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Rob Gage

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  • I honestly have no sympathy for men who have sex with children. I would not continue any kind of relationship with anyone who acted in that manner, no matter how many years we had been friends, or did business together, or whatever.
    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Virginia Horse Mom View Post

      That’s interesting, and good to know. I was unaware someone could be on the list for a limited duration by plea deal. There’s a bit more information on most offender lists than Safe Sport gives, which as a parent, is something I pay attention to.
      This is the large hole in our criminal justice system that gets filled when it comes to sports. Plea deals happen a lot. Safe Sport clearly bans those who have ever been convicted of abusing minors no matter what sentence the person receives.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by PonyPenny View Post
        I still believe banning Rob Gage had nothing to do with protection, but everything to do with punishment, which IMHO does nothing to protect minors from sexual misconduct and assault.
        Of course it helps protect minors from sexual misconduct and assault, and it is effective on multiple levels.

        Sadly, statistics pretty clearly show that pedophilia is a characteristic that people don't "grow out of." If he was a pedophile when he was 20, 30, 40, he's still a pedophile in his 60s and should be kept away from unsupervised interactions with underage females as much as possible. A USEF ban can help with that.

        In addition, the attention garnered by the banning of such a well-known professional serves two purposes. It makes parents aware of the existence of this dark side of the sport and it serves as a cautionary tale for others who might be inclined to behave the same way.

        Finally, I have absolutely no problem with banning also serving as a punishment. Fear of punishment doesn't deter everyone, but it does deter some.

        "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
        that's even remotely true."

        Homer Simpson

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
          Kristin hit the nail on the head when she said many people lack the ability for perspective.

          They had positive experiences with the accused, therefore the accused must be innocent.

          They know someone who had a rough time with a SafeSport accusation, therefore the system is a failure.

          They write angry posts and blogs about how people (like me) think SafeSport is a flawless paradigm just because they show support for it.

          Very few things are ever black & white. Yet it is common for many individuals to lack the flexibility to accept that truth. And unfortunately, those tend to be the individuals making the most noise.
          Thanks for this post. You said, succinctly, what I have been trying to.

          I also support Safe Sport, but am under no illusion that it’s a flawless paradigm. I have said, or insinuated, multiple times on these threads that SOME of the people freaking out right now about innocent until proven guilty, and due process, etc etc, and joining the crowd that IS advocating for no more Safe Sport until a “flawless” solution is put forward... well, at least one IS a CONVICTED pedophile, and several others ARE die hard Jimmy Williams supporters, or people who make no bones about having a serious ax to grind with AK for whatever reason. And all of these folks ARE right in the middle of the “get rid of Safe Sport” effort. If you look at Facebook in detail... you see it.

          I’m troubled by that. I’m also REALLY troubled by seeing 40 or more thumbs up to at least one of Jim Giorgio’s comments on some of the threads people have been participating in. Sure his comments sound intelligent and make a convincing argument about the problems with Safe Sport that sounds just like the arguments that other people are making... but he’s a CONVICTED PEDOPHILE. When I see people in that group aligning with a guy like that just because they are all making the same arguments, rather than saying “Hey buddy. Go away. Quit commenting on this post. You were convicted of a crime and unless your conviction is completely overturned... you really aren’t welcome in the stall next to me at any show - USEF or otherwise, and I have ZERO sympathy for you” well - that’s a major problem for me personally. I’m very black and white on stuff like that.

          Comment


          • About the statute of limitations that everyone wants to invoke:

            The converse is also true... if someone is still so upset and affected by an event that happened a decade or more ago that they are willing to testify and go through this process and watch all this unfold... maybe it was pretty bad.

            Kristin Medall wrote:
            The perspective of a girl who thinks that you may have used your power or accolades inappropriately to gain control over her is her perspective and she is allowed to have it.
            Let's do better. Let's speak up when we see that inappropriate behavior. It's easy to think it's "not my business" but our failure to make it so is how we get to today.
            If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

            Comment


            • This has turned into one of the best threads in recent memory. It’s stayed civil and informative. If nothing else, we are taking about slimy underbelly some choose to ignore because they find it hard to accept a respected rider is involved or brush it off because, you know, they are getting all these shiny things and it’s all about the persuit of shiny things.

              Thafs the gist of what a gymnast feels about that was ignored in her sport because they and their parents were blinded by all the shiny things they won.

              If the kid and the Pony/horse are winning and/or the kid gets great catch rides that win? It’s all good. Right?

              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by VirginiaHorseMom

                Since you seem to have local knowledge as well... just curious if you have any idea if anyone with GMU is aware of his record? I know of two nice young people who were involved with that team over the last several years. I never had heard his name before though. I thought there was a female coach doing shows with their program as of two years ago... can’t remember the name a friend told me though.

                Another thing... he is not coming up in the VA Sex Offender registry database for me. I found the conviction of 3rd degree sodomy from 10 years ago elsewhere online. Can’t quite connect that to current Virginia statutes though.
                OK, yes I do have personal knowledge of the story. I checked him out when he first came on the scene, because I thought having a convicted sex offender running a riding program for young kids was pretty creepy. However, if the farm owner didn't mind, there was nothing I could say. At that time he was on the Va Sex Offender registry. Apparently, he petitioned to be taken off as few years ago. As I recall, the story was that the girl was 14, she came on to him, he thought she was of age (I don't know what the age of consent was in NY at that time). The third degree sodomy conviction may imply force or "deviance", or it may only be that it was a plea deal and that was what they could get. I don't know.

                He has been running the same farm all along, he may have a different title now, but it's basically the same position. There is a female coach of the GMU team, last I heard, it was Fay Strasel. The team rides at that farm. I have no idea if GMU knows about the Safe Sport ban or not, but I would guess that most college students are over 18 anyway and not considered children by USEF.

                I have been at the farm numerous times for non USEF rated shows, a couple of years ago when I used to show more. One time I did see something I thought was a little sketchy, but it was a public situation, I didn't know the girl, and once again, what could I say? I have been told of other occasions by someone who was there in a professional capacity, but that's only hearsay.

                For many reasons, it is not the kind of place I would recommend to anyone to ride at or board, just my opinion, but I've been around a long time.

                I would think that someone must have recently brought him to the attention of USEF, because the conviction dates to some years ago and he's no longer on the VA database, yet the suspension is only from last December, but I don't know - it may simply have come up somehow in an administrative sweep. The SafeSport sanctions list does say
                "Criminal Disposition - involving minor (Subject to Appeal)" whatever that may mean.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Virginia Horse Mom View Post

                  Thanks for this post. You said, succinctly, what I have been trying to.

                  I also support Safe Sport, but am under no illusion that it’s a flawless paradigm. I have said, or insinuated, multiple times on these threads that SOME of the people freaking out right now about innocent until proven guilty, and due process, etc etc, and joining the crowd that IS advocating for no more Safe Sport until a “flawless” solution is put forward... well, at least one IS a CONVICTED pedophile, and several others ARE die hard Jimmy Williams supporters, or people who make no bones about having a serious ax to grind with AK for whatever reason. And all of these folks ARE right in the middle of the “get rid of Safe Sport” effort. If you look at Facebook in detail... you see it.

                  I’m troubled by that. I’m also REALLY troubled by seeing 40 or more thumbs up to at least one of Jim Giorgio’s comments on some of the threads people have been participating in. Sure his comments sound intelligent and make a convincing argument about the problems with Safe Sport that sounds just like the arguments that other people are making... but he’s a CONVICTED PEDOPHILE. When I see people in that group aligning with a guy like that just because they are all making the same arguments, rather than saying “Hey buddy. Go away. Quit commenting on this post. You were convicted of a crime and unless your conviction is completely overturned... you really aren’t welcome in the stall next to me at any show - USEF or otherwise, and I have ZERO sympathy for you” well - that’s a major problem for me personally. I’m very black and white on stuff like that.
                  Well,Eduardo Braun said someone already punished by the legal system shouldn't be punished again by SafeSport so apparently convicted sex offenders should still be allowed..
                  *****
                  You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                    About the statute of limitations that everyone wants to invoke:

                    The converse is also true... if someone is still so upset and affected by an event that happened a decade or more ago that they are willing to testify and go through this process and watch all this unfold... maybe it was pretty bad.

                    Let's do better. Let's speak up when we see that inappropriate behavior. It's easy to think it's "not my business" but our failure to make it so is how we get to today.
                    Thanks for this post - agreed.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Midge View Post

                      Well,Eduardo Braun said someone already punished by the legal system shouldn't be punished again by SafeSport so apparently convicted sex offenders should still be allowed..
                      Unreal. Absolutely unreal.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Midge View Post

                        Well,Eduardo Braun said someone already punished by the legal system shouldn't be punished again by SafeSport so apparently convicted sex offenders should still be allowed..
                        Jeebus.
                        On the one hand, the mob is screeching about "due process" and utilizing the criminal justice system *first*, then they turn around and cry "double jeopardy"...
                        "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                        ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                        Comment


                        • dannyboy - thanks for the background information.

                          We were trying to figure it out several posts ago in the thread, and it was determined the conviction was in NY - for 3rd degree sodomy. Which doesn’t correspond to current VA laws... so it was confusing.

                          public records show he was 30 at the time of the conviction in NY. The age of consent in that state was and still is 17. The 3rd degree sodomy conviction (or plea? It’s unclear to me if he was convicted or just plead guilty) indicates that there was sufficient evidence to prove that he engaged in oral or anal intercourse with a 14 year old girl... when he was 30.

                          As for his “version” of events - that he didn’t know the 14 year old was underage and that she came onto him.... maybe the year 2000 in the state of New York when it comes to the Hunter jumper community and trainers was a lot like the 70s and 80s in California.

                          Rather ironic.

                          I got confused about this place and a different farm in Aldie that had an announcement a few years ago saying they were “under new management” and his name popped up as their property manager. I have a favorable impression of that farm. I’m not sure he’s still associated with them though. Or if he is, I assume it’s only in a very limited capacity in some sort of property/farm maintenance type of role.

                          As for the facility he is based out of, it appears an investment group based out of Oakton actually owns it. They bought the property in 2013 and call it D ranch, and their website indicates a tenant operates a business at the property. His website lists him as the owner/manager/trainer of the farm, but actually it seems he is the “owner” of the LLC affiliated with his lesson/training/boarding business. I’m nitpicking though.

                          Interesting about the GMU team. Regardless of their coaching arrangement, I did notice that he formed an IEA team in the fall of 2018, and is apparently actively coaching that group of kids. So maybe that’s why his record was brought to the attention of Safe Sport, and the ban came about at the end of 2018. It does indicate he has an opportunity to appeal.

                          He had the following professional details in his bio on his website...

                          - started 300 horses under saddle
                          - worked with top competitors on the Hunter jumper circuit
                          - successfully trained and assisted horses and riders from beginners to Grand Prix Jumpers, from local schooling shows to AA and 5* competitions
                          - formerly a professor at GMU for course PRLS 1120 (Intro to Horsemanship)

                          I wonder if “professor” actually was more like “instructor.” Kind of like “owner” Is actually more like tenant. As for the rest, it’s quite a bio.

                          The bio goes on to say right after the “former” professor part, that he is now spending his time trying to “improve” the local horse industry, and return it to a “fun with horses mentality.” And his goals for his farm are to promote a family friendly atmosphere, establish strong ties to the community, AND continue to train and compete top horses and riders at a national and international level.

                          I think I understand the picture sufficiently now. I’m sure all of Loudoun county appreciates that he is devoting his time to “improving” the local horse industry. Just what Aldie and Middleburg need. It will be interesting to see if he appeals the Safe Sport ban or not, and what happens with the IEA team.

                          Comment


                          • Ok, it took me a lot of pondering and soul searching to decide to write this post. Obviously this is under an alter. My heart is pounding as a write it. It’s scary to put this out for people to read, because this is something I’ve been carrying around with me for about 47 years. A dark secret. A shameful secret.
                            I’m 50... so this story takes place when I was about 7. My parents were blue collar, this was mid 1970 & the world was a different place. My younger brother & Our neighborhood friends rode our bikes all over our small town with no adults or parents in tow. We were free & on our own for the most part, unless we were in school.
                            Normal we would stay with grandparents if our parents went out for the night. This particular night we had a babysitter. The sitter was actually my best friends much older sister. My friend was 7, like me. Her sister was in HS and dated an older boy. I had heard whispers from adults that sitters BF was a few years older then her & I remember that some of the adults really didn’t like how much older her was. However... I have no idea what his name was or his age.
                            Anyway, my parents left & The sitter made us dinner and as we watch tv on our tiny black & white tv, the sitters BF showed up. Then it was time for bed. I just remember being in bed & playing with a toy. I heard the door open & as kids do.. I quickly closed my eyes & pretended to be asleep. I open my eyes enough to see the BF come into my room & close & lock the door. I was scared & didn’t know what to do...so, I pretended to be asleep. That’s when I felt him come to the side of the bed, lift up my nightgown, pull my panties down, he spread my legs apart & started touching me & massaging me. My heart was beating a million miles an hour. I was scared to death, I didn’t know what was happening, but I didn’t like it, I wanted him to stop, to go away, but at the same time, I was to scared to open my eyes. I was scared of what might happen to me if he knew I was really awake. I heard the sitter calling him & he stopped & left the room. I had nightmares for weeks after.
                            The sitter watched us 2 more times. He did it again to me a few weeks later. The third time... when we went to bed I decided to sleep on the floor in my sleeping bag. That did work, cause the sleeping bag didn’t have a zipper and he did try to get to me, but couldn’t. We actually moved away a few months later to a new town hours away.
                            The reason as a 7 year old kid that I never told a soul. I knew it would cause a lot of turmoil. I felt ashamed. I felt dirty.
                            i didn’t want people to know & label me “ that’s the girl that was touched “. ( I didn’t know the word molested). I didn’t want my friends talking about it on the playground. I didn’t want the teachers talking amongst themselves about it. I was embarrassed, I was humiliated.
                            I didn’t want to put my parents in the situation of thinking they were bad for hiring the sitter. Or having to figure out what to do or say to the sitters BF. I didn’t want my parents to be embarrassed that I this that happen to me. I didn’t want my best friend to know her sister had a bad BF.
                            I didn’t want my grandma to be mad or feel bad that she wasn’t around to watch me those nights.
                            So.... I kept this deep dark secret. A year later when I was 8, I heard all the adults saying that the sitters BF had gotten into a bad motorcycle accident & lost a leg. All the adults were very sad. I was secretly happy about that.
                            Thru the years I kept this secret. The memory never goes away. It pops up when I see something on tv, hear something in the news, or sometimes just for no reason. The secret is just as bad as the memory of the incident. I’m 50 now... & I still would never tell my mom. After all these years, I feel like it would still hurt her to know. The guilt I carry about this is... I wonder how many other girls he has done this to over his lifetime. If he did hurt other girls after me... if I had told, they could have been spared.
                            To me, for a victim to come forward publicly to tell their story is so courageous. They do it to get rid of the guilt, to possibly save other girls, to validate that none of it was their fault. It doesn’t matter if it was 30 years later. It takes courage to tell your story. I’m not at that point.
                            But, one thing I do realize.. it wasn’t my fault. Also... I do believe that this BF was in his mid 20’s and the sitter was probably 16 or 17 at the time.

                            Safe Sport is needed to protect kids.

                            Comment


                            • Rob Gage's lawyer responded on Kristin Hardin's facebook post. The format would not allow me to copy/paste but scroll down and it is the lengthy response: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?sto...&id=1592221552
                              "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope

                              Comment


                              • Bonnie Navin has written a very long screed against SafeSport. Since her very first point is wrong, I assume there are other errors, as well. Can anyone dissect the rambling?

                                https://www.facebook.com/bonnie.navi...14221282791679
                                *****
                                You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by Alterforme View Post

                                  Safe Sport is needed to protect kids.
                                  Oh, sweetie. I am so sorry you went through this.

                                  *****
                                  You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

                                  Comment


                                  • This is from Robs lawyer

                                    SAFESPORT CLARIFICATION -

                                    I wish I could take the time to respond to each and every mis-step and mis-information that people post about SafeSport and understand even after one year we lawyers still muddle through much of it as it is a moving target. That said let's hit a few points:

                                    Safesport's representative Dan Hill said Gage was:
                                    SafeSport spokesman Dan Hill told USA TODAY Sports on Friday that investigators found Gage was guilty. . ."

                                    Please search the current rules of SS and look for the word GUILTY. You will only find it ONCE on page 7 referring to a criminal court conviction. There is NO such ruling in SS that someone is guilty or innocent. The issue is whether or not someone may have violated the SS code and if so, in light of that what is their current fitness to be in the sport TODAY. That is the measure that is to be weighed. That measure also comes with review of mitigating factors - then a sanction is recommended.
                                    Keep in mind NO one can violate the Code if the act occurred before the effective date of the Code which is March 2018. If an act is alleged to have occurred prior they then look to the NGB rule book for rules that may have been violated. In Rob's case the NGB never had such rules. Thus SS went to the catch-all of "any violation of any law or rule in effect at the time" and chose to assign a criminal standard reserved to use in a criminal court, where each side is appointed counsel trained in handling such criminal cases and where the standard is "beyond all reasonable doubt", and statute of limitations apply. SS instead slid the standard down to "preponderance of the evidence" which was never a standard to use for such situations. This is one of the areas where SS is unfair in its process in our humble opinion.

                                    SS says they only find someone permanently ineligible to the most egregious scenario - again untrue, they were permanently banning everyone until pressure was placed on them and the arbitrations lead to over 90% reversals. SS tells reporting parties when they ask can the person at least still have a job and SS says yes but that isn't true. See page 15 of the rules effective April 15, 2019 which says that one cannot "aid and abet" a banned member. Read the rule. It says that if you allow a banned person to coach a "Participant" then you will be investigated and sanctioned too!!!. Read page 6 as a "Participant" is an NGB member. Thus anyone who is banned but gives clinics to people who happen to be a USEF member will be in trouble and will expose the organizer to discipline.

                                    Correct that the SS act is only permitted to act within the jurisdiction of NGB so making rules like noted above is acting beyond the scope of the legislation and that is what is upsetting to the accused. If you are banned from the NGB you CAN'T continue your business as someone has tried to argue. Also, many people do not have transferable skills at 67 years old to "change occupations."

                                    An accused is given a hearing before a ruling and sanction - this is FALSE. The accused is given an interim hearing to see if they can return to the sport while an investigation is underway. Many people did NOT know that Rob was in fact given interim measures and allowed to return to the Sport to course design, judge and to train Lauren. The problem was by the time that ruling came in the 2019 course designing and judging jobs were contracted leaving only end of the year assignments for which Rob was reluctant to seek out because heThe ruling Rob received was NOT that he was guilty. SS decided that despite all the evidence presented one man, Michael Henry, believed one side over the other. Once THAT ruling comes in you are entitled to an arbitration hearing where you see for the FIRST time an arbitrator who hears the ENTIRE story and for that the accused gets to pay $5,600 and pay for attys and witnesses to come and testify. The accusers have an atty present the case for them assigned by SS (and the investigator comes in to assist the accusers assigned by SS) and they can testify. The accused gets no atty nor investigator from SS to help them. That is the FIRST time an accused is before an independent decision maker (purportedly independent although their employer has the EXCLUSIVE contract with USOC to handle ALL arbitrations for SS (probably worth a couple million in revenues)). The rules say you are entitled to that hearing in 15 days (speedy) but Rob was assigned an arbitrator (2/11) who couldn't be available until AFTER April 15 and even then the SS lawyer had prior committed family vacation for 2 weeks and it delayed the process even more. His hearing was selected to May 29, Rob did bring in additional counsel, at my advice, which did cause a change in arbitrator (as the first one couldn't then be available until AFTER October) and delay his hearing to June 17. The point is the process is by no means swift.

                                    Remember the only issues complained of were the processes on how to get to a fair and balanced decision - whatever that decision would have been. If done fair and square and within the letter of the law then people can accept outcomes. When the process is so flawed it is near impossible to keep up the fight. was worried he would let down someone in the future if a ban ultimately was assigned. He didn't go back to the shows to train Lauren only because her horse had gotten hurt. He was more worried about others than himself. It is kindof true and kindof false that the accused gets an opportunity to be heard. The accused is summoned to an interview by an investigator and is NOT permitted to be told of allegations and information prior to the interview because as SS claims they want to tell the accused for the first time information to see how they react (show them pictures, or comments, or whatever) and then the accused can listen and tell the investigator what evidence they have to refute the allegations. They can have an advisor present (or atty) but that person cannot interfere or interject at all. If you refuse to answer the rules say SS can take an adverse inference. Meaning since you didnt give an affirmative answer they can decide what answer it would have been by your silence. So you walk in blind, they try and use surprise tactics like interrogation you see on TV and then expect you to think about allegations 38 years old and offer right then and there your defense or evidence. The ruling Rob received was NOT that he was guilty. SS decided that despite all the evidence presented one man, Michael Henry, believed one side over the other. Once THAT ruling comes in you are entitled to an arbitration hearing where you see for the FIRST time an arbitrator who hears the ENTIRE story and for that the accused gets to pay $5,600 and pay for attys and witnesses to come and testify. The accusers have an atty present the case for them assigned by SS (and the investigator comes in to assist the accusers assigned by SS) and they can testify. The accused gets no atty nor investigator from SS to help them. That is the FIRST time an accused is before an independent decision maker (purportedly independent although their employer has the EXCLUSIVE contract with USOC to handle ALL arbitrations for SS (probably worth a couple million in revenues)). The rules say you are entitled to that hearing in 15 days (speedy) but Rob was assigned an arbitrator (2/11) who couldn't be available until AFTER April 15 and even then the SS lawyer had prior committed family vacation for 2 weeks and it delayed the process even more. His hearing was selected to May 29, Rob did bring in additional counsel, at my advice, which did cause a change in arbitrator (as the first one couldn't then be available until AFTER October) and delay his hearing to June 17. The point is the process is by no means swift.

                                    Remember the only issues complained of were the processes on how to get to a fair and balanced decision - whatever that decision would have been. If done fair and square and within the letter of the law then people can accept outcomes. When the process is so flawed it is near impossible to keep up the fight.

                                    This was the copy/paste I was trying to do.
                                    "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by Alterforme View Post
                                      Ok, it took me a lot of pondering and soul searching to decide to write this post. Obviously this is under an alter. My heart is pounding as a write it. It’s scary to put this out for people to read, because this is something I’ve been carrying around with me for about 47 years. A dark secret. A shameful secret.
                                      I’m 50... so this story takes place when I was about 7. My parents were blue collar, this was mid 1970 & the world was a different place. My younger brother & Our neighborhood friends rode our bikes all over our small town with no adults or parents in tow. We were free & on our own for the most part, unless we were in school.
                                      Normal we would stay with grandparents if our parents went out for the night. This particular night we had a babysitter. The sitter was actually my best friends much older sister. My friend was 7, like me. Her sister was in HS and dated an older boy. I had heard whispers from adults that sitters BF was a few years older then her & I remember that some of the adults really didn’t like how much older her was. However... I have no idea what his name was or his age.
                                      Anyway, my parents left & The sitter made us dinner and as we watch tv on our tiny black & white tv, the sitters BF showed up. Then it was time for bed. I just remember being in bed & playing with a toy. I heard the door open & as kids do.. I quickly closed my eyes & pretended to be asleep. I open my eyes enough to see the BF come into my room & close & lock the door. I was scared & didn’t know what to do...so, I pretended to be asleep. That’s when I felt him come to the side of the bed, lift up my nightgown, pull my panties down, he spread my legs apart & started touching me & massaging me. My heart was beating a million miles an hour. I was scared to death, I didn’t know what was happening, but I didn’t like it, I wanted him to stop, to go away, but at the same time, I was to scared to open my eyes. I was scared of what might happen to me if he knew I was really awake. I heard the sitter calling him & he stopped & left the room. I had nightmares for weeks after.
                                      The sitter watched us 2 more times. He did it again to me a few weeks later. The third time... when we went to bed I decided to sleep on the floor in my sleeping bag. That did work, cause the sleeping bag didn’t have a zipper and he did try to get to me, but couldn’t. We actually moved away a few months later to a new town hours away.
                                      The reason as a 7 year old kid that I never told a soul. I knew it would cause a lot of turmoil. I felt ashamed. I felt dirty.
                                      i didn’t want people to know & label me “ that’s the girl that was touched “. ( I didn’t know the word molested). I didn’t want my friends talking about it on the playground. I didn’t want the teachers talking amongst themselves about it. I was embarrassed, I was humiliated.
                                      I didn’t want to put my parents in the situation of thinking they were bad for hiring the sitter. Or having to figure out what to do or say to the sitters BF. I didn’t want my parents to be embarrassed that I this that happen to me. I didn’t want my best friend to know her sister had a bad BF.
                                      I didn’t want my grandma to be mad or feel bad that she wasn’t around to watch me those nights.
                                      So.... I kept this deep dark secret. A year later when I was 8, I heard all the adults saying that the sitters BF had gotten into a bad motorcycle accident & lost a leg. All the adults were very sad. I was secretly happy about that.
                                      Thru the years I kept this secret. The memory never goes away. It pops up when I see something on tv, hear something in the news, or sometimes just for no reason. The secret is just as bad as the memory of the incident. I’m 50 now... & I still would never tell my mom. After all these years, I feel like it would still hurt her to know. The guilt I carry about this is... I wonder how many other girls he has done this to over his lifetime. If he did hurt other girls after me... if I had told, they could have been spared.
                                      To me, for a victim to come forward publicly to tell their story is so courageous. They do it to get rid of the guilt, to possibly save other girls, to validate that none of it was their fault. It doesn’t matter if it was 30 years later. It takes courage to tell your story. I’m not at that point.
                                      But, one thing I do realize.. it wasn’t my fault. Also... I do believe that this BF was in his mid 20’s and the sitter was probably 16 or 17 at the time.

                                      Safe Sport is needed to protect kids.
                                      I'm so sorry. I hope even now you will get some professional help. This was not your fault and you should not be packing around the guilt. You are so very strong.

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by CindyCRNA View Post
                                        This is from Robs lawyer

                                        SAFESPORT CLARIFICATION -

                                        I wish I could take the time to respond to each and every mis-step and mis-information that people post about SafeSport and understand even after one year we lawyers still muddle through much of it as it is a moving target. That said let's hit a few points:

                                        Safesport's representative Dan Hill said Gage was:
                                        SafeSport spokesman Dan Hill told USA TODAY Sports on Friday that investigators found Gage was guilty. . ."

                                        Please search the current rules of SS and look for the word GUILTY. You will only find it ONCE on page 7 referring to a criminal court conviction. There is NO such ruling in SS that someone is guilty or innocent. The issue is whether or not someone may have violated the SS code and if so, in light of that what is their current fitness to be in the sport TODAY. That is the measure that is to be weighed. That measure also comes with review of mitigating factors - then a sanction is recommended.
                                        Keep in mind NO one can violate the Code if the act occurred before the effective date of the Code which is March 2018. If an act is alleged to have occurred prior they then look to the NGB rule book for rules that may have been violated. In Rob's case the NGB never had such rules. Thus SS went to the catch-all of "any violation of any law or rule in effect at the time" and chose to assign a criminal standard reserved to use in a criminal court, where each side is appointed counsel trained in handling such criminal cases and where the standard is "beyond all reasonable doubt", and statute of limitations apply. SS instead slid the standard down to "preponderance of the evidence" which was never a standard to use for such situations. This is one of the areas where SS is unfair in its process in our humble opinion.
                                        .
                                        The safesport rules say its a preponderance of the evidence. This wasn't a change, this is a normal civil case standard.

                                        Comment


                                        • Alterforme: I too am very sorry for what you have dealt with for so many years. But I will say that your description of why you stayed quiet just struck me to the core. I had tears in my eyes. So accurate and clear as to how a young girl thinks and feels. Thank you for the guts to now put it in words. And hugs to you.

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