I am a 39-year-old heterosexual man. I currently own a successful software company which employs 22 people and pays very well. I started the company from scratch, in the basement of my parent’s house when I was 26 years old — one year after I was brutally raped in jail, not prison, by two inmates. I am currently being treated for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder after denying the incident for more than 11 years.
I was 24 years old and had just broken up with my girlfriend. I was abusing drugs and alcohol at the time (I am sober today). On my 25th birthday my best friend, whom I’ll refer to here as Walter, was going to show me a good time. Originally the plan was that he was going to buy an 8 ball of cocaine in the Bronx and hang out with me at my apartment in Stamford, CT. When he showed up he didn’t have the coke. He promised that we could go to Bridgeport and score from a friend of his, whom I had met before. We drove to Bridgeport from Stamford and agreed to meet his friend on the street. He called his friend who told him where to go. I had never been there, and had no idea where I was going. Walter and I cruised around until we met his ‘friend’s friend’ who sold us an 8 ball. We didn’t have a chance to check it out but I took his word for it. I pocketed the bindle. Suddenly lights went on and we found ourselves surrounded by Bridgeport Police. They searched my car, Walter, and me, and found the coke in my pocket. I mouthed off to the cop a lot, being the dumb 24 year old that I was. I told the cops that the bindle was mine and they arrested both me and Walter and impounded my car. They let Walter go with an open container ticket, but I was locked up. It was a long holiday weekend and I was told I wouldn’t see the Judge until Monday. I was afraid to call my parents — big mistake.
I was put in a holding cell with a bunch of other guys and stayed there Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, the jail was full and the sheriff’s department moved me and some other guys to a state-run jail until Monday morning. I saw the cop who arrested me talking with the sheriff as they moved me into a truck with metal seats – all of us chained together.
They put me in a large cell with a bunch of guys – I clearly didn’t belong. Two really big guys approached me. The guard was aware of what was happening. The two men started demanding cigarettes from me which I didn’t have. They started slapping me around and telling me that I had to give them smokes. A guard walked by the cell and told them to quiet down.
Then they started hitting me pretty hard. I might have been able to defend myself against one, but I was no match for the two of them. The bigger guy — his friend called him “Hollywood”— told me that if I sucked his dick he would leave me alone. I thought about it for a while and decided that it would be better to do that than to be beaten by these guys more. Mistake number two. I was scared as hell and didn’t know what to do. I started to do what they told me to do.
Even though I did what they told me to, it was not enough. It got more and more brutal and humiliating. Soon I was forced to perform oral sex on one guy, “G,” and the other one sat on me. He lifted my legs and I was penetrated anally. They suddenly turned into racists. They forced themselves on me more than once, and I can never be sure, but I believe there was a third man. My eyes and lips were swollen from the beating I took and my face was a mess. I was bleeding from my anus. They finally stopped when I vomited after one of the men ejaculated and urinated in my mouth.
The next day I was supposed to see the judge. For some reason I was still afraid to call my parents. I was visited by one of the corrections officers who didn’t seem to care much — I’m sure he knew I was raped — but he helped me clean up. I was handcuffed with a lot of other men and we rode in the same truck with the steel seats to the courthouse. At the courthouse I spoke with my court appointed lawyer and started to tell him the story — but he didn’t seem to care. When I got into the courtroom my lawyer asked for bail and it was set at $500. My friend Walter bailed me out, but it was much too late.
The charges were eventually dropped. I hired a real lawyer, who made a plea that I was a first-time offender and that the chain of evidence had been broken. The judge gave me two years’ probation and ordered me to a rehab. A month later I tried to kill myself and was confined to a psychiatric hospital. I joined AA, stopped drinking and drugging and got on with my life.
As I mentioned, I started a software company from scratch and turned from a one-man show into a 22-man operation — and growing. It was only a year and a half ago that I had to come to terms with being raped in jail. I was dating a woman who I became serious with. When we started dating she told me that she was suing her former employer for sexual harassment. The court decided that her sexual encounters were consensual. I freaked out.
That triggered something in me that caused all of the memories of being raped to come back in Technicolor. For the past two years I have been in therapy. I have been hospitalized 3 times. I found a very compassionate psychiatrist who has extensive dealings with prison rape, as well as a psychologist who wrote a book on Post -traumatic Stress Disorder.
In my recovery I have decided that I will lend whatever help I can to other rape survivors. I would like to lend whatever assistance I can to anyone who needs help. In the words of AA — you’re not alone.
My name is Bill. I am a rape survivor.
– Bill, Connecticut