Don Hanratty
My Belovèd is mine, and I am his.
Song of Songs 2:16


Alex MacKenzie looked down on the bed where John Kelley lay on his back, stark naked and totally relaxed, hands behind his head, smiling.  They had just made love, and it had been good.  Very good!  Alex's eyes caressed the magnificent body of his partner, and could feel the reaction in his groin yet again from what he was seeing.  Their late afternoon tryst had happened spontaneously after they'd showered after gutting houses all day in the Ninth Ward.  It was amazing how a good shower and a healthy libido could motivate one to hit the bed for recreational reasons after a hard day's work.

Alex, still naked himself, was standing at their bedside table, punching numbers into the telephone.  The numbers for Cam's and Kevin's room, to be precise.

"Yo!" Cam answered the phone.

"Yo, yourself," Alex said.

"What up, Dad?" Cam asked.

"I want you to take a walk with me over to Canal Street after supper tonight," Alex said.

"Oh, yeah?" Cam questioned.  "To mingle with the tourists?"

"No, we need to shop."

"Ooooh," Cam said.  "You're gonna buy me somethin'?  What a great idea!"

"Actually, yes," Alex said.


"Wait and see."

"It'll be like Christmas," Cam said.

"Uh, huh."

"Can Kevin come along?"

"I dunno.  He's such a drag sometimes," Alex laughed.

"No lie!  Can we bring Casey?"


"OK," Cam said.  "See ya at supper."

They hung up.

"Sup?" Kevin, curious, asked Cam.

"Alex says he wants to buy me something over on Canal Street," Cam responded.

"Excellent," Kevin said.  "We share everything equally, so that means I'm gettin' somethin', too."

"We'll just see about that," Cam said, going over to the bed where Kevin was lying naked except for his boxers, with Casey sleeping on the bed beside him.  Being careful not to awaken the baby, Cam lay down full out on top of Kevin.  After making some minute adjustments to get comfortable, he stared down into those brown eyes, loving what he saw.

"Mmmmm," Cam said.

"'Mmmmm' back."

Cam brushed Kevin's crewcut back from his forehead, and lowering his head, gave Kevin a long, gentle kiss on the lips. The two boys had developed the habit of spending a few minutes every day just lying down together and touching one another.  Not sexually, necessarily, although they certainly did a lot of that, too, when they were in the mood.  But they just enjoyed silently caressing each other.  It was like a good conversation as far as they were concerned, and sometimes better, allowing them to express deep feelings that sometimes couldn't be successfully articulated.  Kevin's usual matter of fact, "tough guy" personality was nowhere to be found when these moments occurred.

On that particular afternoon, fast becoming evening, after twenty minutes of holding and touching each other, Cam and Kevin got up, dressed, woke Casey, changed his diaper, and went down to the hotel dining room.  The child was in demand, as usual, never lacking for admirers.  Over the past few days, the little boy had started to stand up on his own two feet with a little help from his friends.  Now life was going to get really interesting, Cam thought to himself.

Supper was excellent.  They started with a thick crawfish and corn soup, followed by crab cakes covered in a spicy Cajun red sauce, served with red beans and rice, and butter pecan ice cream for dessert.  After eating, Cam and Kevin only reluctantly restrained themselves from letting go with loud belches, which would have shown their true appreciation for the meal.  They sat around talking with Alex, John, Catherine, and Mary for a few minutes after the meal, and then Alex stood up.

"Let's shop," he said, beckoning to Cam and Kevin.

"Do you know what this is about?" Cam asked his mother.

"Yes, but I'm not telling," Catherine informed him.

"You're no fun," Cam told her.

Taking Casey out of his carrier, Kevin put him in a sling around his neck so that the little boy was suspended in front of Kevin on his chest.  The baby was awake, and sucking busily on a pacifier after his bottle.

Alex, John, Cam and Kevin stepped out the hotel lobby into the fast disappearing daylight, and the heat rose from the sidewalk to greet them.  Alex headed for Canal Street, followed by the rest of the shopping contingent.

When they arrived at Canal Street, Alex turned away from the River.  They walked a block, and Alex stopped and looked into the display windows of a camera store.

"This'll do," he decided after eyeballing the goods, and they went inside.

"What are you getting me?" Cam asked.

"A digital camera," Alex said.  "I want you to start thinking in images before you come down to L.A. for film and television school this fall."

"Images?" Cam quipped.  "You mean like Kevin, naked?"

They all laughed, including Kevin, who had a big smirk on his face.

"Yes," Alex said, chuckling.  "Exactly."

Cam remembered how enamored he had been of a little film camera he'd had when he was in middle school.  Back then, film had still dominated the market and digital was more or less still in its infancy.  He'd used film and binged on picture taking.  Catherine had been kept busy dropping off the exposed film for developing.  Cam had preferred to work with black and white film, and in his opinion he hadn't been bad at composition.  Eventually, he had set up a little film lab of his own down in the basement to process his own black and white film.  That lasted until he got so active in sports that he didn't have time for it anymore.

"Let's take a look at some of your digital cameras," Alex told the clerk.  "Preferably, Nikon and Canon," he added.

"I thought you didn't like digital," Cam commented.

"They've improved the quality so much, my next film will be shot in digital," Alex said.  "The money men at the studio will be ecstatic I've finally given up on film, believe me.  Today's digital is much cheaper and easier to work with."

The clerk knew he had a live one, and began pulling cameras out of the display case for them to look at.

Twenty minutes later, Alex and Cam had settled on a Nikon D80
Digital body with a Nikon 18-135 mm zoom lens, along with an extra battery and a grip/battery pack to be mounted on the bottom of the camera.  The camera would take shots at up to ten megapixels, if you wanted to set it for that much detail.  It was a fine camera, but not the most expensive Nikon digital available.  It had all the features Cam would need, though, Alex explained.

"I'll get some more lenses for you in Malibu when you come down for school," Alex said, pulling out his Visa Platinum to pay the clerk.

"Thanks, Dad," Cam said, kissing his father's cheek.

"Kev, you want anything?" Alex asked while the clerk ran his card.

"Nah, I'm good, Dad," Kevin said.  "All Cam's stuff is half mine, so I've got too much crap as it is.  Thanks, though."

Alex and John laughed.  Alex signed the receipt, and they headed out.

Cam couldn't wait to get back to the hotel so he could begin studying the new camera's instruction manual.  He knew a certain little boy who would be a favorite subject, along with Kevin and some of New Orleans' famous architecture.

After a quick study of the camera manual, Cam took a couple of shots of Casey, and then the two boys turned the child over to Yolanda.  Camera in hand, Cam and Kevin took an elevator downstairs.  As they moved through the lobby, Kevin saw Andy Helder sitting in an alcove, all alone, and knew right away the boy was missing Carl.  Kevin touched Cam's arm to stop him, and went over to Andy.

"Hey, man, how you doin'?" Kevin asked.

"OK," Andy said, obviously lying through his teeth.

"Cam and I are gonna walk around and take some pictures with Cam's new camera," Kevin said.  "Common with us."

"Thanks, but I don't feel like it."

"Tough shit, let's book," Kevin said in his no-nonsense manner.

Andy caved, and he and Kevin joined Cam.

The three boys hiked over to Canal Street and then down to the River, where, on a whim, they caught a ferry over to Algiers.  They arrived there just as the lights in New Orleans were winking on as night began to envelop the urban landscape.  Setting the camera for black and white, night landscape, Cam began to take pictures of the city across the broad black waters of the Mississippi as the buildings there began to turn to shadows, punctuated by lights.  He was surprised how good it felt to be taking pictures again.  A viewing screen on the back of the camera allowed him to check out the pictures he took right away to see if they were any good.

When Cam was finished taking pictures, they all grabbed some soft drinks at a little hole-in-the-wall grocery not far from the docks, and then caught a ferry back to New Orleans, walking into their hotel at 10 p.m.

Kevin looked at Andy.

"Go get the shit you'll need for tomorrow morning out of your room, man," he told the boy.  "You're staying with Cam and me tonight."

"Oh," Andy said.  "Don't you need your privacy?" he asked hesitantly.

Kevin laughed.  "Don't worry about it."  He put an arm around Cam.  "I've had just about enough of this guy for awhile."  Cam grinned, saying nothing.

Andy didn't argue.  He knew he would be grateful for the company.  He would sleep in the vacant bed, and Cam and Kevin in their usual bed together.

After they had all brushed their teeth, Andy called Father Jim to let him know where he was staying.  When they finally hit the sack after watching Jay Leno's monologue on TV, they all fell asleep immediately and didn't stir until morning.  Andy's big woody in his boxers before he hit the bathroom was yet one more reminder to him how much he was missing Carl.

*  *  *

Carl didn't want to think about the trial that lay ahead, and dreaded having to face his father in the courtroom.  He was too old to cry but still not mature enough to tough his way easily through what had been done to him by his dad, this despite the world of good his therapy had done for him earlier in the year.

Between naps, after he and Ian had changed planes in Houston, Carl had listened to Ian review with him yet again what he needed to do to manage his emotions, his deportment, and his responses to questions when he took the stand in the courtroom in Monterey.  It was good advice, and helpful, the boy knew that.

Carl leaned back in his seat and thought about how fortunate he and Dan had been when they became wards of Mary and Ian.  Carl wouldn't have blamed William and Mark Carson if they had seen them as interlopers, but there had been none of that attitude.  Everybody had been so good to them.  And it hadn't been without great cost to Ian and Mary and their boys, either.  Carl was convinced that the Carsons' condo had been torched by somebody hired by his father.   Ian had put his law practice on hold to make certain that Carl and Dan were protected
and that Walter Emrick was punished as he should be.  The biggest blow of all had been when Mark had nearly been killed in that ambush after the funeral for Berto's parents.  Add to that all the generosity of Catherine, Cam and Kevin in taking everybody in and forming a strong, blended family in San Rafael, and Carl was very thankful despite what he was facing in Monterey.

Eventually Carl put his iPod on, and listened to some of Jeff Buckley's old stuff he had downloaded.  It was soothing to him, and before long he had tuned out where he was and where he was going.  He thought about Andy Helder and the boy's beautiful body.  He was already missing Andy and knowing that he would miss him even more as the hours and days passed.  Thinking of Andy and their new relationship made some of the words of Jeff's rendition of "Hallelujah," a Leonard Cohen song, especially meaningful:

                          "I did my best, it wasn't much.
                           I couldn't feel, so I learned to touch.
                           I've told the truth, I didn't come all this way to fool ya."

He also thought about the relationship that he used to have with his father before his mother died and the family had been destroyed by grief, only then to give way to a better life for him and Dan with the Carsons and MacKenzies after his father had molested him.

                         "Yeah even though it went all wrong
                          I'll stand right here before the Lord of Song
                          With nothing on my lips but Hallelujah.

Ian touched his shoulder to bring him back to reality after they landed in San Francisco, and they gathered their stuff to deplane.

Ian led the boy to a fast food place in the terminal, and the two of them ate a hamburger and fries without talking much.  Then they walked toward a car at the arrivals gate to take them to a private hanger to catch their helicopter.  Ten minutes later they were looking at their new conveyance,
a shiny, new Bell 206B3 JetRanger.  A four-seater.  They watched as their luggage was loaded into the machine.

"Well, let's hit it!" Ian said.

They climbed aboard and strapped themselves in and put on headphones
as the pilot finished going through his startup checklist.  When he finished the list and flipped the switch for the main power buss, the helicopter's gyros began to whine.  Then he hit the starter switch, and the rotors began to turn, slowly at first.  After a warm-up, the pilot received clearance from the tower and pulled up on the collective.  The copter flared and hovered fifteen feet off the ground for a few seconds.  Then the nose went down, and they gathered horizontal speed before rapidly heading upstairs toward their cruising altitude. 

Ian watched the pilot take them up.  Flying a rotary wing aircraft was a lot more complicated than flying a fixed wing craft, the lawyer thought to himself.  The pilot was flying at the FAA minimum altitude for that area, skimming the landscape as the machine raced its own shadow west toward the Monterey courthouse.

Thuckata thuckata thuckata.  Carl fixated on the sound the rotors made as the copter moved along, his thoughts again turning to Andy, remembering being invited into the boy's bed to sleep the first night they had roomed together.  And what they had done to and for each other in the early morning hours.

"Where are we going to land?" Carl asked Ian when he returned to reality.

"In the parking lot behind the courthouse," Ian said, his voice sounding tinny in the headphones.  "Captain Ridenour had it cordoned off so we'd have a place to come down.  It's secure, so there's no way anybody can get at us when we go into the courthouse."

Carl smiled, nodded, and then fished out his iPod out of his shirt pocket again.  Moving his right 'copter earphone out of the way, he plugged an earbud into that ear.  Soon he was lost again in the music, trying not to think of what lay ahead.  Twenty minutes later they flew past the Monterey courthouse, made a half circle, and landed smoothly in the back parking lot without a jolt.  Police officers lined the perimeter of the parking lot in riot gear, facing outward, armed with rifles.

Tom Ridenour walked across the lot to meet Ian and Carl, ducking under the rotors as they began to slow.  He opened the side door.  Ian and Carl took off their seat belts, slid to the front of their seats, and dropped to the pavement.

"Hello, Ian," the tall CHiP officer said, shaking hands first with Ian and then with Carl.  "Hello, Carl.  Good trip?"

"Painless," Carl told him, smiling, feigning good humor he didn't feel right then.  "What do we do with our luggage?" Carl asked Ian.

"Leave it unless there's something you're going to need," the attorney said.  "We're going to keep the 'copter for the day and use it to get to the Big Sur after this afternoon's court session."

The pilot completed his shutdown procedures as Captain Ridenour, Ian and Carl walked quickly toward the back door of the courthouse.  A Monterey County deputy sheriff at the back door pulled out a key card, and let them in.  The main doors of the courthouse were staffed with deputies who were screening the crowds of people walking around in the hallways before admittance to the building.  Ridenour, Carson and the boy stuck to a back hall as they moved into the interior of the huge building.

"Tom, is there a room where Carl and I can have a minute?" Ian asked the CHiP officer.

"Sure," the captain said.  "Open up a jury room for us," he instructed a sheriff's deputy.

"We'll be right with you," Ian told Ridenour and the deputy after the officers had gone in first and conducted a cursory examination of the room.  The two policemen went back out into the hall, shutting the door behind them.

Ian turned to Carl and gently pulled the boy into a hug.  "This is it.  I want you to remember that you're not the one going on trial today," Ian said quietly into the boy's ear. "You were your father's victim, and it wasn't your fault!  I know you know that, but I just want to say it to you again.  Do you understand me?"

"Yes, sir."

"I know that what happened to you at the hands of your father was a terrible experience," Ian continued.  "I can't even imagine how terrible it was for you.  But if we let him, God does do his best to bring good out of evil.  The good, for me and Mary and our two boys, has been the incredible privilege of having you and Dan as part of our family over the past few months.  It's a privilege I give thanks for every day since we all began living together.  I hope it's been good for you.  And if you'll let us, we want to make our living arrangement, our relationship with you boys, permanent, after this trial is over.  We love you."

Tears began running down Carl's cheeks, and Ian took out his handkerchief and wiped the boy's face.  He kissed Carl on top of his head, stepped back, and looked him over, adjusting Carl's tie and smoothing out the lapels of his suit coat.

"You're looking good," Ian said.

"Thank you," Carl said, his heart full of love for this kind man and his family, and now more confident that despite what had happened to him, he could get through what lay ahead of him in the courtroom.

"Do you know who General Patton was?" Ian asked.


"He said something important that you and I need to remember right now.  He said, 'Never take counsel of your fears.'  You and I need to follow his advice, starting right now."

"All right."

Just as the two of them stepped to the door, Carl's cell phone rang.  It was Andy Helder, and Carl popped open the cover and answered the call.

"Hey," Carl said, happy he was about to hear the boy's voice.

"Can you talk?" Andy asked.

"No, we're just going into the courtroom.  I'll call you later, OK?"

"Yep," Andy said, breaking the connection. 

Carl felt really good that Andy had been thinking about him and had called.

"Is Andy all right?" Ian asked Carl.

"I think so," Carl said.

"Good.  Let's turn our cell phones off," Ian said.  "If they ring in court, some judges will hold you in contempt right on the spot."

"Oh," Carl said.

The two of them held down the shutoff button on their phones, and the little screens went dark.

Ian smiled encouragingly at Carl as he opened the door into the hall, and they stepped out into the corridor.  The deputy relocked the door, and Ridenour shepherded Ian and Carl toward the appointed courtroom.

Ridenour surrendered his sidearm to a deputy, and they went in.  Once inside the room, they saw what a circus it was.  It was full of spectators, many of them obviously reporters, all talking at once.  Ian's face tightened.  He didn't like the atmosphere at all.  They entered the well of the courtroom, and he and Carl shook hands with Richard Hanosh, the Assistant Attorney General.  The assistant AG had retained the case for prosecution rather than give it to the local prosecutor, who might or might not have been a friend of Walter Emrick.  In the front row of the spectator section, Ian saw Lauren Reed from Child Protection and Dr. Earl Junius, the doctor who had first examined Carl at Alex's cabin following the rape.  They were important witnesses.  Ian waved and smiled at them.

After a few moments, the bailiff quieted the courtroom, and announced the judge.  "All rise.  Part D of the Superior Court of the County of Monterey is now in session," he said, "the Honorable Peter McDowell, Presiding."

The judge walked up steps beside the bench and sat down in his big, high-backed leather chair.  He scooted forward and surveyed the crowd, looking as sour as Carl had remembered him to be.

>From the holding cell, deputies brought in the nattily clad Walter Emrick, dressed in a suit.  The defendant and his attorney stopped and remained standing at the defense table.  Carl glanced over at the defendant.  His father didn't look well.  He had put on weight and was looking doughy and unhealthy, his complexion gray.  Jail had obviously not agreed with him, but Carl thought he looked happier than he should have.  What does he have to be cheerful about, the boy wondered.

"Seat the jury and call the case," McDowell instructed the bailiff as the jury filed in and the unruly crowd sat down.  There were three tables facing the bench for the principals:  a defense table, a prosecution table, and a table for the one and only witness to the alleged crime, and for that witness's Guardian ad litem.  The term Guardian ad litem, meaning literally the "guardian for the suit," was a person, usually an attorney, appointed to safeguard the interests of an abused or neglected child or an incapacitated adult who was not a defendant.

"The State of California versus Walter A. Emrick." the bailiff bawled out, and any whispering among the spectators ceased.

"Counsel, please identify yourselves for the record," Judge McDowell intoned.

The prosecutor stood up.  "Richard Hanosh, Attorney General's office, for the State, your honor," he said.

"Jeffrey Slade for the defense, your honor," the lawyer for Walter Emrick said.

Ian stood.  "Ian Carson, Guardian ad litem for the minor child, Carl Emrick, your honor, and guardian of said minor child under the supervision of California Child Protective Services."  Ian remained standing.  "Judge, in my capacity of Guardian ad litem, I move that because Carl Emrick, the victim and chief witness in this case of child sexual abuse, is a minor, that the courtroom be closed to all but key witnesses and essential personnel."

The spectators, especially the reporters among them, murmured unhappily at the prospect of being put out.

"You don't have standing to make such a motion," McDowell said, sounding impatient.

"May we approach?" Carson asked.

Judge McDowell beckoned the three lawyers forward.  The court reporter joined them, holding her little machine by its tripod with one hand as she busily typed away with the other.

"Your honor, as Guardian ad litem, appointed to that function by your honor himself, I do have standing to be here in order to protect the rights of my ward by making this motion.  Please, Judge, I don't want to have to go into San Francisco to get a writ from the appeals court affirming my role and right to be here for my client.  Ordinarily, I agree that these proceedings should be open, but the need to protect the reputation of this minor child overrides and supersedes the public's right to monitor this trial."

Judge McDowell glared down at Ian.

"Don't threaten me with the appeals court so early in the trial, Counselor," he said, obviously angry.

Richard Hanosh spoke up quietly.  "The State agrees with Mr. Carson on the matter of his standing, your honor, and joins his motion for a closed courtroom in the interest of protecting the minor child, who is the victim and chief prosecution witness, from publicity," the prosecutor said.

"Alleged victim," Jeffrey Slade muttered.  "The defense has no objection, your honor," the lawyer added aloud.

Feeling outgunned, the judge sighed and acquiesced.  "Very well," he said sourly.  "This trial is hereby declared closed in accordance with the Judicial Code of the State of California as it relates to legal proceedings involving alleged victimized minor children.  The Guardian ad litem has standing for this motion.  Step back," he said to the lawyers.

Walter Emrick's attorney just smiled and said nothing more as he went back to his seat.  He was just as happy not to have the negative facts of his client's case splashed across the front page of all the papers.  That was better for Walter Emrick.

And now let the dance of justice begin, Ian Carson thought to himself as he walked back to the table where Carl was seated.  Sometimes a fast dance, sometimes slow, sometimes subtle, sometimes bold and obvious, that dance.  Ian glanced over at the defense table, his eyes hard as he looked at Walter Emrick.  What I wouldn't give to have a few minutes alone in a locked room with that asshole.

Ian's eyes shifted to blond haired, blue eyed Carl back at the table they shared.  The boy had been deeply wounded, Ian continued his train of thought.  But he is a tough little jock, and with a lot of love and support from his new family, he will be all right.  Having a good relationship with Andy Helder wouldn't hurt, either, but he wondered in passing how the relationship would survive when Carl moved to Malibu with Cam and Kevin for school.

Carson knew from experience that Richard Hanosh from the Attorney General's office was a very able prosecutor, but he couldn't help but wish he were prosecuting this case himself.  Just this once.  He also knew it was going to be difficult for him to contain himself as the trial moved forward and Walter Emrick's defense attorney used all the trickery he had at his disposal to get his client off.  As a defense attorney, Ian was all too well aware of what those tricks would be, but this was one time when he didn't want them to work.

In response to the judge's ruling to close the courtroom, the bailiffs moved toward the public seating area and began to move people out.  When the crowd was emptied out into the corridor, one of the bailiffs hung a sign on the outside of the double doors stating the courtroom was closed to the public, and locked the doors.  Only Captain Ridenour, Mrs. Reed, Dr. Junius and several other persons Carl didn't recognize remained seated in the spectator section.

"Read the charges," the judge instructed when the doors were shut.

"Waive reading, your honor," Walter Emrick's attorney stood and said, and then sat down.

"Very well," McDowell said.  "Is the State ready to proceed?"

"We are, your honor," Hanosh said.

"Is the defense ready?" McDowell asked.

"Yes, your honor."

"I'll hear opening statements at this time," Judge McDowell said.  "Mr. Hanosh?"

"Thank you, your honor," Hanosh said, rising
from the prosecution table to face the jury, wearing a grim look on his face.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury," he said, "there are always a few cases in which the Attorney General's office is reluctant to elicit specific testimony from witnesses because of the sordidness and the barbarity of the criminal acts involved.  This is one of those cases.  The State has responsibility in this case to present facts which will horrify and sicken you.  The defendant, Walter Emrick, betrayed and sexually victimized his elder son, Carl Emrick, a  minor child.  The actions to be described in testimony took place in the basement of their home in Seaside, California, on April 7 of this year, at approximately 5 p.m.  The defendant first assaulted the boy with a belt and with a chrome car antenna
after forcing Carl Emrick to strip naked. This beating, leaving welts and bruises all over the boy's body, was bad enough.  But the beating was followed by a sexual assault in a brutal rape in which he repeatedly sodomized his son.

"After his father completed these despicable acts over a period of thirty minutes, the victim, Carl Emrick, dressed, left the house and called friends, who in turn telephoned those who would be witnesses after the fact to the grievous wounds the boy sustained as a result of the criminal acts of his father.  Those witnesses are:  Captain Thomas Ridenour of the California Highway Patrol, Lauren Reed, associate director of Child Protective Services for the State of California, and Dr. Earl Junius, a licensed California practitioner in pediatric and adolescent medicine, and Ian Carson, attorney-at-law and subsequently appointed Guardian ad litem to the victim.  These witnesses, visited a cabin in the Big Sur, having been summoned there by Mr. Carson, and what they saw will be testified to by them in graphic detail.

"I ask that despite any repugnance you may have with respect to what you are going to hear, that you take careful note of the cold-blooded, criminal acts carried out by the defendant by which he viciously victimized his son.  Having heard the facts of this case, it will be your responsibility to find the defendant guilty as charged and allow this court to pronounce the maximum sentence the law provides.  I am confident in your good judgment."

Staring grimly at the defendant, Hanosh took his seat.

Jeffrey Slade, Walter Emrick's lawyer, rose slowly to his feet and approached the jury.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to identify candidly what you have just heard from the prosecutor:  it is fantasy.  My client did not commit the acts of which he is accused.  His record as a good father, a single parent after his wife passed away, was and is exemplary.  The truth is, that Carl Emrick is a troubled youth who made up his story of molestation out of whole cloth.  His father was always the soul of kindness to his two sons, and the sordid tale told by this young man is totally false.  It was concocted because Mr. Emrick insisted that his sons follow house rules, and Carl Emrick refused to do so.  Our defense in this case will show conclusively in this case that Mr. Emrick is the victim here of an outlandish story which has deprived him of his liberty for far too long.  My request of you is that you weigh the evidence to be elicited in a fair and impartial manner, understanding the natural tendency of many of the witnesses to support an alleged youthful victim even when the evidence is weak or nonexistent.  I ask especially that those of you who are parents put yourself in Mr. Emrick's shoes in his attempt to impose modest discipline on an unstable, rebellious and recalcitrant young man, who then turned on him and concocted a horrible story which has destroyed the reputation of this pillar of the community.  I will ask you to remember that Mr. Emrick is a decorated former Marine who fought with distinction in the Viet Nam conflict.  I ask you to be fair, understanding that my client is not guilty of the alleged crimes.  Guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

"The prosecution cannot and will not meet their burden of proof." 

Slade held the jurors' eyes for a moment, and then sat down.

"Is the State ready to proceed?" Judge McDowell asked.

"We are, your honor," Richard Hanosh said.

"The State may call its first witness," the judge said.

"The State calls Carl Emrick," Richard Hanosh responded.

"Carl Emrick to the stand," the bailiff said.

Carl stood up reluctantly, took a last look at Ian for moral support, and walked up to the witness stand, turned to the bailiff and raised his right hand.

"Do you swear or affirm to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?"

"I do."

"Be seated."

"State your name for the record," the Assistant A. G. said.

"Carl Walter Emrick," Carl said.

"Mr. Emrick, where were you on April 7 of last year?" Hanosh asked.

"In classes at school, and then after wrestling practice, at home."

"Was anyone else at home?"

"Not at first," Carl said.  "My brother was at a friend's house, and then my father came home at about 5:00 p.m."

"Is your father in the courtroom?"


"Please identify him for the record," Hanosh instructed.

"He's right there," Carl said, pointing at his father, seated at the defense table with his attorney, and quickly looking back at the prosecutor.

"Let the record show that this witness has identified the defendant, Walter A. Emrick.," Hanosh said.

"Where were you when your father arrived home?" the Assistant AG asked.

"In the basement watching television.  He shouted my name when he came in the door from the garage, and I shouted back to let him know where I was."

"What happened then?"

"He came downstairs and walked over to where I was sitting in a recliner, and he slapped my face.  Hard."

"Had he ever done anything like that to you before?" Hanosh asked.


"Do you know why he did that?"

"Not at first."

"Tell the court what happened after he slapped you," the prosecutor urged.

"He grabbed me by the neck, pulled me out of the recliner where I was sitting, and dragged me over to a day bed in a little room that connects to the rec room," Carl said.  "He choked me for a minute so I couldn't breathe."

"Go on."

"I caught my breath, and then he told me to strip off my clothes.  When I said I wouldn't, he told me that either I or my younger brother Dan was going to be punished because I had lost a wrestling match early in the wrestling season."

"And then?" Hanosh asked.

"I took off my clothes."


"Yes," Carl said.

"And then?"

"He removed his own clothes and laid me out face down on the day bed on my front.  He took his belt off his pants and began to whip me with it.  Then he took what looked like a car antenna from the corner, opened it up, and began whipping me some more.  That really hurt, and I was screaming."

"Had you ever seen the car antenna or whatever it was he was using on you before?"

"No," Carl said.  "I don't know where it came from."

"What happened next?"

"I think I must have passed out," Carl said, "because the next thing I knew, he had his penis up my rectum and he was screwing me.  It hurt."  Tears started to flow down Carl's cheeks and fall on his shirt and pants.  He looked down, unable to face anyone in the courtroom.

"Do you need a minute?" Hanosh asked the boy, concerned.

"No," Carl said grimly.

"Go on."

"When he was finished, he lay there on top of me for a few minutes.  Then he laughed and got off me, and laughed some more.  He slapped me on the butt and said, 'Thanks, boy.  Was it good for you?  That was a fit punishment for a loser.'  I laid there while he got dressed and went upstairs."

Ian looked across the courtroom at the jury, and the face of everyone on the panel had a look of disgust on it.  They stared grimly at Walter Emrick.

"What happened then?" the assistant AG asked.

"I heard my father go into the garage.  He started up his car and backed out of the garage.  I laid there until I could get up and put my clothes on.  I was covered with welts.  I didn't realize until later that my rectum was bleeding."

"What did you do after that?"

"I called a couple of friends from San Rafael I had met on the beach.  They were staying at their dad's cabin in the Big Sur.  I asked them if I could come down and see them."

"For what purpose?" Hanosh asked.

"I needed someone to talk to."

"Please identify those friends for the record."

"Cameron MacKenzie and Kevin Stoltz."

"Were you going to tell them what had just happened to you?"

"I didn't know at first whether I would or not.  But I was hurting so bad, eventually I did," Carl said.

"Did they help you?"

"Yes.  They put some salve on me, and gave me some over-the-counter painkillers.  I laid down and went to sleep for awhile."

"Did they do anything else for you?" Hanosh asked.

"Yes.  They called Mr. Ian Carson in San Francisco and told him what had happened to me."

"What happened then?"

"Mr. Carson came down to the Big Sur from San Francisco.  And he had arranged for Captain Ridenour of the California Highway Patrol, and Ms. Lauren Reed of California Child Protection, and Dr. Earl Junius, and you, to come down as well."

"What did they do for you?"

"They questioned me, and then Dr. Junius and Ms. Reed took me into a bedroom and examined my wounds."

"What happened then?"

"I got dressed and drove my dad's car back to the house, where I left it in the garage.  We picked up my brother Dan there at the house, and all went to court in Monterey.  After Judge McDowell heard the evidence, he put my brother Dan and me in the custody of Child Protective Services and made Mr. Carson my Guardian--whatever it is.  And then Child Protective Services placed me and Dan with Mr. and Mrs. Carson, and that's where we've been ever since.  The judge issued a warrant for my dad's arrest, too."

"Had your father ever struck you or your brother before this incident?" Hanosh asked.

"After my mother died, he'd occasionally slap us around when we were wise guys," Carl said.  "Nothing more than that.  But he constantly threatened to beat me if I lost a wrestling match at school."

"How did you feel about yourself after you were molested?"

"I felt pretty bad about it, and thought about offing myself because I was so ashamed.  But Mr. Carson made it possible for me to go to a counselor--a psychiatrist at St. Francis University--and I gradually started to feel better."  Carl glanced over at his father.  "But I don't know if I'll ever get over it completely."

"Carl, thank you for being so brave and forthright in giving your testimony."  Hanosh looked at the judge.  "That's all I have for this witness, your honor."

"Mr. Slade?" Judge McDowell said.

The defense attorney walked up to the witness box with a false smile on his face.

"Carl.  May I call you Carl?"

"If you want."

"Would you consider yourself to be a 'good boy,' Carl?"


"Did you ever disobey your father?"

"No," Carl said.

"Did you and your brother have a curfew at your house?"


"What was that curfew?"

"For me, 10 p.m. on school nights, midnight on weekends."

"Were you ever late?"

"Once in awhile."

"How late?"

"A few minutes."

"How many is a few?"

"Several minutes.  I didn't keep track."

"When you were late, what did your father say or do?"

"He would yell at me, and take away some privilege."

"Like what?"

"He wouldn't let me use the car."

"He provided you with a car?"


"What kind of car?"

"A Cadillac Escalade."

"What year of a Cadillac?"

"This year."

"That was pretty nice of him, wasn't it?"


"So, your father wasn't such a terrible father after all, was he?"

"Not when it came to providing a car," Carl answered.  "Of course, he's a car dealer.  It didn't cost him anything."

"Move to strike as unresponsive, your honor," Slade said.

"Sustained," the judge said.  "Just answer the questions, son, don't embellish."

"Yes, sir," Carl said.

"Have you ever used illegal drugs?" Slade asked, taking a shot in the dark.

Ian got to his feet.  "I object, your honor, on the grounds that answering this question may incriminate my client, and also because the question is irrelevant."

"I join the objection, your honor," the assistant AG said, "on the same two grounds."

"Attempting to show a pattern of behavior on the witness's part, your honor," Slade said.

"Sidebar, Judge?" Ian asked.

"Yes," McDowell said, waving the attorneys forward.

"Judge," Ian said, "May I call to the court's attention the constitutional prohibition against self-incrimination.  That certainly would apply in the instant matter."

"If this boy used illegal drugs, it substantiates his need for discipline which a father can and should provide," Slade said.  "It could be considered a mitigating factor in the alleged occurrence."

"A mitigating factor for rape!  Your honor...!" Hanosh snorted.

"I'll allow the boy to take the fifth on questions which might incriminate him," McDowell said, almost against his will.  "Step back."

Ian and Richard Hanosh returned to their tables as Jeffrey Slade prepared to continue.

"The clerk will read the last question," the judge instructed.

"Mr. Slade:  'Have you ever used illegal drugs?'" the clerk said.

"I will state for the record at this time," Judge McDowell said, "that the witness, a minor child, declines to answer the question on the grounds that it might tend to incriminate him.  Proceed, Mr. Slade."

"Let me review the information you've given me so far, Carl.  You stated you are 'a good boy,' that you didn't disobey your father, but that you sometimes didn't keep your curfew.  You say that your father provided you with a new Cadillac Escalade to drive..."

"Your honor, is the defense planning to ask a question anytime soon?" Hanosh stood and interrupted.

Before the judge could respond, Slade asked, "Carl, would you say, then, that you and your brother had a good life under your father's supervision?  Did he feed you, clothe you, provide you with spending money, and generally supervise and support you while you were under his roof?"

Carl's eyebrows shot up and his face grew grim.  "Yes, he did all those things for me--until the day he beat me and raped me!"

Yes!! Ian thought to himself.  Slade left himself wide open for that.  Good for Carl!

"Move to strike, your honor," Slade said, his face red.  "Unresponsive, and relying on facts not in evidence."

"Overruled," McDowell said reluctantly, "pending confirmation by other witnesses of the witness's physical condition following the alleged incident to which Carl Emrick has already testified."

"That's all I have for this witness at this time," Slade said.  "But the defense reserves the right to recall this witness for additional questions at a later time."

"Very well," Judge McDowell said.  "The witness may step down."

Carl stood up, left the witness stand, and walked back to the table where Ian was seated.  The boy sat down, and Ian leaned over to him.

"Perfect, Carl.  Great job!" Ian whispered to him.  "I'm really proud of you."

Their eyes met, and Ian nodded to emphasize his words.  If I did well, it was thanks to you, Ian, Carl thought to himself in relief.

"Mr. Hanosh?" the judge said.

"The State calls Dr. Earl Junius," Hanosh said.

"Dr. Earl Junius to the stand," the bailiff said.

Junius came forward, took the oath, and stepped into the witness box.  He was a tall, distinguished looking man, well dressed in an imported tweed suit.  Savile Row.

"Dr. Junius, please identify yourself for the record," Hanosh said.

"Earl P. Junius, M.D., Ph. D." the man said.

"What is your main field of interest within the medical profession, Doctor?"

"I'm a pediatrician, with a specialty also in adolescent medicine."

"Have you treated cases of abuse and/or neglect before?"

"Yes, I have, unfortunately.  Many such cases."

"Tell me the circumstances under which you met the young man, Carl Emrick."

"I received a call from Attorney Ian Carson of San Francisco on April 7, asking me to make myself available to examine a boy at a cabin in the Big Sur.  Mr. Carson was very persuasive, so I canceled my remaining appointments for the afternoon.  Mr. Carson picked me up and drove me to the Big Sur along with you and Ms. Lauren Reed, Associate Director of California Child Protective Services," Dr. Junius said.

"What did you find there when you arrived?"

"I found the victim, Carl Emrick, there with Captain Tom Ridenour of the California Highway Patrol and two young friends of Carl Emrick."

"What occurred after you arrived?"

"After greetings, introductions and some questions, Ms. Reed asked Mr. Carl Emrick if she and I could conduct a physical examination of him in private.  Carl Emrick agreed, and we went into one of the bedrooms."

"What happened next?"

"Carl removed most of his clothes, and I took a sheet from the bed and wrapped it around him.  Then Mrs. Reed and I began the examination."

"What did you find?"

Dr. Junius became agitated.

"I found one of the worst cases of child abuse I have seen in my career," Junius said angrily.  "We found numerous welts all over the boy's back, buttocks and legs, probably made with a whip or rod of some kind.  He was also bleeding from the rectum, indicating to me that the boy had been penetrated, perhaps sexually."

"Objection, your honor," Slade said.  "Speculation."

"I will elicit further information on that topic, Judge," Richard Hanosh said.

"Overruled," Judge McDowell said, "subject to connection."

"What did you do next, Doctor?"

"Mrs. Reed and I went back to the other room and discussed our findings, and I signed a form from Child Protective Services which stated that there was sufficient evidence of child abuse to recommend immediate removal of Carl Emrick and his younger brother from their home, pending further examination."

"What happened next?"

"Based upon our findings, you, in your capacity of Assistant Attorney General, telephoned Judge McDowell, and asked for an immediate hearing.  As a result of the hearing, the two boys were placed in the custody of Child Protective Services, and Mrs. Reed designated Mr. Carson and his wife as their emergency foster parents."

"And then?"

"Captain Ridenour executed an arrest warrant on the defendant, placing him in custody, and Mr. Carson and I took Carl Emrick and Dan Emrick to San Francisco General Hospital for a more thorough examinations.  Dan Emrick was in good shape.  Carl was not, having suffered, as I had discovered earlier, innumerable welts on his back, buttocks and legs.  In addition, Carl's rectum was bleeding.  Dr. George Suthon, a colleague of mine at the hospital, and I used a sexual assault kit, and sent a swab of his rectum to the certified forensics laboratory on the premises."

"What was the result of that test," Hanosh asked.

"The victim, Carl Emrick, had been penetrated sexually, and the semen found there was subsequently matched to a DNA sample taken from the defendant in jail."

"Your honor; I present the test results from the forensic lab at San Francisco General Hospital into evidence.  Please mark as State exhibit 1.  Doctor, were there photographs taken of the boy's injuries?"

"Yes, there were photographs taken at the scene of the original examination down in the Big Sur."

"Your honor, with the court's permission, I will show the jury the photographs of Carl Emrick's injuries and submit them into evidence."

"Proceed," Judge McDowell said.

Hanosh punched the appropriate keys on his computer, and the pictures of Carl and his welts began appearing on a large screen TV at the side of the room.  Ian and Carl heard gasps from some of the jurors.

After the pictures were shown, Hanosh removed a disk from his computer, put it in a CD envelope, and gave it to the clerk.  "Your honor, I ask that the pictures on this disk be label State exhibit 2.

"Granted," McDowell said.

"Doctor, what did you and your colleague do at the conclusion of the examination?" Hanosh asked.

"After consultation,  Dr. Suthon prescribed the victim some painkillers, and Carl Emrick and his brother were released from the hospital in the custody of Ian Carson, who dropped me off at home."

"Have you spent any time since then with Carl Emrick?"


"Thank you, Dr. Junius," Richard Hanosh said.  "That's all I have for this witness, your honor."

"Mr. Slade?" the judge said.  "Cross examination?"

"I have just one question for the witness," Slade said, standing up at the defense table.  "How did the sexual assault kit get to the lab at San Francisco General Hospital?"

"An orderly took it there," Dr. Junius said.

"Your honor, that orderly is here in the courtroom waiting to testify to the fact, if needed, that he transported the assault kit to the lab," Hanosh said.

Slade's face turned grim, his hope of challenging the chain of custody of the assault kit dashed.  Ian grinned.

"That's all the questions I have of Dr. Junius at this time," Slade said.  "But the defense reserves the right to recall this witness at a later time."  The defense attorney sat down.

Judge McDowell looked at his watch.  "I think this is a convenient stopping point for the afternoon.  We'll stand in recess until 9 a.m. tomorrow."  He banged the gavel, and started to stand up when there was a ripping sound in the courtroom from the defense table.

Walter Emrick's head was drooping, his hands under the table.  Those hands emerged with a gun with a piece of gray duct tape still clinging to the handle, as he swiveled around and pointed the weapon at Carl Emrick across the room.

Ian Carson and Carl Emrick had just started to stand, and Ian pushed Carl behind him as the gun fired.

"Damn!" Ian said as a bullet struck him, and he began to sink to the floor.  Carl caught him and eased him down.

Several women on the jury began screaming.

Captain Ridenour, realizing that he didn't have his sidearm on him, instantly sat down and pulled up his right pant leg to remove a .38 snub nose revolver from his ankle holster.  Standing up in a crouch, he took careful aim with both hands from his vantage point in the public seating, and fired two shots at Walter Emrick.

© 2007 Don Hanratty

Thanks for your patience in waiting for this chapter of Belovèd.  I've been on vacation.

Thanks to Dan, Craig K. and Mike G. for their proofreading skills.