A Story of My Life, Part 20: Guilty

Map of Florida

1992, continued again.

One big question I had for my husband: How in the world did you end up in the Dade County Jail, if you were staying in Daytona? Dade County is Miami territory, and if you look on a map, you see it's not really anywhere near Daytona. I'm not stupid. I had access to a Rand McNally atlas. I mean, what? That's partly what made his story so suspicious. The Dade County Jail serves Miami, Key Biscayne, that area. Daytona, my husband's official destination is many, many miles north of there, in the middle-northern part of coastal Florida, on the other side of the state!

My husband told me, because it was spring break, the Daytona jail was full, so they had to take him elsewhere.

Uh-huh. If he lied to me about his destination to begin with, what was he up to, away from me???

His whole story was hogwash, from start to finish. I should have known, it didn't really hang together that well.

He was in Miami, not Daytona. And there was a girl. A young (15-year-old) girl. My husband was 50 years old at the time.

The young girl had come on vacation with her parents to Florida. They were from Georgia. They were staying at the same hotel where Ed stayed. He and she met at the coke machine in the hallway, late at night. They struck up a little conversation. The girl didn't want to disturb her sister's sleep, and wanted to continue the conversation, so she went along with Ed (very naively) to his hotel room.

The girl was just not sleepy, wound up from traveling, and wanted a little company. Ed took it that she was ready, willing and able to have sex with him, since she went along willingly to his hotel room.

Hmm...I can kind of understand where Ed was coming from. Kind of. Early on in our relationship it wasn't unusual for Ed to mistake natural displays of affection on my part as an invitation to sex. Sometimes, the least bit of encouragement is all it takes to get a guy's mind moving in a sexual direction, when the girl is entirely innocent of any sexual motives whatsoever.

Well, once they got in his room, he came on really strong to her. He started ripping her clothes off, or something (I've never actually heard the details of how far this went), though I knew the sexual act wasn't completed, otherwise Ed would have been charged with rape, instead of "lewd and lascivious behavior to a child".

She screamed and screamed. The sister, who wasn't sleeping after all, got uneasy and woke the parents when the girl didn't come back to the room shortly. The parents and sister were prowling the corridors, looking for their lost chick, when they heard her screaming in Ed's room. They pounded on Ed's door, they broke the emergency glass in the firebox, and they yelled for the manager.

When they saw their disheveled, crying youngster, and Ed standing there, guilty and barefoot and barechested with his trousers hurriedly pulled back on, they hollered for the police. They insisted on pressing charges.

I knew Ed's original story, about the iodized windows, was a bunch of horse puckey, when we had a lawyer go down to Georgia, where the girl and her parents lived, and offer them $25,000 to drop the charges. They refused. They insisted on pressing charges. So it wasn't some resort hotel scam, or anything like that, even though Ed said the girl looked older, twenty at least, and was wearing make-up.

Ed was found guilty. He got a suspended sentence, because he was a first offender with no prior conviction of sex crimes. I saw him through his five years of probation: his visits to the probation officer, his trips to the mandated counselor.

Ed had become very morose, very withdrawn after this incident. I became a piece of furniture: a part of the wall. Ed ceased to notice me at all. He ignored me, he shied away from me, because he didn't want to answer questions about Florida. He just gently, mildly, shut me out. He made me become invisible.

That was hard on me. It was truly a miserable time for me. I was so anxious and uneasy about the outcome of Ed's trial, which wasn't resolved for about a year and a half. Ed had stopped talking to me, he stopped wanting to make love to me. And slowly, the truth of what happened came out.

I really had to wonder about Ed, if I was wrong about him, in a way that I never wondered about him before. I mean, really, he's 50. She's 15. There's something so wrong, so sad, so sick about that desire, though it isn't all that unusual for middle-aged men to desire much younger women (or girls). I was in my middle thirties and 15 years younger than my husband. Wasn't I young enough for him? Young men want young women. Older men want younger women. I was over 30 and I felt all washed up already.

I saw the stepkids through, anyway. Kenny became a career military man. Tommy became a landscape expert, married, has children, and they're both doing fine.

When the kids were gone, there was absolutely nothing left to hold Ed and I together. I didn't really trust or believe in him anymore.

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Comments 36 comments

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you, Windy. Yeah, things are a lot better now. Thanks so much for the kindness.

VAMPGYRL420 profile image

VAMPGYRL420 6 years ago from The Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, U.S.A.

Wow! You are true survivor, Paradise7 ;) I hope you have found some peace in your life now that you are apart from him. Some wounds are hard to heal...All my love and blessings to you, dear one! Xo

Love & Light,

Windy Grace

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you for that kind and encouraging comment.

papalopp profile image

papalopp 6 years ago from San Diego, CA

Having lived in So. Florida, I was attracted to your title.

You are another person that has experienced much pain. But by what you write you are more that a respectable woman with a kind heart. For helping to raise the step kids, you are a shining star! Keep writing.

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you, Jen, so much. I'm so glad you're reading this series. I can trust your understanding and sensitivity.

Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware

I'm relieved things are better in your family Paradise. I wondered about you and hoped you were OK. I just read this again and I am still awed by your talent!

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Better now, thank you Silver Genes, and thank you for the vote of appreciation. Welcome to be my fan.

SilverGenes 6 years ago

I've read only one other of your hubs but am now a dedicated fan. Your writing style is wonderful but the strength of character behind it is what I admire even more. I'm sorry you had to live this, but you certainly did so with grace. I see from the comments above you have had illness in the family and hope all is well now.

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thanks, Duchess!

Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

I'm sorry to hear you have health issues with your family Paradise. Thinking of youl

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you, Tat Guy and Duchess, for the comment. I did stay, for the kids more than anything, though I had a very bad time. I just really couldn't see leaving the kids to finish growing up without me. I got attached to them, as you do when you take care of somebody. As for Ed, our marriage just fell apart, and that hurt me very, very much. The next in the series is the aftermath.

We're still struggling here. It's quite serious, we have two peeps in the hospital, and one just came home, so it's a really hectic and worrying time for me.

Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

Paradise7. I read this, and came back again to re read it. I'm amazed you stayed in that situation. I don't know many who would. Sometimes wrong is wrong no matter what angle you look at it from. To me, this is just one of those times.

I truly hope you have managed to build yourself a life after Ed.

TattoGuy 6 years ago

Thats good to hear, I hope they get well soon, you take care of yourself ok and enjoy your weekend, take a hug x

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thanks, Deborah! And TatGuy, had some troubles here, nothing to worry about, but a couple of my people are in the hospital, it's been...very worrying, but I think things are gonna be okay now.

TattoGuy 6 years ago

Missed you about, hope you are ok my friend, enjoy yer weekend x

Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

Oh my gosh! What a woman. I am going back to read the rest of your stories.

Namaste sister.

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Oh, the next one is coming, Tammy. And Laura, I really couldn't see having yet another woman leave the kids cold. I hope I did help them, I hope I did the right thing. It might have been wrong of me to stand by my husband at all, since he was guilty. It was a dilemma that won't ever be repeated in my lifetime, thank goodness!

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

I am finally caught up. I can't wait for the next one!

Laura du Toit profile image

Laura du Toit 6 years ago from South Africa

You really are a very special person Paradise. I hope his sons realize what you went through to keep the family intact until they left home. Not at all surprised that you left once they were gone. Sometimes it is just better to be on your own - for the sake of your own sanity and well-being. Thanks for sharing!

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Yes, indeed.

Internetwriter62 profile image

Internetwriter62 6 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

That is terrible news, whether it was a fifteen year old girl or a woman your age, he betrayed your trust and I imagine that more than the charges he faced, the fact that he cheated and lied, was probably the unkindest cut of all. You are a very forgiving woman, with a very loving heart to be able to stay by Ed's side till his sons grew up. Men and their sudden urges, if they only stopped to think about the pain they cause their wives, maybe they wouldn't do such acts.

Life is full of surprises, I hope you have found some closure, after all that has happened to you. Fascinating hub, thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thanks for the comment, cheaptrick. That's right--Ed would have been Ok if he just let it be a fantasy and didn't try to act it out.

cheaptrick profile image

cheaptrick 6 years ago from the bridge of sighs

hi'a P.I think the older guy thing has more to do with a desperate attempt at holding on to his youth than anything else.Fantasies are fine as long as they are not acted on.I just got back from my annual trip with Nomad and read this first.Always read your work so keep writing!



Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Hey Jen, thanks for answering me. I like Baltimore, too. Diner, that movie "Diner" was filmed there!

Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware

Well I totally get that men get confused and even obsessed with those harmful thoughts which makes them even more selfish than usual. The consequences are only considered once it is too late.

We went to Baltimore for just a couple of nights. It is our favorite quick get away location.

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Hey Jen!!!! Where'd you go??? I hope it was for enjoyment purposes, for sure! Nice to get out of the house, eh?

Yeah, I think he really did have a thing for much younger women. He wasn't able to tell the difference between a young woman and a young girl. He misread the signals completely, and that does happen with men.

I think he was going through some kind of mid-life crisis. He wanted to get away from his responsibilities completely: away from home and work and the kids and me. He wanted to feel free, and young again. This happens, too. I think his intentions were to be gone--someplace where no one knew where he was, for a little while.

I really don't think he understood that sex, with a young girl, is wrong. He thought of sex as something fun and pleasurable. He didn't understand, quite, how a young girl can be hurt by it. I don't believe his intentions were to hurt anyone, but yes indeed, people got hurt. Ed also suffered--I saw it, I was there. He paid for his crime and never repeated that crime to my knowledge.

Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware

Hi Paradise, just got back in town so a little delayed in reading this. My first reaction to be totally honest, was to ask if your ex asked her how old she was? Did he know or suspect she was younger than she appeared. I know my sister was often mistaken to be much older than she was. Of course even giving him that, he was still married and knew what he was doing was wrong. Why the lie to begin with if he wasn't planning to do something. I guess I'm just wondering if his desire for young women became a desire for girls, or was that a one time thing with him.

I haven't read all the comments so this might be answered, if so sorry for repeating.

As usual, you make me feel your pain and your emotion. I guess that is why I hang on every word. Sorry this happened to you and to the young girl though. Very sad that a mate could cause so much pain. How great for the kids that you remained a part of their life!

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thanks for the comment, carolina.

carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

I cant say I blame ya.

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Very well said, RM. It turned out I didn't really know my husband at all.

rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 6 years ago from San Antonio Texas

Hmmm...Odds would be against that incident being the first or last such incident. How awful for you Paradise. Like your own nightmare episode of Dateline undercover. Makes you wonder how many of us have a 'secret life'.

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you, Tattoo Guy, Dohn, Veronica, and Mega, for all your comments.

It really is sick, but you'd be surprised how many men watch porn on the net that involves underage girls. It's sick but unfortunately, not rare. I'm not a guy so I have to suspend the moral judgements to some extent: I can never understand what he's thinking, how he's feeling about this. Men are different from women.

I did feel very sorry for the girl and her family. I also felt sorry for Ed. I don't think he meant to harm her. He wanted to have sex with her and was very mistaken about her compliance.

mega1 profile image

mega1 6 years ago

well, you know, I know all about the younger girl older guy stuff, having been the younger girl long ago - but it ain't nice. no it ain't. Why Ed? though? he likes em way too young. I guess you're no longer with him, heh, so awful for you. When something happens we did not contribute to it is even worse - its like why me? I did nothing wrong! Great story though! could be a book really

Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia

This is a touchy subject for me. I cannot begin to understand why men or women feel the need to get sexual gratification from innocent, vulnerable children - and that is what she was; a child.

I cannot imagine the feelings and emotions you struggled with when trying to understand what led him to this point. It no doubt made you stop and evaluate everything he ever said or did up until that moment. He seemed like such an upstanding and morally upright individual and now this! His moral compass was defintely off.

More often than not, we think that the decisions and actions we take does not effect others, but it does. His actions affected the young girl and her family, you, his family, and anyone else who were aquainted with him.

What a strange and uncomfortable situation that must have put you in.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Oh my goodness. Words fail me as I try to grasp this concept, Paradise. There really is no justifying Ed's actions no matter how you slice and dice it. You really had your fill with troubled men. I reallu appreciate your sharing all of this with us. I can't wait to see where all of this goes. I hope you're well.


TattoGuy 6 years ago

At the moment a Granny with a pulse wud do me, but all joking aside 50 year old man and a 15 year old girl just don't go together, to be honest I feel kinda dirty eyeing up ones in their early 20's but I have somehow learnt to live with it. As always, loves reading about moi lil Paradise, yer better off without that bugger moi friend xox

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