Final Thoughts about Danford Grant

This blog started as a piece about a tragedy - for the victims, their families, the family of the offender, and the community, but it's turned into a piece about gratitude.

 I'd been thinking about the Danford Grant case for some time - the accomplished attorney who was on trial for violently raping several women - before I went to the sentencing on May 19th.

Over the past two-years there has been considerable attention to Grant's background and his accomplishments. People struggled with how to reconcile what seemed to be two incompatible personas- one a successful attorney, former city prosecutor, and father of three; the other a man with a hidden deviance; whose behavior was premeditated and heinous.

Two days before the trial was to start, Grant pleaded to five counts of rape and one count of burglary.  He avoided a lengthy and public trial by accepting an agreed upon plea and a sentence of 25 years.  

All of the women who were victimized wanted to stay out of the public eye. From their perspective speaking out publicly would bring shame to their families and deepen the pain they still suffered.

Each of the women wrote a letter to the judge. They described their continued fear, panic attacks, and the profound changes in their lives since the assault. One sold her business because having been raped there; she could no longer work in that environment. Another talked about not being able to use a knife in the kitchen because it reminded her of the knife Grant held against her face.

These women wanted to put this nightmare behind them, to move on with their lives.  It would have been easier not to report, and not to participate in the legal system. But they did.

These five women courageously reported and participated in the legal process. Even with the visibility this high profile case generated, they were prepared to go to trial. The husband of one of the women described his wife’s bravery as she walked into the defense interview – ‘chin held high; determined to defend her honor and reputation.’

 And at the last minute, Grant pleaded guilty.

We owe these women our gratitude and respect for what they chose to do.  As a result of their strength and perseverance Grant will be in prison for a minimum of fifteen years. He will not be able to victimize any more women for a very long time.

Through their actions these five women have paved the way for others to speak up and for friends and families to support them.

I want to thank each of them for being willing to stand up.  Each has a difficult journey as they face the emotional trauma inflicted on them. KCSARC, along with others in the community, are ready to help.

In our eyes they are heroines.

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