“Mr. Evans, I hate to cause you any more pain than you’ve experienced so far, but I must ask, how did you come to be at the defendant’s apartment?”
Ethan’s response was slow in coming and came in a voice completely devoid of any emotion. “It was a celebration of our second anniversary.”
“Who, with the exception of yourself and Mr. Sims, were the men in the video?”
“Friends of Patrick’s.”
“And did you know these men?”
“No. I was introduced to them as they came in.”
“So you didn’t know any of them?”
“Objection Your Honor! The witness has already told us that he didn’t know the men.”
“Sustained. Please continue, Counsellor.”
“Mr. Evans, did you, in fact, offer yourself up for sex with Mr. Sims’ friends as an anniversary present?”
“No. I am a monogamous person. I do not cheat.” Ethan replied in a voice devoid of any kind of emotion or reaction.
Mr. Winston got right up in Ethan’s face. “You’re lying. We have video evidence that you are nothing more than a cheating slut and you made all this up.” He yelled. The entire courtroom was in an uproar. The judge banged his gavel several times and it took approximately 10 minutes before order was restored.
“The witness is excused. The jury is hereby remanded to the jury room for deliberation. Ms. Evans, please approach the bench.”
Shooting everyone a startled look, Alicia did as she was instructed. In a hushed, respectful voice, Alicia said, “Yes Your Honor?”
“Ms. Evans, your brother’s demeanor throughout these proceedings has me more than a little concerned. He seems to be disconnected from his surroundings. I feel he needs professional help. He’s been through an ordeal that no one should ever have to go through.”
“I agree Your Honor. He’s very stubborn, but I think my brothers and I could convince him. We’ll certainly try.”
“I can make it a court order.”
“I hope that won’t be necessary Your Honor.”
“All rise! This court is now in session.” The bailiff announced.
As the judge seated himself he instructed everyone in the courtroom to be seated. Turning his head towards the jury box, he asked, “Has the jury reached a verdict?”
Standing, the jury foreman announced, “Yes Your Honor. We, the jury find the defendant guilty on all charges and specifications.”
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you are dismissed with my thanks.” I’m glad the jury found this sleazeball guilty. Now I can throw the book at him. But first… “Patrick Sims, you have been found guilty on all counts by a jury of your peers. Before I pronounce sentence, I hereby order you to provide the names of all of your accomplices to the prosecutor.”
Slumping his shoulders, Patrick nodded. His arrogance would not allow him to believe he’d be found guilty.
“Patrick Sims, for each of the 11 counts of rape, I sentence you to the maximum sentence allowed by law, which is 10 years for each count. For the count of assault with a deadly weapon, I sentence you to 25 years. For the count of hit-and-run, I sentence you to 50 years without the possibility of parole. For the charge drugging Mr. Evans with an illicit drug, thus taking his ability to refuse the sexual encounters, I sentence you to 75 years.
“Since no testimony was given for the charge of intent to murder Mr. Christopher Evans, that charge is dismissed.” The judge glared at Patrick. “Each sentence is to be carried out sequentially. This court is adjourned.” He banged his gavel and stepped down from the bench. “Bailiff, please have the Evans family and Mr. Mills escorted to my chambers.”
“Yes Your Honor.”
The judge’s secretary knocked on his door. “Your Honor, the Evans family and their friend are here.”
“Thank you, Tonya. Show them in and please get them each a bottle of water.” Chris, Alicia, Troy, Ethan and Jordan where shown in.
“Please, everyone have a seat.” Once everyone was seated with a bottle of water, the judge continued, “I am very sorry for what you all have been through. The technicians have been able to remove the video from all of your telecommunicators. They’ve also did a thorough investigation into the videos and have assured me that no other copies, other than the one that’s now part of the official record, exist.”
With the exception of Ethan, everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
Addressing Ethan, he said, “Mr. Evans, may I call you Ethan?” Ethan’s nod of permission was barely perceptible. “Ethan, I am very sorry for what you were put through. If it’s any consolation, Sims will never see the outside of prison. I’m sure the inmates will enjoy subjecting him to what you were subjected to. I also want to assure you that all the other assailants will be brought to trial and convicted.
“Be that as it may, I am troubled by your current mental state. I can’t even begin to understand what you’re going through. I would like to suggest you talk with a counselor about what you’ve been through. Nobody should go through what you’ve been put through, and I think talking with someone will help.”
Ethan merely shrugged. “Well, I won’t keep you any longer. If I can be of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to call my office. Be well.”
Everyone filed out of the judge’s chambers and headed to Ethan and Chris’s house. Alicia was the first one to speak up, “I’m glad that piece of trash is off the streets.” She turned a tear-streaked face toward Ethan, who just sat there, immobile, “I just wish the cost wasn’t so high.” Murmurs of agreement was heard from everyone.
Jordan got up and kneeled at Ethan’s feet and placed a hand on one of Ethan’s knees. With tears in his eyes, he asked, “Ethan, what can I do to help you through this?”
Ethan’s only response was to give him a vacant stare.
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