Justice Watch: A Failed System The Victim X Story (Part I)

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Justice is elusive. For every Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and Eric Schneiderman, millions of other perpetrators remain free to rape and sexually assault and those victims never get their day in court. I know I’m one of them.

Race has become a pressure cooker in our modern times. Movements demanding police accountability create nationwide protests, even global protests. Social media has united the millions with a personal story apart from the catalyst of change.

Stories from all races and ethnicities of discrimination, overstepping power, and racial profiling. What can be worse? Negating the crime was a crime. Just as subduing a suspect once never equated to murder, negating a crime stops all recourse for victims and provides an escape clause to the powerful, wealthy, affluent, and even those who cling to their coattails with concocted lies.

The forerunners, the brave women who spoke out against Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein, Eric Schneiderman and every other rapist who hides behind power and privilege, helped me hope that maybe one day, I too would see justice.


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When Power and Privilege Clash

I am Victim X, a pseudonym I created to allow myself privacy and anonymity and still tell the story of the violence and abuse of the system. 

I was victimized, raped and held against my will by individuals affiliated with two powerful Manhattan organizations: a Wall Street law firm, where I had been employed for nearly four years and an inner city religious organization which, I had been attending for about the same time. 

The law firm located in downtown Manhattan, in a neighborhood known as The Battery, was the kind of New York establishment whose partners had their names etched in the marble buildings located around city associated with the arts and legal community.

The inner city religious organization I had also been attending was then led by a well-known preacher who had some level of notoriety; a book, of a single event that has been disputed as a combination of fact and fiction, which still earns his heirs royalties and a studio theatrical release of the biopic adapted from the story.

After which I was tossed aside, kicked to the gutter, buried under lies, and my life as I had planned was destroyed so those responsible could maintain theirs.

Since that time, I've been systemically discriminated, I've lost the economic value of my career, I've been stalked, followed, defamed, circumvented, stolen from, terrorized, with repeated attempts to silence me through any means, including reputational damage meant to destroying my credibility as a witness/survivor, and have had every private moment watched. I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress disorder stemming from the violence. Knowing the battle I faced, any medication that dealt with the disorder were out. I became the only player in my recovery. 


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Now, the public understands there is no depth the affluent won't reach into to save and protect themselves and their own, and clearly no low too deep for those who depend on Sunday morning offering to pay the bills.

It's always important in these cases that include allegations against the affluent, wealthy, powerful, to include up front, as the first order of business for any detectives or prosecutor is to side with the accused, that I have journals daily entries from the time. I followed through on every process necessary to ensure justice.

I knew from the beginning that justice would be a hard-won fight.  A battle with Goliath's usually end only one way. 

A New York Dream

I invested heavily in my future. I graduated from New York University in 1995. My pursuits were dual, at the time, I had taken acting classes at NYU and received positive feedback and I knew I had the skills, education, and even at that time a growing portfolio as a News reporter.

First, micro-community-based news reporting at Suffolk county community college where I was fortunate to secure big name interviews with Suffolk County Politicians, the DA and worked with a local daily newspaper reporter from the Long Island Newsday.


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After graduating I stayed on at the University working as the Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies in Journalism department and then after two years moved to the English Literature department. I had a gift for efficiency and was handle to multi-task and mange a department of 600 students and faculty.

My Big Break (I thought)

I began my acting studies early, while still working in the J-Department. One Friday morning, after just picking up my first set of headshots the night before and debating should I staple or glue my meager resume, opportunity knocked.

A PA from the Academy Award winning director Martin Scorsese's office telephone, and I happen to answer the phone. By that afternoon, I had talked my way into the offices and was sitting with his then wife, and producer, Barbara Defina.

She handed the sides for a Newscaster role in the 1995 Universal film Casino and explained "you won't be in the movie." I understood she asked to read and told me to return the next day prepared to shoot the scene.

I studied print journalism. I spent the next twelve hours watching CNN and listening to anchors and walked in the next day, as prepared as I could be.  I was responsible for my own hair, make-up and wardrobe, which were not as perfect as I would have hoped. The lines,  however, I believed I nailed.

Academy Award winning film editor Thelma Schoonmaker ran the shoot and said, "That's the tone I'm looking for." Her words were gold. I was willing to work without a fee, but they were generous and paid me for my time and paid my crew and provided car service to our destination.

I was thrilled to have received the opportunity. The encouragement were nuggets and added to my belief that I was on the right track. That instinct, or God, were guiding me, and I felt I was understanding the direction.

After this opportunity, people in my life became antagonists, for the tiniest and unusual infractions, friends were angry, and refusing to reconcile. Suddenly as someone once said, "the punishment doesn't fit the crime."

I'm Headed For the Big Time

So, I immediately followed up. By this time, I had been taking private acting lessons with Acting Lion Penny Templeton, (who coaches many well-known actors) whom I met while monitoring the rooms for what were then the Cable Ace Awards.


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I was still high on my Martin Scorsese screen test, so I moved forward with securing a more formal acting education. My first attempt at acting school was NYU's TISCH School of the Arts. As an employee of NYU, I received tuition remission and thought I had a little more leverage at admission. I was a doe in headlights. The level of talent at the auditions threw me and I was shell-shocked. I had to regroup.

Not to be dissuaded, as I had an educational background, I had no concern about contacting Julliard. I believed strongly enough in my own talent and direction. I spoke with the Director of Admissions who explained, as it was March 1998, I wouldn't have time to complete the entire application process before the deadline date but "you might try Circle in The Square Theater School," and provided a contact name.

I eventually auditioned for Circle in the Square Theater School and was accepted. I wish I could say, this was the beginning of an illustrious career.

In fact, this accomplishment, this affirmation, was the time that I discovered, in neon, that ambition was an insidious seductress and like few years later when I felt compelled, backed into a corner, without recourse, to blow the whistle on the practices I witnessed and endured at the Wall Street law firm, I essentially, signaled my own demise.

 

Justice Watch: A System Failed, is the first installment of a series of articles detailing the breakdown of the justice system in New York and New Jersey and the depths members of the legal community will reach into to stop prosecution when power and privileged clash.

Justice Watch and The Victim X Story, both WGA-E registered. are the property of Janet Walker.

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