands on. NO ONE would help us. It took 26 phone calls to finally get someone to tell me that because he hadn't been charged yet that they couldn't counsel us. It was like torture to tell our story over and over again to strangers to find out I still couldn't help my children.

It took the police a month and a half to arrest him and they never went and picked him up. Tthey allowed him to live 4 blocks away from our home all that time. When they wanted him to come in they called him on the phone. After he went in they allowed him to walk out with conditions. Luckily we had a great detective who phoned me half an hour later to tell me that he would still be living in our neighbourhood. It took Child and Family 2 weeks to contact me to tell me that.

When I called the school my youngest daughter went to to say that he was not allowed to pick her up they told me they couldn't stop him! I had to call CFS again and beg them to send something to the school so that the pedophile couldn't pick her up.

There is a lot more I'm sure I could say but it has been hard to see our story in the paper and have to deal with my poor child whose innocence has been stolen right under our noses.

This may not be the last e-mail I write to you but I needed to let you know there are real life people behind your story that are still fighting to have a normal life after all of this.

Thank you for your time.

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About Mike McIntyre

Journalist, national radio show host, author, pundit and cruise director ... Mike McIntyre loves to keep busy.

Mike is the justice reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press, where he has worked since 1997. He produces and hosts the weekly talk radio show Crime and Punishment, which runs on the Corus Radio Network in several Canadian cities.

Born and bred in Winnipeg, Mike graduated from River East Collegiate and completed his journalism studies in the Creative Communications program at Red River College.

He and his wife, Chassity, have two children.

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