To the editor:
Thank you, brave children and teens who are the former students of Matthew Rausenberg, for being honest and sharing your difficult, private stories of sexual abuse, despite your personal pain and intrusion of privacy. My hope is that you and your families can finally begin the journey to heal and know the peace of being safe once again. You are truly an inspiration for those children who are waiting to be free like you. They continue to tell their stories and hope they will be heard and believed so someone will hold their sexual predators accountable for their actions.
… The eight-minute phone video was an integral part of convincing the jury to convict this despicable human being for his crimes. For that, I am sorry because I know the look and tears in your eyes, the fear and sadness you experience every day and that your honest stories should have been enough. You were the victims.
There are sexually abused children who do not have others to corroborate their stories. They have bravely shared their pain with law enforcement, agencies committed to protect children, ad litems and others. Yet they remain within the predator’s reach as the predator continues to threaten and “groom” them, and the adults are blinded by the good-guy image he works so hard to maintain in plain sight.
It is my hope that your brave and honest stories about being sexually abused children paves a path for adults in positions of authority to make changes in a broken system. Opening their minds and eyes to the reality of what can happen to innocent children so easily and without provocation is a must.
Proof is important within reason, but dismissal of allegations made by children to the best of their ability is a violation of their rights to be safe and protected. It’s time to wake up and re-examine the laws and specifications that are in place to protect the real victims.