Goodfellows

Fund helps family thrown off course by sexual attack

Jane found out on July 2 — four days before their first wedding anniversary — that the man she married and moved to Texas with had sexually assaulted her 13-year-old daughter.

“She didn’t tell me,” Jane said this week. “She told her big sister when she came to visit during summer break from college.”

It had been 10 days since the last assault, so there was no evidence for police to collect at the hospital where Jane took the girl the instant her oldest daughter told her what was happening. The lack of evidence meant that her husband wasn’t arrested. He was allowed to remain free while Irving police investigators tried to build a case.

The man remained in the house that the family had moved into only last May.

In Goodfellows stories, the Star-Telegram usually uses the real first names of adults, but not in this case, to avoid possibly identifying the daughter.

Jane’s oldest returned to college. But she and her other two daughters — she has an elementary-school-age daughter who wasn’t hurt — spent a month at a shelter for battered women. The three of them returned once to the house, staying only long enough to get some clothes and as many personal items as Jane could fit into her truck.

Since then, Jane has started divorce proceedings against the man who moved back to the state they had moved here from. She said that Irving police have finished their investigation and are trying to get the man extradited.

Jane said her middle daughter — a straight-A student and athlete — went through some rough spots.

“She didn’t want to be around people, or leave my side,” Jane said. “She’s in counseling now and doing well.”

Jane has resettled her family and is determined to stay in Texas. She moved here to start a business as a cleaning contractor, and she not only continues making progress toward that goal, but also keeps up with online college classes that will lead to a degree in business management, she said.

Then came Christmas, and that’s where the Goodfellow Fund stepped in with a couple of gift cards.

“All the moving around just destroyed our finances,” Jane said. “We’re trying to get our lives back on track. After all we’ve been through, it will be a blessing for my daughters to have gifts this Christmas.”

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