One of the hardest things a sexual assault victim can do is to relive the assault.
Recently, a young woman was confronted with that psychological trauma, at the criminal sentencing of the teacher who confessed to having sexually assaulted her.
At her side was her advocate and attorney, Charla Aldous, who represented the woman and her family in their civil fraud and gross negligence case against the Episcopal School of Dallas, which employed John Nathan Campbell. That trial resulted in a $9.3 million jury award against the school. Following the trial, Campbell pleaded guilty to the criminal charge of sexual assault of a child and was sentenced to 10 years’ probation, and is now required to register as a sex offender. The young woman appeared at Campbell's sentencing.
"When John Nathan Campbell walked in, her whole body started shaking," Ms. Aldous told reporters who covered the sentencing. "I told her she could do it – that she was a voice for other sexual abuse victims. And that it was very important for her to face him."
The Santa Rosa, Calif.-based Women’s Justice Center website offers the following thoughts on the value of a victim's testimony in court:
By its authority, the court in response to your testimony can deliver a strong public warning to all who would think to behave like this again, and a far-reaching message of hope for all who are still trapped in the wrongs of rape, domestic violence and child abuse. The courtroom isn't perfect yet, especially for victims of violence against women and children. But remember, thousands of women and children before you, by their own willingness to testify against this violence, have strengthened the courtroom stage for you.
While court testimony can’t erase the memory of the assault, at least it empowers victims to begin to set things right.
When former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt delivered his “The Man in the Arena” speech in Paris on April 23, 1910, his words were as true then as they are today:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming…
One man befitting such description is Dallas Trial Attorney Frank L. Branson, who has dedicated much of his four-decade-long legal career to promote interstate trucking safety.
So, it’s no surprise why Branson recently earned the Teddy Roosevelt “Man in the Arena” Award from the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America (APITLA).
“Frank Branson is clearly dedicated to this cause and through the ‘dust, sweat and blood’ of his efforts, he has attained an exceptionally high level of professional achievement in the promotion of interstate trucking highway safety,” APITLA Executive Board Member John Romano said.
Since baseball really is all about statistics, consider this: The Texas Rangers’ average regular season home-field attendance has increased more this year than for nearly any other team in Major League Baseball, according to data from Baseball-Reference.com. (The Cleveland Indians had the largest average per-game increase, with about 5,500 additional fans per game over the 2010 season; the Rangers saw an average increase of about 5,400 fans per game.)
Now, the Rangers are in the race for the American League pennant for the second year in a row, which means another infusion of revenue, if what the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal wrote last year is true (subscription required):
The (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) reported $12.1 million in revenue from hosting five first- and second-round playoff games in 2009 and nearly $4.4 million for hosting two first-round games in 2008, according to the reports published by Deadspin.com.
The (Tampa Bay) Rays made almost $17.7 million in revenue on the six postseason games they hosted in 2008. Having two home games in the World Series helped boost those results.
Given the boost from regular-season attendance and post-season play, it would seem that the Rangers organization – which was sold at bankruptcy auction last year – should be immunized from financial trouble.
If only that were so, says Dallas bankruptcy attorney and Rangers fan Derek Rollins, a partner at the Dallas law firm Shackelford, Melton & McKinley. Rollins says an increase in revenue doesn’t vaccinate the team from future financial peril.
“Their growing fan base and second consecutive appearance in post-season play make it easier for the Rangers organization to sell box seats, advertising and team merchandise. Winning teams sell,” says Rollins, who attended portions of last year’s Rangers bankruptcy hearings. “It's what the ownership does with the money that can get them into trouble. If you start to spend like George Steinbrenner, but don't have that kind of money, you can land back in bankruptcy court.”