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Statement from the Family of the Haile Jogger

The survivor and her family are relieved to know that the assailant will spend two decades behind bars, as well as a decade on sexual predator probation, for the brutal attack that took place six years ago in Haile Plantation. It is so unfortunate for all concerned, that a day that began with a morning jog in May, quickly turned into a nightmare of senseless violence.

Physically and mentally the survivor is stronger than ever. She and her family continue to be deeply touched by the prayers and words of encouragement from members of the Gainesville community. The survivor and her family are especially grateful for the diligent pursuit of justice on the part of Bill Cervone and others in the State Attorney’s Office. Their work, coupled with that of Sadie Darnell and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, should be a source of great pride for the entire Gainesville community.

To reiterate what the survivor said six years ago, violent acts must be confronted with courage. Survivors of sexual assault should always report the crime and seek justice. The perpetrator of this particular crime was apprehended as a result of DNA evidence. In short, if his previous crimes had not been reported by a courageous person, this case would still be unresolved. By courageously reporting these types of crimes, survivors bring offenders to justice and prevent future acts of violence.

The pursuit of justice should be coupled with an overwhelming outpouring of love and support. Husbands should hug their wives more often and tell them how much they mean to them. Fathers should more frequently embrace their daughters and tell them that they will always be there for them.

The survivor understands how precious life is. She is fortunate to be alive….fortunate to be raising her children. Her children have benefited from the irreplaceable love and devotion that only a mother can provide. The survivor and her husband remind one another regularly of how blessed they are to have the opportunity to grow old together in a community that they love. The entire family….husband, wife, and children….continue to embrace each day as a
gift from God.

The survivor wants everyone to know how much she appreciates the support that she has received from the Gainesville community during these past six years. Gainesville has been her home for 18 years. She and her husband love raising their children here. They feel more strongly about that today than ever before. The family encourages all members of the Gainesville community to never let an act of violence rob them of their dignity, courage, or hope.

Whenever I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murders, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it…..always. Ghandi

He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
 
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