While sitting on the beach today reading through the book I have been writing over the past year, I began to sob. I was so wrapped up in the moment and in my blanket (it was freezing!) that I forgot I was in public. Good thing the beach was empty because I couldn’t stop crying and just typing this tears are flowing again.
I realized that we are coming to the end of 2016 and that means the statute of limitations will run out soon for those kids who were victims of Mr. Firth, Raymond Lewis Firth, in 2007. That was the last year he taught because my daughter turned him in for molesting her. Currently and in 2007, the statute of limitations in California to report molestation is 10 years. There are some loop holes and there is a bill, SB 813 Justice for Victims Act that is waiting for Governor Jerry Brown to sign, but as of now, it is not signed.
This realization is devastating to me. The main reason I started speaking out about what happened to my daughter and the reason I sued the Carlsbad Unified School District is because I wanted more victims to come forward. Maybe it was really naïve of me but that was my mission. I find it absolutely absurd that Raymond Firth only served 22 months in jail for molesting three of his students. He was sentenced to 3 years and 8 months but we knew before he even served a day he would only be required to serve half of his sentence if he was on good behavior in jail.
We know there were more victims. Their families admitted to the DA that it happened to their daughters. They just didn’t want to report to the police and put their family through a criminal trial. I have a lot to say about that but I will save that for another time.
I wanted more victims to come forward and I wanted Raymond Firth to serve more time. I still want those, no matter how slim the chances are.
We need longer sentences for these crimes. There shouldn’t be any statute of limitations for these crimes. The victims are paying the price for these crimes much longer than those who commit the crimes.
If you know anyone who had kids who attended Pacific Rim Elementary in Carlsbad school between the years of 2000 and 2007, their kids would now be approximately 17 – 24 years old, please pass this info on. Those parents need to know this happened, especially if their kids had Mr. Firth. He taught second and third grade. Even if it’s been more than 10 years, they should still report to the police if anything happened to their kid. They should still see what their legal options are. If they want to talk to someone, if they need help, if they have questions, please put them in touch with me.
You will hear me say it over and over, the only way to stop this is to speak up and take action. No matter what the statute of limitations are, there are no limits to our voice, we will be heard!