date of testimony: January 18th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
age of first abuse:
Video impact statement submitted (no transcript). Her father Bryan Tarrant speaks on her behalf after the video is played.
MS. POVILAITIS: Your Honor, Jessica is serving in the military. She’s a marine, and she is overseas currently but she submitted to our office a video impact statement that we are going to play on her behalf. She has authorized to be publicly identified. Her father is here.
MS. POVILAITIS: And they’ve been in the courtroom all day. We wanted to make sure that we were able to accomplish this today, so thank you, Your Honor, for allowing that. They’re going to stand at the podium as her video is displayed.
THE COURT: Thank you. I see how hard that is not just on your daughter but on both of you and, sir, I noticed that for much of your daughter’s statement you stared at defendant.
MR. TARRANT: Yes, ma’am.
THE COURT: I know how harshly you feel against him. Ma’am, I know you feel the same. I see the anguish on your face.
None of you need to feel guilty except for defendant. You didn’t do anything wrong. Your daughter didn’t do anything wrong. She’s a marine. Marines are tough as nails.
MR. TARRANT: Yes, ma’am.
THE COURT: Duty, honor, country, that’s what speaks to her now. She is strong. They will make her stronger. Her speaking publicly, especially as an officer — I didn’t see her rank.
MR. TARRANT: She’s a sergeant in the Marine Corps.
THE COURT: As a sergeant, she is an example for speaking out. She understands that duty, honor, country means that’s what we do, we protect people. That’s what she’s just done. She sent a message to this court about sentencing. She has sent a message to pedophiles. She has — that this will not be tolerated, and she also has sent a message that we need change.
I take what she says very seriously, and I want you to convey to her that I think she is wonderful, she is strong, and although I outrank her, I salute her.
All right. She really is what we expect in the military, and the marines are the toughest, so she’s — you’ve got one heck of a kid there. You did something right. You did a lot of things right.
Defendant did them all wrong.
MR. TARRANT: Yes, ma’am. Thank you.
THE COURT: I’m really proud of your family and your daughter.
MR. TARRANT: Thank you.
THE COURT: Anything else you want to tell me?
MR. TARRANT: Yeah. I guess I would just like to say that, you know, there’s one part of her statement that she went to somebody and they called her meek, and I know her to be the least meek person that I know.
THE COURT: Well, she’s a marine, that’s absolute truth.
MR. TARRANT: She may come across that way in her demeanor but she’s been a leader in everything she’s done. She was the captain on her gymnastics team. She was second in her class in OMS school.
She was picked early for duty. She’s one of the least meek person (sic) I know.
And I just want to say, Larry, you did nothing to defeat her. She’s what she is because she’s a strong and amazing woman, and I hope some day that I have the strength she has to not have animosity and hate towards you, but that day is not today, because you tried to break her.
I’m with her. I feel for your family as I see them drive down the road every day. I feel for your wife and your kids because you’ve broken and shattered their lives as much as you shattered our lives, and I hope some day that my God, the same God that she believes in, will give me the ability to forgive you and to not hold that anger and hate that I thought was gone today until I stood this close to you in the courtroom and realized that it’s still there. I don’t wish you ill, but I will be thankful for the day when your face is not on the newspaper anymore and I never have to look at you again. Thank you, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Amen to that. Thank you.