The victim of repeated sexual assaults during her youth by recently convicted predator John Dexter Seaman has expressed satisfaction at finally having had her torturer brought to justice 25 years after the fact for the heinous acts he committed against she and her sister, during their adolescence.
However, the trauma she has had to endure during the course of more than two decades at the hands of the 59-year-old exploiter and all of the memories rebirthed during the course of a six-week trial have yet left her life in tatters, as she struggles to regroup and resume her life.
Speaking exclusively with TNN’s Trevor Lindsay the victim told of a life gone awry, with crack cocaine a chosen remedy to numb the pain of innocence lost. Of a childhood stripped of wholesome learning, growth and fun-filled activity by an evil villain intent to satisfy absurd, selfish sexual desires at the expense of two minor children he had been entrusted with.
“I feel really good I feel like I can put that part of my life behind me for good,” said the victim, now in her late 30s. “I feel good.”
However, the journey to this point has been harrowing, with the woman having resorted to years of hard drug use as a means of masking the pain and shame brought on by Seaman’s actions.
“Oh geesh,” she began in describing the refuse littered path her life has tolled.
“First of all it started when I had my first son.
“I wasn’t emotionally able to take care of him and then from there I had a 13-year crack cocaine addiction, which took me about eight years of failing to get to a point where I was finally able to make that decision to turn my life around.
“I don’t want to say clean time because I don’t take clean time and that’s very important to me, but I made a conscious decision to turn my life around.”
However, the outward actions were only the tip of the iceberg, as the mental stress and deprivation served to overwhelm every aspect of her existence.
“I’ve had to deal with serious inner child trauma,” she added. “I’ve had to do intense therapy and counselling.
“Because that man taunted me with medication during my entire adolescence and I denied myself helpful medication that I was supposed to take for my entire adult to it.
“So, for the last few years I’ve been working on managing my anxiety and depression with medication.
“It’s being a lot I’ve had to work through.” Even as the woman finally won her case against Seaman there has been loss, in having been made redundant by her employer following the initial attempt to prosecute Seaman, which ended in a mistrial last year.
“I lost my job last year at Be Solar, when I went through this trial last year and had it end in a mistrial,’s she explained. “I lost my job at Be Solar when I started experiencing nervous shock to my system.
“So it’s been a serious shock to myself and it’s been a real journey, with a lot of things to work past and work through.
“There was the abandonment, which is huge in that it’s just been a lot of trauma that has stayed with me throughout my whole life, basically. It’s only been the last 10 years when I made that conscious decision to turn my life around, that I’ve been able to work on all of that trauma, which I had covered up with drugs for so long.
“I think that was a way of me trying to cope with everything that I was feeling, but at that young age I didn’t really know what I was feeling.
“Now, as an adult, I realize I was coping with all of the trauma, all of the feelings of abandonment and things like that which had existed during my childhood.”
The jury six man, six woman jury heard how Seaman perpetrated at least eight sexual offences upon the woman and her sibling, including two counts of unlawful carnal knowledge, two counts of attempted unlawful carnal knowledge and four counts of sexual exploitation between 1992 and 1997 prior to the girls’ teenage years.
“He was a trusted family friend that my mother explicitly trusted around us in the house whilst she was working and my mother was a very hard worker and the main provider,” said the woman. “So, he was a person in a position of trust.
“It started from when I was about 11 years old until I ran away from home on my 17th birthday.”
Asked what advice she might offer to another young person going through similar trauma, the woman noted how each person’s journey was their own and that there was much to consider.
“If it is part of your healing journey and you feel like it’s something that you need to do for yourself then you should speak up,” she said. “The sacrifices I had to make in order to bring this perpetrator to justice for my own healing traumatized me in the process.
“I lost my job as a result of me speaking out.
“And me being a recovering addict – which are words I don’t like – and having had to spend years trying to find employment.
“I was at my job for over a year and they were aware of this trial before they even offered me a job, but when it came down to the nitty gritty they tried all sorts of weasels and wabbles to try and get rid of me, because they had to try and find someone to do my work for the six weeks that the trial took “I had to stay in a room at the court for eight hours a day, a very small room, which was like sitting in a jail cell all day. I felt that the process could have been a little bit better organized, but the people doing the work – the prosecutors – they were awesome
“However, the process of the trial itself was a big sacrifice for me to have to make and I questioned myself numerous times whether it was worth it.”
The woman explained how her extended absence from her place of employment allowed for her duties to be reallocated and it was a short time after her return to work that she was let go.
“Oh yeah, my absence from the job cost me,” she said, “And then when I was on the stand in the first trial I my nervous system was acting up due to all of the stress of the trial. “I was experienced something of a nervous shock to my system and my mobility went.
“Although I had already been experiencing pain from a back injury, the stress from the trial overwhelmed my nervous system and physically put me in a position where I was in bed for a major part of the year.
“But basically the length of the trial caused my job to delegate and share my duties amongst the other employees and when I went back to work, over a period of time, I was not able to get my work back.
“Eventually I asked my employer to be transparent with me and that’s when they sent me a letter of redundancy.
So, it took me nine years to find that job, one that I really, really loved, both the job and the people and a six-week case to lose it, even though I won the case.
“It was a situation where I thought I had found a place, a job where I would be for a while and was a really big thing for me and for a while after losing it I felt that I had really lost my purpose.
“That put me in a really deep depression. My anxiety was at an all-time high and that was all of last year I was in bed.
“So it’s been a huge sacrifice and I would say that it’s up to the individual whether they believe the sacrifices are worth it. After all that I’ve just said to you about what happened to me and what was lost in the process, each individual has to decide for themselves as part of their journey.
“If it’s something that’s burning you or overwhelming you as it was me then do it, but if it’s something that you don’t have to do and believe you can overcome via other means then do you.
“Because it’s a big sacrifice and it’s not an easy road and it’s not an easy decision to make.
“The process that one has to go through and because of the impact it can have within one’s life and within the context of how society responds to your journey.”
Still the woman believes she is entering a new phase of her life with a brighter perspective of the future.
“I continue,” she said. “Life goes on and we do recover, but I still have some anger against this individual that I’m working through, but I can start to put that whole episode behind me, one rich caused a lot of things in my life.
“Now that justice has been served and when the sentencing comes and he gets the maximum penalty that the legislation allows I can perhaps breathe easier and recover a bit more.”
Meanwhile, following the guilty verdict Seaman remains in custody until July 10, when he is expected to return to court for sentencing by Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe.
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