Men in My Town

Smith asks Senate Judiciary Committee to End Statute of Limitations in Sex Crimes Against Children

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on September 17, 2011

 

TRENTON, NJ – Keith Smith testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee asking members for their support of Senate Bill S-2405. If passed, the Bill will revoke the existing statute of  limitations in civil actions for sexual abuse, sexual assault and rape. The current two-year statute of limitations will be removed, allowing victims to indefinitely seek justice in civil courts from perpetrators of sex crimes against children.

After hearing over four hours of testimony, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 9 – 0 in favor of the Bill, moving S-2405 out of Committee for consideration by the full Senate.

Smith said, “We’re one step closer to changing the law in New Jersey, a law that will end the Statute of Limitations in Civil Actions for Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault and Rape of children.”

Smith is a survivor of a stranger abduction sexual assault and author of Men in My Town.

The transcript of his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee is printed below.

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Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee,

I’m appearing before you today to ask for your support of S-2405 sponsored by Senators Joseph Vitale and Nicholas Scutari. If passed, this bill would remove the current statute of limitations in civil actions for sexual abuse of a minor and expand the categories of persons and entities potentially liable for sex crimes committed against children.

For the past 15 years, I have been a member of the board of directors of a 501 (C)(3) social service agency providing crisis intervention counseling services to child victims of sexual abuse, 6 of those 15 years as the Chairman of the Board. Today I’m here in a different role. Today, I’m here to speak with you as a survivor of sexual violence.

In 1974, I was abducted, beaten and raped by a stranger; a recidivist, pedophile predator hunting for boys in my childhood hometown of Lincoln, Rhode Island.

I’m not here to tell my story, but to ask you to help the children of New Jersey and adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse by supporting S-2405 as proposed, without revisions.

Children who are victims of sexual abuse often resort to inappropriate behaviors to cope as they suffer through physical, emotional, behavioral and social problems directly related to their abuse.

Some turn to drugs and alcohol, drop out of school, run away from home, suffer from eating disorders, sleeping disorders, personality disorders, stress, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome and life threatening sexually transmitted disease.

Some children have difficulty forming trusting relationships, resort to physical violence, sexual promiscuity and inappropriate and sometimes criminal sexually reactive behavior.

Some resort to cutting, self-mutilation and in the most extreme cases they’ve murdered their abuser while others contemplate, attempt or commit suicide.

Directly attributable to their sexual abuse, victims often suffer these enduring problems throughout their adolescence and into adulthood, many suffering through decades of silence, never disclosing their abuse.

But why not? Why don’t they disclose?

Children and adults remain silent out of misplaced guilt, fear, shame, embarrassment and under threat of violence from their perpetrators, threats of violence directed to the child or their family.  In time, often in a number of years that far surpass the current 2 year statute of limitations, some victims of childhood sexual abuse get the strength to come forward, the strength to speak out, the strength to face the demons that haunt them and the perpetrator of their abuse. Unfortunately, the amount of time that lapses between the sex crime committed against the child and the date the adult survivor comes forward seeking justice, often exceeds the current 2 year statute of limitations and dissolves the possibility of civil action.

I agree with the sponsoring Senator’s position that eliminating the existing statute of limitations in sexual abuse cases would be in the interest of justice and respectfully request your support for S 2405.

Senators, it saddens me to say that sex crimes committed against children will never stop. The life altering physical, emotional, behavioral and social side effects of sexual abuse, suffered by children into adulthood, last a lifetime. Shouldn’t a victims’ ability to bring civil action against perpetrators of sex crimes last just as long?

Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you this afternoon.

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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.

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Read Chapter 1 free on your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry or Kindle

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on December 24, 2010

Read the first chapter of “Men in My Town” FREE on your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry or Kindle.

Just click this link, go to the green box labeled, KINDLE EDITION, located half way down the right side of the screen, then click ‘Read First Chapter Free.” Enjoy Chapter 1 of 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. Based on Actual Events.  

Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com

Keith discusses “Men in My Town” with Dr. Teena Cahill

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on November 18, 2010

 

Click this link to watch Keith discuss Men in My Town with Dr. Teena Cahill on “Wisdom and Beyond.”

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Keith Smith is a Stranger Abduction Sexual Assault Survivor and author of Men in My Town.  He’s available as a Keynote 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.”

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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.

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

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

Men in My Town profiled in the Fall Issue of Providence College Magazine

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on October 27, 2009

Keith Smith’s Men in My Town is profiled in the Fall Issue of Providence College Magazine 9781439226254-FrontCover

In Graduates’ Literary Work Hits the Bookshelf we get an inside look at Keith Smith’s recently released bio-novel, Men in My Town. In Men in My Town, Smith tells the shocking but compelling story of the abduction, beating, and rape of a teenage boy, followed by the unsolved murder of his assailant. Making the narrative even more gripping is that the protagonist and victim was Smith himself. “I wrote the story to raise awareness of male sexual assault, to let other victims know that they’re not alone and to help victims 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,” he said. “For those who suffer in silence, I hope my story brings some comfort, strength, peace, and hope.”

Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Available now at Amazon.com in Trade Paperback and Kindle.

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com

A Conversation with Keith Smith, Author of Men in My Town

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on June 30, 2009

Q: Keith, I understand you’ve recently finished writing a book. Tell us about it.

A: The book is titled, Men in My Town. It’s a suspense novel based on the true story of the abduction, beating and sexual assault of a 14-year-old boy in Lincoln, Rhode Island in 1974 and the brutal unsolved murder of his attacker in Providence in 1975.

Q: What can you tell us without spoiling the plot for those who haven’t yet read the book?9781439226254-FrontCover

A: The story focuses on the young boy’s relationship with a few men in his town, men who are close to the boy and his family, men who watch over him, men that protect him after he’s been assaulted. They’re good men with the capacity to do bad things. It’s a story that causes the reader to revisit their position on the question, “Does the end ever justify the means?” and vividly juxtaposes the good and evil that can exist simultaneously in every man.

Q: Why did you write Men in My Town?

A: There are a number of reasons. First, it’s a good story worth telling. It’s a gripping suspense novel with a storyline that includes characters based on real people, real places and real events. It’s a glimpse into the street hustle hiding in the peaceful suburbs of Providence, Rhode Island in the 1970’s, complete with gamblers, bookies, car thieves, petty criminals, organized crime, hard-working honest men and a murderer or two.  Secondly, Men In My Town is my personal story. I am the 14-year-old boy in the story and only a few people, very few people, know what really happened to me on that cold winter night in 1974. I wrote Men in My Town to stop keeping this secret from the people closest to me, people I care about, people I love, my long-time friends and my family.  And finally, I wrote the story to raise awareness of male sexual assault, to let other victims know that they’re not alone and to help victims 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.

Q: Why did you wait 35 years to tell this story?

A: I’ve been silent because of shame and guilt. I was ashamed that a man sexually assaulted me. My guilt was based on wanting to protect my protectors, to eliminate the possibility that someday, someone would get arrested and perhaps go to jail for killing the guy for what he did to me. I’ve been fighting these thoughts, these feelings, these emotions, for decades and I’m finally able to properly deal with these things. I now realize that I shouldn’t feel ashamed or guilty because I’m not responsible for what my attacker did to me… and I’m not responsible for what others may have done to him.

Q: What makes Men in My Town unique?

A: It’s unique because it’s the only fact-based suspense novel that I’m aware of that deals with the subject of male sexual assault and the unsolved murder of the pedophile rapist. It’s unique because there aren’t many novels set in Rhode Island and this is the first novel ever set in the Town of Lincoln. Men in My Town is unique in that it helps people understand that violent crimes against children can occur anywhere, even in bucolic, beautiful, sleepy little suburban towns like Lincoln, Rhode Island.

Q: Are there other works, either books or movies, that you think are similar to Men in My Town?

A: Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River comes to mind. Mystic River opens with the abduction and sexual assault of a young boy from a tight knit, working class suburb of Boston. It deals with pedophilia, murder, secrets, average guys, cops and criminals. Michael Corrente’s movie Federal Hill, set in Providence, deals with relationships between close friends, organized crime and what I refer to as ‘street hustle.’ If you’re familiar with either Mystic River or Federal Hill, you may see similar themes in Men in My Town.

Q: How long did it take you to write this book?

A: The story has been with me since 1974 so I can actually say it took me 35 years to write this book. The actual writing, putting pen to paper, hammering out the story, revising drafts, took about 6 months; working with editors, literary agents and publishers took the project out to a full year.

Q: How did you write Men in My Town? What was your process?

A: I wrote this story inside out. I didn’t start by writing chapter one, page one. Instead, I listed the events that I wanted to write about, the places I wanted readers to visit, the characters I wanted readers to meet and the emotion I wanted readers to feel. I wrote sections one at a time capturing the events, places, characters and emotion, then pieced them together in a sequence that made the story whole, like a quilt.

Q: I understand you left Rhode Island in 1982. What do you miss about Rhode Island?

A: I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s in the Fairlawn section in the south end of Lincoln, 4 miles north of Providence. Everyone on my block knew my brothers, my sisters, my mom, my dad and me. People went to baseball games at the field in the fall, skated on the pond in the winter and lined up on Smithfield Avenue to watch the Memorial Day parade in the spring. There was a wonderful sense of community, security, peace. People sat on their porches and knew their neighbors. Neighbors watched out for one another, took care of each other. I miss that. I also miss coffee milk, clear chowda, clam cakes, great Italian food on Federal Hill and the beaches from Narragansett to Watch Hill.

Q: Well we’re glad you’re back in Rhode Island, at least for today. Keith, how do we get a copy of Men in My Town?

A: Men in My Town is available now on Amazon.com. You can pick up a copy of Men in My Town at all public libraries in Rhode Island and public libraries in Mercer County, New Jersey. If your local library doesn’t have a copy in their collection, they’ll typically order one after they receive a few requests, so please visit your local library and ask them to stock a copy or two. Discounts on orders for 10 or more books are available, just email your request to MenInMyTown@aol.com.

Q: Thanks for being with us tonight.

A: It was my pleasure. Thank you for the opportunity to talk about Men in My Town.

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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. 

Men in My Town by Keith Smith.

Available now at Amazon.com

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com

 

BookReview.com rates Men in My Town, “Very Good.” Cites novel as “Compelling storytelling… a rare, reassuring tale of vigilante justice.”

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on June 9, 2009

Books-and-Reviews

9781439226254-FrontCover

In 1974, a young man was abducted and raped by a total stranger. Using his wits, the boy is able to make identifying markings on his attacker’s car, and he memorizes the license plate, enabling the police to identify and arrest the man. One year later, the boy’s attacker is found brutally beaten and murdered, yet his murder is never solved. “Men in My Town” is based on the author’s own experiences, and blends together the author’s own account of the events that occurred, and fictional speculation of what may have happened to his attacker.

Compelling storytelling in the opening chapters draw in the reader and keeps the reader interested through the concluding chapters. Author Keith Smith describes the residents of Lincoln and their relationships to each other in elaborate detail to show how this network of men may have banded together to track down the attacker and arrange his murder. The interesting cast includes a bookie, gamblers, lawyers, and a tailor, all who may have played some role in the plan. The author also traces the attacker’s steps both before and after the rape, leading up to his murder, following him even through other attacks on young men. While the story often feels disjointed, one can imagine the difficulty involved in Smith revisiting the attack and trying to get inside the thoughts of his attacker.

Men in My Town” tells a rare, reassuring tale of vigilante justice. While the authorities failed the author as a young man, pushing back the rapist’s trial gradually for over a year, the men of Lincoln stepped in to provide necessary resolution and relief.

Men in My Town by Keith Smith.

Available now at Amazon.com.

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com

Sex Abuse Victim Finds Solace in Written Word

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on May 25, 2009

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Monday, May 25, 2009

BY MICHELE ANGERMILLER

EAST WINDSOR — March 1, 1974, was like any other day for Keith Smith.

The then 14-year-old boy attended a hockey team meeting at his coach’s barbershop in Lincoln, R.I., after school. Around 6 p.m., Smith headed home, but made a decision that forever altered his life.

“I decided to hitchhike,” he said. “A car pulled up to me, opened the door, and I got in.” What happened next is every parent’s nightmare — Smith was beaten and raped by a serial pedophile — a 29-year-old man who had been arrested, jailed and released many times before the abduction.

“It is the real story of a 14-year-old kid who was assaulted by a man not familiar to the victim,” said Smith, who now resides in East Windsor with his wife and two daughters. “He was a stranger. I did not know him.”

Smith, who until January was employed as a vice-president at Merrill Lynch, recounts the details of that horrible night in his new novel, “Men in My Town.” It is the story of Smith’s ordeal and the subsequent events that remain a mystery to this day.

According to Smith, his assailant was never convicted of the crime because he was found brutally beaten to death in the streets of Rhode Island one year later. “Men in My Town” is Smith’s catharsis. It is also a fictionalized composite of the characters he grew up with and an imagining of who may have killed the predator.

“The book has a few different angles,” Smith said. “The man who attacked me owned an adult book store, and went to prison for distributing pornography. So maybe the mob killed him. Maybe he had ties to organized crime.”

Another theory in the book is that he was killed for what happened to Smith, although the boy kept the ordeal a secret for 35 years.

Photo by Butch Adams / The Times

Smith retells the events of that night as if it happened yesterday. His voice shakes with the memory as he tells his cautionary tale of what happens when you get into the wrong car, in his case a purple AMC Gremlin.

“I asked him if he could drop me off at a business called ‘Hartley’s Pork Pies,’ and he drove right past it,” he said. “I then told him to pull over at the Fairlawn Lincoln fire station, and he drove right past that. I knew I was in trouble.”

The driver remained silent for an eighth of a mile before he slowed down to make a right hand turn. Smith’s plan was to open the door and roll out of the car, but the man had it rigged so the car door wouldn’t unlock.

“When the door didn’t open, he pounded me on the side of my face with his fist,” he said. “I was trapped in the car.”

Smith then made a conscious effort to memorize the license plate number written on the inspection sticker, which was located on the passenger side of the car windshield. He scratched the inside of the door with his fingernails so investigators would have evidence he was in the vehicle.

“I kept thinking, ‘if I live through the night, I will make him pay,'” he said.

After the attack, Smith was let out of the car. He found a broken cement block on the ground and hurled it at the man’s car as he drove away, smashing the entire rear window.

Smith ran, cowering under parked cars in fear that the stranger would come back to harm him. Eventually, he made it home. His father, Albert, and his brother, Brian, immediately knew something was wrong. After he told them everything, he was brought to the police station.

When the suspect, who Smith calls “Ronald Kohl” — not his real name — in his book, was arrested, the boy was asked to identify the man in a photo lineup. Smith was asked to testify at the indictment that summer, and a trial date was set. “Kohl” was released on bail.

Then nothing happened. A year went by, and no trial. One week before the trial date, in August, 1975, “Kohl” was found beaten to death in the streets of Providence, and left out in the open to rot.

Smith’s book explores the still unsolved crime of the man who assaulted him. The release of the book on March 16 broke the silence he kept for 35 years about what happened that night.

“Why write the book?” he said. “It is based on real characters and real events that happened in my neighborhood. It is also about the men in my town. Some were gamblers; some were car thieves, or organized crime guys. A lot of them were regular hardworking guys.”

“Some people say to me the men in my town were bad men,” he said. “I say they were good men with the capacity to do bad things.”

The seeds of the novel were planted two years ago, when Smith started writing notes to himself as a way of preparing himself to tell his two daughters, aged 15 and 20, what happened. He kept writing, and completed the tome in December, 2008.

“People ask me how long it took to write the book, and I tell them 35 years,” he said.

Smith went to a few agents and publishers, and decided to self-publish with the Amazon.com “BookSurge” program.  He says about 400 copies have sold through Amazon.com. The book is available by “print on demand,” which Smith says is a very “green way to publish.” “You order your book, they print up one copy and mail it to the customer,” he said.

Writing the book has been therapeutic for Smith, who now serves as a trustee of a nonprofit organization called PEI – Kids in Lawrence, helping young victims deal with trauma.

Already Smith has received letters from other victims who found his book online.

“I have gotten e-mails from around the world,” he said. “I heard from a woman that lives in an American Indian tribe in Northern Michigan, on the Canadian border. She told me there is an epidemic with boys being assaulted on Indian reservations, and she is using my book to help teenage boys be comfortable with confiding in an adult if it happens to them.”

Does Smith believe his attacker got the proper comeuppance?

“My neighborhood was safer because he was no longer around,” he said. “That animal that grabbed me was trolling my neighborhood looking for kids.”

Smith says now that his secret is published he is sleeping better at night. His nightmares, long triggered by news stories on television, are less frequent.

“What I want other victims to know is that they shouldn’t feel ashamed, guilty, or responsible,” he said. “I wasn’t responsible for what that guy did to me and I wasn’t responsible for what other people did to that guy.”

Men in My Town, published by BookSurge, is available for $14.99 on Amazon.com and as an “e-book” download for Kindle.  It is also available in the Mercer County Library System and on the shelves of Chicklet Books, an independent bookstore in Princeton.

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com