Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mother of two boys gets justice - ex-husband sentenced to 6 years for forced oral copulation

A suburban San Diego man was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment and lifetime registration as a sex offender for the forced oral copulation of wife back in 2008. The victim, Crystal Harris, was attacked initially on March 28, 2008, when Shawn Harris, her husband, forced her to perform oral sex on her, and followed it up with vaginal rape. Three days later, Crystal claimed that her husband force himself on her anally.

Crystal Harris testified that her husband told her the forced sex acts were "punishment" because he believed she had lied to him. The later incident was the trigger for the police investigation.

Shawn Harris testified that the acts were part of sexual role-play.Although the jury found Harris guilty of forcing oral sex, the panel split over the remaining charges of rape and sodomy, and leaned toward acquittal. Instead of retrying Harris on those two counts, prosecutors dropped those charges.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Joan Weber sentenced Shawn Harris to 6 years in prison and a lifetime on the California sex offender registry Monday, January 24. Part of Crystal's victim impact statement is below and the full statement can be found here.

"The very person I expected to protect me from such horrible atrocities was the one person I needed protection from. My heart still breaks when I think about how this happened and how our lives came crashing apart...We can talk about spousal abuse, and we can talk about stranger rape. But we do not talk about spousal rape. Ever. Yet here I was in this situation where my own husband committed this ultimately humiliating and private crime against me."

As for her now ex-husband, the victim said she saw no remorse, only arrogance from her baby's daddy.

"I sincerely apologize to anyone affected by my actions," Shawn Harris said. "I do not feel any ill will toward my spouse."

Judge Weber said to the perpetrator, "Your conduct does show a serious danger to society. I hope at some point you can come to grips with what you did." Weber called the attack the "ultimate taking advantage of a position of trust."

Crystal's battle with her now ex-husband isn't over. They are fighting over the custody of their two sons. He is currently requesting that their sons have the chance to see him while he is behind bars.  "It's not fair for someone to force children to visit the man who raped their mother," she said.\

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