Men in My Town

Keith Smith participates in Oprah Winfrey’s “Landmark Show” on Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on November 13, 2010

Keith was one of 200 men who appeared with Tyler Perry in Oprah Winfrey’s ground-breaking shows on Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse.

Two shows, broadcast on November 5th and November 12th, highlight several courageous men who share their personal stories of sexual abuse and the profound effects the abuse has had on their lives.

When asked about the importance of participating in the show, Keith said, “My hope is that one boy, or one man, age 7 or 70, sees the show, sees 200 male survivors, and comes to realize they’re not alone. I hope the show allows boys and men to find the strength they need to break their silence, to speak out about their own personal abuse and be able to shed the misplaced fear, shame and guilt that has been hurting them for so long so they too can begin the transition from sexual assault victim to sexual assault survivor.”

Click here to see Oprah November 5th – 200 Adult Men Who Were Molested Come Forward

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Keith Smith, author of Men in My Town, is a Stranger Abduction Sexual Assault Survivor and a Keynote Speaker on issues of child safety. He’s available as a speaker for conferences, seminars and fundraising events benefiting non-profit organizations, government agencies, companies and professional associations dedicated to helping children who have been sexually abused. 

Here’s Keith’s story.

“At the age of 14, I was abducted, beaten and raped by a stranger. It wasn’t a neighbor, a coach, a relative, a family friend or teacher. It was a recidivist pedophile predator who spent time in prison for previous sex crimes; an animal hunting for victims in the quiet, bucolic, suburban neighborhoods of Lincoln, Rhode Island. I was able to identify the guy and the car he was driving.  Although he was arrested that night and indicted a few months later, he never went to trial. His trial never took place because he was brutally beaten to death in Providence before his court date. Thirty five years later, no one has ever been charged with the crime.”

“Out of fear, shame and guilt, I’ve been silent for over three decades, sharing my story with very few people. No more. The silence has to end. What happened to me wasn’t my fault. The fear, the shame, the guilt have to go. It’s time to stop keeping this secret from the people closest to me, people I care about, people I love, my longtime friends and my family. It’s time to speak out to raise public awareness of male sexual assault, to let other survivors know that they’re not alone and to help survivors of rape and violent crime understand that the emotion, fear and memories that may still haunt them are not uncommon to those of us who have shared a similar experience.”

___________________________________________________________________

The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack.

Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Based on Actual Events.

Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com

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KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE – Author returns to Lincoln to do just that

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on November 12, 2010

by JON BAKER                                                                                        Monday, November 8, 2010

LINCOLN — One would think the last place Keith Smith, even in adulthood, would want to visit is his hometown.

After all, this is the place where — at age 14 — he had been abducted, beaten and raped by a warped pedophile who had a penchant for violence and sexual abuse against children.

On the contrary, Smith indicated he reveled in his return to Lincoln on this October night. Surrounded mostly by close friends during his childhood and teen-age years, Smith explained to his audience the happenings of that horrifying night — March 1, 1974 — and why he kept it a secret for over three decades.

More importantly, he wanted to use his experience — including the crimes against him and how he had come to write a book entitled “Men In My Town” — to educate adults as to how they may help their own children and grandchildren avoid such wrongdoings.

There he stood, in front of old pals such as Lt. Col. Denis Riel, Tim Tapley, Mary Catherine Dalton and Arthur Jacques in a Courtyard Marriott conference room, offering his presentation, called simply “Reasonable Steps We Can Take To Keep Children Safe.”

Smith talks about the necessity of having background checks on all personnel working with children in extracurricular activities, sports programs and summer camps during his program in Lincoln. TIMES photo by BUTCH ADAMS.

“You know, I’ve wanted to host a formal event in Lincoln ever since I published ‘Men In My Town’ (in March 2009),” he stated after the program. “Although I moved away in 1982, Lincoln has always been home to me.

“In the past year, I’ve told my story to newspapers and magazines, hosted public readings (of the book) and discussed the ‘Reasonable Steps’ on radio and television programs,” he added. “I wanted to return to Lincoln, to where my secret started, to put an end to my silence; to tell my story to friends, family and fans; and offer hope to others who have shared a similar experience of sexual violence.”

Smith read the first two chapters of his novel, inspired by own facts of his abduction, then discussed rather scary statistics before driving home his five basic steps. They included “Know the facts;” “Be aware of the signs;” “Be aware of what to do;” “Know where to go;” and, finally, “Know what to say.”

Beforehand, though, Smith provided attendees some details behind that hellish crime. He talked about how he had been “thumbing” home after a hockey coach’s meeting at his barber shop that night, and felt guilty because he knew he shouldn’t have been. Once the assailant picked him up, and the youngster figured out something was seriously wrong, he tried to escape from the front passenger door, but the criminal had rigged the locking mechanism.

Likewise, he maintained he felt shame because he didn’t try hard enough to fight back.

He then explained to the audience that he had discovered via a newspaper article that his assailant had been beaten to death in August 1975, and police never did solve the murder.

“I sincerely believe that he was killed because of what had happened to me,” he noted. “There was a chance he could’ve grabbed another kid. People in the business told me he had been arrested (for similar crimes) a number of times, and I’m concerned he would’ve killed someone to stay out of jail if not for me.

“Why did I break my silence? I couldn’t take the fear, guilt and embarrassment anymore. Two years ago, I hit the wall. I jumped out of bed one night, from a sound sleep, literally screaming for help. That guilt was killing me, and that guilt came to an end that night. Was I guilty because I hitch-hiked? No! Because I didn’t fight hard enough? No!

“You’ve got to get to a point where you understand the guilt is misplaced — no more,” he continued. “Rape is not about sex, but a random act of violence. I’ve met hundreds of men, women and children who had been repeatedly attacked for weeks, months and years by people who were supposed to protect them. What happened to me was a random act of sexual violence.

“I’ve talked to a lot of guys, and explained I had a predator with a rigged car driving down Smithfield Avenue, I’m a 14-year-old hockey player with a thumb out to get a ride, so (the situation) is like a lion seeing a wounded gazelle.”

**

The author, now 51 and living in New Jersey with his family, revealed under the “Know the facts” segment that 30 percent of child victims are sexually assaulted by a core family member or relative; and 60 percent by someone known to them.

“That would be a neighbor, coach, teacher, friend of the family or clergy,” he said. “Just under 10 percent are assaulted by strangers, and fewer than one percent are abducted and sexually assaulted by strangers. The odds are 50-50 if a child is abducted or sexually assaulted by such a stranger, and that abduction lasts over three hours, the child will be murdered.”

During a book reading and autograph session for his book, 'Men in My Town,' at the Courtyard Marriott in Lincoln, author Keith Smith receives a hug from Kathy Kelley, who grew up with Smith. TIMES photo by BUTCH ADAMS.

Smith then forcefully stated, ”with 90% of childhood sexual assaults committed by someone known to the child, the risk to your children isn’t necessarily with the stranger at the park, but may very well be with the person you allow to take take your child to the park.”

He detailed how to “Be aware of the signs” — and that, sometimes, there are none at all. He spoke of the physical signs (bruises, swelling, pain, rashes, cuts and self-mutilation); emotional signs (a happy, healthy child suddenly becomes sullen, sad, depressed, has nightmares, can’t sleep, ponders suicide); and the behavioral (combative, defiant, unusual changes in friends or things they once enjoyed, age-inappropriate sexual behavior or drug/alcohol abuse).

Under the “Be aware of what to do” portion, he indicated parents should minimize the amount of “alone” time your child spends with adults, and demand that adults involved in extracurricular activities, sports, summer camps or educational lessons be subjected to mandatory background checks.

“Don’t leave children in the care of adults with known alcohol or drug problems,” he said. “Understand why a child may not tell — guilt, shame, fear — (and/or) to protect others. Use positive stories in the news as a catalyst for discussion. Tell your child now that you believe in them, they can trust you and you will help them, no matter what.”

As for “Know where to go,” Smith told attendees either to call 1-800-4ACHILD (all information will remain confidential and anonymous), or visit the Web site www.childhelp.org.

And “Know what to say” dealt with the same as No. 3 — “Tell them I believe you, you can trust me and I will help you. If you tell them those things regularly, they won’t keep quiet, and the perpetrator will get arrested.

“I’m speaking out to raise awareness of male sexual assault, to let other boys and men — seven or 70 years old — that they are not alone,” he stated. “I want to help people, help kids, learn the ‘Reasonable Steps …’ My hope is that other victims of sexual abuse, boys or girls, can come to realize that they aren’t responsible for what happened to them.

“Once they truly believe it wasn’t their fault, they may be able to shed the dangerous, misplaced guilt they carry and begin the transition from sexual assault victim to sexual assault survivor.”

**

After his program, Smith first hugged his brother, Ken, then greeted most of the approximate 30 in the audience the same way.

“I came here because we were best friends,” noted Tapley, who grew up in the Fairlawn section near the Smith homestead. “I remember my sister calling me over a year ago and saying, ‘Did you here about Keith?’ and I said, ‘No.’ She told me he had written a book, and I asked her, ‘On what?’ She said, ‘He was sexually assaulted as a boy.’ I just responded, ‘Get outta here!’

“I never knew,” he continued. “Nobody spent more time with Keith than I did. When I found out, I called him in New Jersey, and we had an emotional conversation. I asked him ‘How did I not know this? We were together in high school all the time.’ He told me had been ashamed and embarrassed, and felt guilty.

“During his presentation, I could see the emotion in him. For him to do this here, it had to be hard for him, but I could also tell by his body language that he was retracing his steps that night. It showed me he’s at peace now.”

Smith agreed.

“There’s no doubt that that discussing my story with the press, media and during public speaking engagements this has helped me heal,” he offered. “But the real healing was achieved when I started to sincerely believe. I’m not responsible for what happened to me.

“When I was able to shed the guilt, shame, embarrassment and fear — by truly believing it wasn’t my fault — I was able to make the transition … But it’s not about my personal healing. It’s about using my personal experience, and my story, to help others.”

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Keith Smith, author of Men in My Town, is a Stranger Abduction Sexual Assault Survivor and a Keynote Speaker on issues of child safety. He’s available as a speaker for conferences, seminars and fundraising events benefiting non-profit organizations, government agencies, companies and professional associations dedicated to helping children who have been sexually abused. 

The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack.  Read Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Based on Actual Events.   Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

“Keith Smith: A story of pain, fear and hope”

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on November 7, 2010

by Audra Clark, Valley Breeze Staff Writer

LINCOLN – In 1974, Keith Smith, a Lincoln teen, was abducted, beaten and raped by a stranger at the age of 14, but he still considers himself one of the luckiest people anyone could ever meet.

That night he was held captive for two hours and 15 minutes, said Smith. Forty-five more minutes and his chances of being murdered as well would have jumped to 50 percent. But he wasn’t murdered, said Smith. He survived and went on to lead a good life.

Recently, he returned to Lincoln on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at the Marriott Courtyard, 636 George Washington Highway to tell his story.

His talk included a discussion on reasonable steps to keep children safe and a reading of excerpts from his book, “Men in My Town,” about his experience dealing with what had happened to him.

On Friday, March 1, 1974, Smith said he was trying to get home after a weekly meeting with his hockey team on Front Street.

He said he walked down to Smithfield Avenue and was hitchhiking home.

Keith Smith. Stranger Abduction Sexual Assault Survivor and author of "Men in My Town."

“Back then, in 1974, to see a 14-year-old kid hitchhiking home was not all that uncommon,” said Smith.

He said a car pulled up beside him and the passenger door opened.

Smith said he got in and told the man driving to take him to Hartley’s Pork Pies.

“Very little conversation took place from the time I got in the car to the time he drove past Hartley’s Pork Pies,” said Smith. “As he drove past Hartley’s, I didn’t think anything of it. I guess I just thought he forgot where I told him I wanted to get out.”

Smith said he told the guy to drop him off just past Hartley’s, but the guy ignored him, and then he sped up.

“That’s when I realized something’s not right,” said Smith. “He definitely knew I wanted to get out and he wasn’t pulling over to let me out.”

There was a bar on the corner a few blocks down called Kiernan’s Lounge, now Brooksie’s Pub. At that intersection, he said, the man took a right onto Grafton Street.

When the man slowed down to take the turn, Smith said he saw his chance to escape and grabbed the handle on the passenger door. He said he leaned on the door figuring he would roll out onto the parking lot of Kiernan’s, but the door wouldn’t open.

Smith explained that the man was a “recidivist predator” and the door had been rigged so that once it was closed, it wouldn’t open again.

He said the man turned to him after that, punched Smith in the head and he told him, “don’t do it again.”

The man then drove up Cobble Hill Road, took a right on Louisquisset Pike past the State Police barracks and the Lincoln Downs racetrack (now Twin River), said Smith. He said eventually they arrived behind Fairlawn Golf Course off Sherman Avenue and drove down a road that was wooded and had no streetlights. Smith said the man drove off the road about 100 yards into the woods “where he proceeds to give me a beating and to sexually assault me.”

The incident occurred between 6 and 8:15 p.m., said Smith.

He said the man then took him back to Smithfield Avenue and onto Higginson Avenue toward Central Falls, and pulled into the Cote’s Meat Market parking lot.

Smith said the man got out of his car and opened up the passenger side door with a key from the outside.

“I’m not about to get out of the car because as long as I’m in the car and he’s out I’m safe,” said Smith. “He walked back around the car to get back in and as he gets on the driver’s side of his car that is when it was time for me to get out.”

He said that’s when he jumped out of the passenger side door, picked up a broken piece of cement and used to it smash the rear window of the man’s AMC Gremlin auto.

“I did that with intent,” said Smith. “I wanted to make sure I marked up his car pretty bad so that when I told the cops what he was driving there would be some way to identify it.”

Then, said Smith, he took off, running down through the parking lot of Lincoln Lanes bowling alley, what is now the Keefe Funeral Home.

He said he ran through several back yards, and street to street, hiding behind trees and cars to get home.

By this time it was dark, said Smith, and every pair of headlights seemed like it was the man, coming back to kill him.

When he got home, said Smith, his oldest brother and his father were there.

“I wasn’t in the house for a minute,” he said. His oldest brother knew something was really wrong as soon as Smith entered the house and he called to their father, said Smith. A couple of minutes later, he said, he was at the Lincoln Police station telling his story to a detective.

“It wasn’t easy,” said Smith. “but there were a couple of moments during my captivity where I said to myself, I’m not trying to be dramatic, but I did this, I said, if I live through the night, he will pay.”

He said that is what led him to read the man’s license plate, back then written on the rear of inspection stickers on the windshield, for the two hours he was captive until it was “emblazoned” in his memory.

Smith said he gave the police the description of the man, the license plate number, the car’s make and model and told them he broke the window.

Eventually the officer said “well you got the right guy,” after they ran the license plate, said Smith. The man had been arrested a number of times for sex crimes against children, said Smith.

“He was indicted, but he never went to trial because someone beat him to death before his court date,” said Smith. “No one’s ever been charged with his murder.”

Thirty-five years later, Smith said he decided to write his book, “Men in My Town,” because he was finally able to let go of the guilt and the shame of what happened to him.

He said he was ready to tell people what happened, because after three decades, less than six people ever knew that he had been raped. Even his five siblings, except for his oldest brother, and his daughters didn’t know.

The book, he said, is not about the bad guy who lived in Central Falls, but about “guys in my town.”

They were known to his family, he said, and were ever present figures in town, always at Brooksie’s or at the golf course, where Smith worked as a teen.

“They made me feel that they knew and because they knew, I was safe,” said Smith. “The book is not about a sexual assault or a brutal murder, it is a story about men who made a boy feel safe in a troubled time in his life. It is a story of hope.”

In the book, most of the names and a few of the circumstances have been changed to respect people’s privacy.

Smith said the book, which is available at amazon.com, “has done a lot for me,” and he said he hopes it helps other survivors find hope.

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The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack.  Read Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Based on Actual Events.   Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

Stranger Abduction Sexual Assault Survivor and author, Keith Smith discusses “Men in My Town” and Sexual Assault – Live Interviews

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on October 7, 2010

Click any, or all, of the links below to listen to Keith’s live interviews

Keith discusses his abduction, assault, his book and “5 Steps You Can Take to Keep Kids Safe” with Radio Talk Show host Leo Pacheco

5 Steps We Can Take to Keep Kids Safe, live from NBC Studios in New York

Making the transition from victim to Survivor on “My Time to Tell” on Blog Talk Radio

Drs. Aaron and Margaret Jamal on Blog Talk Radio “On Demand”

Keith Discusses “Five Steps We Can Take to Keep Kids Safe” on Blog Talk Radio

Dr. Teena Cahill, host of Wisdom and Beyond

Gary Koplin, host of Healthy Place TV, the web’s Mental Health Station

Greg Turner & Brian Henderson on Blog Talk Radio “On Demand”

Dr. Teena Cahill on Web Talk Radio

Bob Marrone, Morning Talk Show Host, NY Radio WVOX

Keith Smith, author of Men in My Town, is a Stranger Abduction Sexual Assault Survivor and a Keynote Speaker on issues of child safety. He’s available as a speaker for conferences, seminars and fundraising events benefiting non-profit organizations, government agencies, companies and professional associations dedicated to helping children who have been sexually abused.

Here’s Keith’s story.

“At the age of 14, I was abducted, beaten and raped by a stranger. It wasn’t a neighbor, a coach, a relative, a family friend or teacher. It was a recidivist pedophile predator who spent time in prison for previous sex crimes; an animal hunting for victims in the quiet, bucolic, suburban neighborhoods of Lincoln, Rhode Island. I was able to identify the guy and the car he was driving.  Although he was arrested that night and indicted a few months later, he never went to trial. His trial never took place because he was brutally beaten to death in Providence before his court date. Thirty five years later, no one has ever been charged with the crime.”

“Out of fear, shame and guilt, I’ve been silent for over three decades, sharing my story with very few people. No more. The silence has to end. What happened to me wasn’t my fault. The fear, the shame, the guilt have to go. It’s time to stop keeping this secret from the people closest to me, people I care about, people I love, my longtime friends and my family. It’s time to speak out to raise public awareness of male sexual assault, to let other survivors know that they’re not alone and to help survivors of rape and violent crime understand that the emotion, fear and memories that may still haunt them are not uncommon to those of us who have shared a similar experience.”

___________________________________________________________________

The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack.

Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Based on Actual Events.

Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com

“Men in My Town” featured on The Indie Spotlight

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on October 2, 2010

Click here to read Keith’s interview with The Indie Spotlight

The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack.

Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Based on Actual Events.  Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com

“Men in My Town” on You Tube

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on August 30, 2010

See scenes from the novel in the Men in My Town video with pictures of Hartley’s, Great Road, Lincoln Woods, Barney’s Pond, Chase & Butterfly Farm plus Downcity Providence set to Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” with Alicia Keys.

The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack.

Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Based on Actual Events.  Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com

Keith Smith, Author of “Men in My Town,” Guests with Mike Angley

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on August 20, 2010

Keith discusses Men in My Town with Award Winning Author, Criminal Investigator and Counterterrorism Specialist Mike Angley, Retired Colonel, United States Air Force, Office of Special Investigations (OSI).

Click here to read the interview.

The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack.

Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Based on Actual Events.  Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com

The Sparta Independent discusses “Men in My Town” in New Jersey Arts & Entertainment

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on August 4, 2010

NEW JERSEY  ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

This is an excerpt of an article published in The Sparta Independent on August 4th. For a look at the complete article featuring information on Sparta Books, [Indie}pendent Books plus authors Roy Pickering Jr., Michael Ferrari, Maura Stone,  Jo Lynne Valerie, Jennifer Topper and Estevan Vega, please visit The Sparta Independent

Indie authors gather at Sparta Books

The authors’ stories range from humor to tragedy, By Ray Smith.

SPARTA — Donna Fell knows that her bookstore, Sparta Books, cannot compete with the prices at big box chain stores. What her store can provide is the opportunity for visitors to interact with authors, staged reading promotions and a place for community members to meet.

One such event, a meet and greet with independent authors, took place on July 29.

“I myself as an independent book store owner feel I should be helping independent authors,” Fell said. “I want people to know there are some fabulous writers out there.”

This was the first time that Sparta Books hosted such an event.

Melissa DeKler is the owner of {Indie}Pendent Books and the meet-and-greet in Sparta was the first such event for her company.

DeKler focuses on independent authors and finding a way to garner some publicity for their work.

“These events are important because you get exposed to new up and coming authors,” DeKler said. “You can speak with the authors and even learn how to get your own book into the public.”

Keith Smith, author of “Men in My Town,” tells a powerful story about a 14-year-old boy who was abducted, beaten and raped in a small New England town. The 14-year-old boy is Smith.

He tells the true story of a serial pedophile who was murdered by the men that lived in Smith’s town while out on the streets awaiting trial.

“It’s not a graphic story,” Smith said. “It’s a story of my relationship with some of the men in my town between the time I was attacked and the day my attacker was beaten to death.”

35 years later, no one has been charged with the murder.

“I had to tell people what happened,” Smith said. “All of the experiences I went through made me who I am today.”

Smith doesn’t consider himself an author, but rather a “Wall Street guy who wrote a book.”

Before publishing the book, Smith wrote letters that he one day would give to his two daughters telling them about the incident. Smith is now a spokesperson for RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.

“By talking about what happened, I know I’ve helped other people who’ve been through similar experiences,” Smith said.

The event held by Sparta Books was the first meet-and-greet for independent authors at the store, but Sparta Books does hold other events.

“There are regular children story hours, other larger author events, kid party days with characters in costume, in the fall we’re going to have project days with stories and projects,” Fell said. “I really want to push the independent work and the importance of buying local.”

“I can’t compete with prices of big book stores,” Fell said. “But I focus on customer service, which includes hiring a staff that knows books. I want this community bookstore to be a community place where people can come in have meetings and seminars.”

And perhaps meet a few new and talented authors along the way.

The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack.

Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Based on Actual Events.

Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com

Remembering Denise Boudrot, Longshot Lady 1952 -2010

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on June 8, 2010

Lincoln Downs, the thoroughbred race track of my childhood hometown, is the setting for Chapter 12 of Men in My Town. In writing Lincoln Downs into the storyline, I could have written about a number of people or events but I chose to write about Denise Boudrot. The decision was intentional, precise, calculated. I wanted to introduce readers to Denise, a woman I often read about on the Sports Page of the Pawtucket Times when I was a 14 year-old boy growing up in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

Denise was a pioneer, a woman who staked her spot, who made her mark, who claimed her place in history by being a great jockey in the male dominated world of thoroughbred racing in the 1970’s. Denise wasn’t a great woman jockey… she was a great jockey.

Denise passed away May 19, 2010 at 57 from brain cancer. Her remarkable story, a tribute to her life, appeared in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Please take a moment to read the Journal article, Longshot Lady’ Jockeyed Her Way to Win in a Male Sport by Stephen Miller.

The story of Denise Boudrot…the only woman mentioned in Men in My Town.

The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack. Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Someone got away with murder… Based on Actual Events.  Available now at Amazon.com, in Paperback and Kindle. Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com

Smith Appeals to County Government to Fund Crisis Intervention Counseling Program for Child Victims of Sexual Assault

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on December 11, 2009

Keith’s comments to the Mercer County Board of Freeholders, Mercer County, NJ, December 10, 2009 as County Government considers cutting funding of Crisis Intervention Counseling Program run by PEI Kids, Inc.

My name is Keith Smith and while I’m a member of the Board of Trustees of PEI Kids, tonight I’m here in a different role. Tonight, I’m here to speak with you as a survivor of sexual violence.

In 1974, at the age of 14, I was abducted, beaten and raped by a total stranger, a recidivist, pedophile, predator hunting for young boys in my hometown of Lincoln, Rhode Island. 35 years ago, agencies like PEI Kids didn’t exist. Today, I’m glad they do.

Tonight, I’m asking you to help the children of Mercer County, victims of sexual assault and rape, right here in Mercer County. Help our children obtain the help, support, guidance and counseling they need to cope with the horror they’ve experienced and to recover from the emotional and physical trauma they suffer as victims of sexual violence.

The Trentonian ran this headline. Man Charged in Rape of Girl, 8. The article reads, “A convicted pedophile has been charged with the rape, kidnapping and attempted homicide of an 8 year old girl who was abducted from her home on February 15 and left for dead in a snow bank. Police allege Eric Lyons, 37, abducted the girl from her home, drove her about a mile away and tried to rape and strangle her. Lyons then drove the girl to a parking lot and dumped her between a fence and snow bank where police said he left her for dead. The girl was found several hours later by two truck drivers.”

Three weeks later, the Trenton Times ran this headline. Trucker Pleads in Sexual Assault. The article reads, “A truck driver has pleaded guilty in the knifepoint kidnapping and sexual assault of two 17 year olds last summer. James Randall Smith, 24, entered guilty pleas to two counts of kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault. Smith tied one victim to a signpost then drove the other victim to a rural area where he raped her and tied her to a tree. The girl freed herself and was spotted walking barefoot six hours later.”

These stories, and a hundred more stories like these, are the stories of the children who are served by the incredible people and programs of PEI Kids.

PEI Kids provides crisis intervention counseling to children who are victims of sexual assault. There is no other agency providing crisis intervention counseling services to these kids in Mercer County. Should you choose to eliminate or reduce funding for PEI’s Crisis Intervention Program, the life-altering and life-saving counseling PEI Kids provides to these children will be significantly reduced or even eliminated, leaving Mercer County’s youngest victims of sexual assault and rape, without the professional help they need to cope and recover from the horror they’ve experienced.

Without professional help to cope and recover, children who are victims of sexual assault and rape typically resort to inappropriate behaviors to cope on their own. They turn to drugs and alcohol; they drop out of school; they run away from home; suffer from eating disorders, sleeping disorders, personality disorders, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress syndrome; they resort to physical violence, sexual promiscuity and inappropriate and sometimes criminal sexually reactive behavior; they resort to cutting, self mutilation and in the most extreme cases, suicide.

Over the years, PEI Kids has led more than 4,000 of Mercer County’s children, child victims of sexual violence, to lives full of hope and promise by providing crisis intervention counseling and PEI needs continued financial support from the County to do so. The consequences to every one of Mercer County’s young victims, their families and our communities are too great for anything less.

PEI Kids provided Crisis Intervention Counseling to 238 children in 2008. 238 children who were victims of sexual abuse, sexual assault and rape. Children abused, assaulted or raped right here in Mercer County.

• 151 Girls and 87 boys.

• 3 children were 18 years old.

• 71 children were between the age of 13 and 17.

• 132 children were between the age of 6 and 12.

• 37 children were under the age of 5.

• Children from East Windsor, Ewing, Hamilton, Hightstown, Lawrenceville, Pennington, Trenton, Robbinsville and West Windsor.

In 2009 PEI Kids will see approximately 300 children, kids from every town in Mercer County. The need to provide Crisis Intervention Counseling Services to children who are victims of sexual assault still exists and isn’t going away.

PEI Kids is the only agency in Mercer County providing children with Crisis Intervention Counseling related to sex crimes.

Now, I have just one question. If you refuse to fund PEI’s program, who will help the children? In 2010, who will help Mercer County’s children who have been sexually abused, sexually assaulted or raped?

Ladies and gentlemen of the Freeholder Board, unfortunately the need to provide Crisis Intervention Counseling to children who are victims of sexual assault will never go away. The need to help child victims of sex crimes will always exist. May you find it in your hearts, your head and your budget to make sure funding for PEI’s Crisis Intervention Counseling Program for child victims of sexual abuse, sexual assault and rape also exists.

Thank you.

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Keith Smith, author of Men in My Town, is a Stranger Abduction Sexual Assault Survivor and a Keynote Speaker on issues of child safety. He’s available as a speaker for conferences, seminars and fundraising events benefiting non-profit organizations, government agencies, companies and professional associations dedicated to helping children who have been sexually abused. 

The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack.

Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Based on Actual Events.  Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com