In 1998, we moved to Germany for the second time.   It took Tom and I time to find the perfect house in Germany.  We moved into a big, single family, two-story dwelling in a small German village.  Our house was in the country with few neighbors and much land.  It was an isolated area.  There were many rooms, including a full basement (where much of the abuse occurred.)  This German house, as most, are build out of big, thick cement blocks which insulate the house from cold, heat, and from noise.

During the marriage and the abuse, I began to medicate myself with alcohol to numb the pain.  Tom and I would both drink in the evenings.  In Germany we went out to dinner frequently; and I would have a glass or two of wine.  One the drive home, Tom would buy a bottle of wine for me and during the course of the long evening (which abuse almost always occurred) I would consume the bottle.  Tom usually had a glass or two of his red wine.  I had tried to cut back on my drinking over the years and tried to enlist Tom’s help.  He enabled me by buying the wine each night and offered at times to buy cases of wine which I always refused.

Tom and I decided I would homeschool my daughter.  Our house was 20-30 minutes from the base school.  Megan was already reading and advanced for her age, although she would have been one of the youngest in her class.  Tom started taking Karate Tech classes on base and reached the level of black belt.  Megan also took Karate Tech classes.  The classes were not completely based on age; but on age and/or belt rank.

The abuse became more sadistic and ritualistic.  By now, Tom was an expert in knowing how to abuse me without leaving marks.  He was confident of his total control over me and was challenged to control not only my body, but my mind and even my soul.  Tom continued to abuse me on a nightly basis.  In time, the Karate Tech teacher, three adult male students, and one female adult student became involved in the situation as abusers — not on a daily basis, but more than a few occasions.  Later, a Catholic priest who was an Air Force Reserve priest – Fr. Kevin Randall – who I had gone to for pastoral counseling was also one of the abusers.

Tom has always told me I would not be believed and that people would think I was crazy if I ever confided to anyone regarding the abuse.  He also threatened to harm my daughter more than he already had.  During the abuse he would hurt Megan more if I did not obey Tom, and he would hurt me more if Megan did not obey Tom.  Tom also told me he would kill Megan and make it look like I did it if I told anyone of the abuse and if I did not obey him.  To say I was terrified of my husband would be a gross understatement.

In order to survive and to deal with everyday life, I subconsciously put aside all memories of the abuse because it was too painful to face, because I thought I wouldn’t be believed, and plain fear.

Without any intervention from anyone I sought help regarding my alcohol use.  After several meetings with Kevin Randall over a year or so, I again confided that my use of alcohol bothered me.  He referred me to Fr. Tom Doyle, an Air Force Catholic Chaplain who worked on Ramstein Air Base (the same base Tom worked on).  I started meeting with Tom Doyle around August 2002 regarding my alcohol issues.  I once told him I thought abuse was in my past and that I was having marital problems.  Tom Doyle referred me to a licensed marriage and family counselor (Virginia licensure) named Fr. Marcantonio.  Fr. Marcantonio is also a Catholic priest who was a priest at Landstuhl Post.  I started seeing Fr. Marcantonio for therapy in November 2002.  In December, 2002, I joined AA, attended 90 meetings in 90 days, and have been sober since.  During the last year of living in the same house with Tom, I was sober.  Tom continued to offer me wine and at times during the abuse he would try to force me to drink it.

I started to write a journal outside of the therapy sessions.  In therapy, I would read my entries to Fr. Marcantonio.  I started to let myself face the truth, to remember, and to talk about the abuse to someone I could trust.  In the journals, I would write the memories of the abuse and also my personal reflections regarding the abuse and my daily life.  At no time was I hypnotized by my therapist.  In fact, Fr. Marcantonio listened and asked questions seldomly.  My entries are detailed accounts of the abuse – both childhood and adult abuse situations.  It was difficult to share these entries; and, PTSD is an effect of the physical and psychological abuse/torture.

In the summer of 2003, I decided to call each of my siblings to speak with them of the abuse from my childhood/young adulthood.  My mother died in 1994 before Megan was born.  After that occurred, Linda and her husband, Ron, discovered through Social Security that Robert Cannon (my mother’s husband) died earlier.  He had been diagnosed as having schizophrenic after he returned from World War II.  When Robert had doubts about my being his child, he left my mother.  It is possible there were also other reasons he left.

I called my elder sister, Linda, and asked her what she remembered about the abuse towards me.  Linda has always told us that she has very little memory of her own childhood.  (I have read that is common in childhoods that contain abuse.)  Linda did not recall the abuse happening and doubted it did.  She did not deny it, just did not remember it.  Linda’s husband, Ron, was involved in the familial abuse against me; yet I felt no need or desire to speak with him.

My brother, Jim (who is now deceased), was an alcoholic who was sometimes in recovery and sometimes not.  He had been sober again for a year or so when I spoke with him about the abuse.  Jim had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and had been on medication for years.  When I discussed my past with him, he told me he loved me and he was sorry for anything that did happen.  Jim said he had some memories which related.  Others were not clear.  Again, he apologized.

My sister, Kathy (now Kathy Pranschke), had been in therapy for PTSD for many years.  She knew she had been abused by my grandmother (our mother’s mother).  Kathy denied that I was abused.  Kathy also confided that she had visited a therapist who hypnotized her.  The abuse Kathy remembered was so horrendous (closet, feces) that Kathy believed it could not have happened.  So Kathy searched for another therapist who would not recommend hypnosis. Kathy married late in life — after Tom and I had moved away and would not be returning.  Kathy’s husband, Joe, was never involved in any of the abuse against me and I doubt he knows that Kathy and Tom were sexually involved in the past.

After speaking with my siblings in the summer of 2003, I decided there was no reason for me to have further contact with any of them.  It was a decision I do not regret.  A family member can only be missed if there is authentic love involved.  Love was a word, not an action in my family of origin.  On January 9, 2005, I received a phone call from Kathy or Linda informing me that my brother, Jim, had died.  I did not return to the States for the funeral and I have not talked to anyone in my family since.

In August, 2003, I went to a psych hospital in St. Louis, MO for depression.  It was my choice.    I decided it would be good for me to get away and do something positive for myself.  I stayed there for about five days.  The psychiatrist interviewed me immediately after I arrived, which was after the long international flight.  He did prescribe zyprexa and told me it was for mood issues.  I took the medication during the short stay in the hospital, then discontinued it when I left the hospital (after discovering zyprexa wasn’t only for mood issues and because I did not see any benefit to it).  The only medication I took (besides the Zyprexa that I took during the time I stayed in the hospital) was Celexa (which I took for a year or so), anti-depressant that was prescribed to me by Dr. Susan Hendricks (a U.S. Army military psychiatrist) and thyroid medication.  Since I am a recovering alcoholic, I am and was then hesitant to take any medication.  For the past two years, I have not been on any medication except for thyroid medication.  Even when I was taking Celexa, I was on the lowest dose.

I continued to see Fr. Tom Doyle and he was my mentor and friend.  Tom Doyle and I had a mutual friend, M.  (I hesitate to use her true name because she has a child.)  One time I had M. and Tom Doyle over to my house for lunch.  M. brought her son.  Megan and M.’s son played very well together and became friends from church and outside of church.

Tom Doyle would sometimes travel.  Once he brought earrings back for M. and a set for me.  M. confided to me that she was seeing another man other than her husband.  She was in love with this person.  For whatever reason, she did not want to tell me his name, etc…  I respected that knowing that the military world is very small and she also told me it could negatively impact her husband’s career.  Eventually over time she told me that it was someone who promised to take her to Scotland (?), to this island where a monastery was located; etc..  There was at least one time when M. and I met at Tom Doyle’s house, talked, and then Tom Doyle would drive M. home instead of me driving M.  M. and I became close friends and continued to have long phone conversations after she moved from Germany to the States with her husband and son.  M. was disappointed that the relationship with the man did not go further.  She felt betrayed.  During one of these conversations she let it slip that the man was Tom Doyle; although, by this time I had put two and two together.   Tom Doyle is an advocate for victims who were abused by clergy.  He is famous in this arena.  M. wondered to me if the affair constituted abuse by a priest (clergy abuse).  She wondered if because she was an adult woman and knew he was a priest, if it was all her fault.  She wondered if she was not awed somewhat by his priestly authority.  Also, M. was around 20 years younger than Tom Doyle.  Tom Doyle knew she was married and had the affair with her.  He is still and was a priest at the time.  Those were concerns I could not answer.  M. was still in touch with Tom Doyle, knew her marriage was almost destroyed and might be destroyed by all of this, and she still had feelings for Tom Doyle.  I was a friend who listened.  I did not have answers.  M. and I stopped being in touch.  She was having physical problems as well as marital problems still.  I was trying to disentangle myself from my own problems.  I truly hope she has been able to work through her issues and is okay now.

After M. returned to the States, I was still meeting and speaking with Tom Doyle. Sometimes we would meet for coffee and other times for dinner.  Our conversation revolved around my alcohol issues, his life, my life, M., etc…  One time Tom Doyle did take me to dinner in Metz which is a town in France … and France is very close to the part of Germany we resided in.  Tom (my husband at the time) knew where I went and with whom.  He still had total control over me.  Tom never supported my recovery from alcohol, yet he never told me I could not attend AA, etc…  Tom is a very intelligent (Mensa-type), strategic man.  (For more information about perpetrators and their normal appearances see page 75  of “Trauma and Recovery” by Judith Herman.)

I continued therapy with Fr. Marcantonio and as it became clear that the abuse was still occurring, Tom was confronted by Dr. Susan Hendricks (Army psychiatrist from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center -Army) and by Fr. Marcantonio.  Tom was not only abusing me sexually, but he was also trying to get me to commit suicide by cutting myself in a specific, ritualistic manner.  Dr. Hendricks and Fr. Marcantonio did tell Tom that if anything happened to me, they would report what they knew to the police.  Basically it was a warning to Tom to stop the abuse.

The abuse did not stop, so the following week (in November 2003), Tom was confronted by Dr. Hendricks, Fr. Marcantonio, and myself.  Unbeknownst to Tom, my car held my suitcases and I was ready to leave with Megan to run to a German domestic violence shelter; but Tom unwillingly agreed (due to pressure by Dr. Hendricks) to give me the house key and he would go elsewhere.

During this time period, I withdrew around $40,000 from our joint accounts.  It was apparent I would need money for my living expenses, apartment, etc..  Tom had the job and the financial means to live.  I, as a stay-at-home housewife and homeschooling mother, didn’t.  We had around $100,000 in our joint accounts and for whatever reasons – misplaced loyalty, fairness or fear, I did not even take half of our funds.  At this point, I had been married to Tom for 19 years.

As soon as I faced the fact that my daughter was being abused by Tom and the others, the authorities were notified.  (I had told Fr. Marcantonio, who told Dr. Susan Hendricks, the psychiatrist, who then reported it to Family Advocacy at Landstuhl).  Tom is a GS employee, but we were residing in Germany and living off base.  Jurisdictional issues complicated the matter.  The Office of Special Investigations (U.S. Air Force) was notified and investigated the abuse.  The German police had actual jurisdiction because the majority of the abuse happened on German soil and because neither Tom nor I were U.S. military.  Megan and I also reported incidents of the abuse, the crime, which occurred on Ramstein Air Base in the AYA (which is the building the Karate Tech classes were held).  I was told that the OSI would complete the initial investigation, give their report to the German police, who then had jurisdiction over the case.

The OSI and Landstuhl Family Advocacy (Ava Imhof) advised me not to have Megan or I mention that Tom abused her while the investigation was underway so that the OSI would retain the element of surprise (and could search Tom’s location and investigate the others).  I listened to that advice; therefore, neither Megan nor I mentioned the abuse perpetrated by her father when we talked to the Kusel Jugendamt (German Youth authority) person, Frau Kramer or to Herr Stefan, the therapist for her supervised visitation with her father.

Unfortunately Tom discovered the investigation was underway and he called the OSI himself.  (When Tom left Germany in August 2005, I spoke with my German attorney.  He told me that the OSI report was being translated into German to be given to the German police.  But now that Tom had returned to the U.S., he said the German police would more than likely not investigate at all.)

Megan was interviewed by the OSI.  If we had been U.S. military, child interview experts would have been called in to interview Megan (or we would have gone to the U.S. to be interviewed).  Since we were not military (and even though Ava Imhof, Landstuhl Family Advocacy, tried to get professionals to interview Megan), an OSI agent interviewed Megan in a billeting (hotel) room.  There was a huge camera set in the corner facing Megan and the couch.  Megan was interviewed, used proper body part names (which Tom and I had taught her over the years using children’s books), and she was intimidated.  The taped interview was sent to a military psychologist in the States who said Megan was not emotional enough and that the abuse probably did not occur.  (Later Megan spoke of that huge camera in the room.  It did not help that she had been taped by Tom during the abuse.)

I was advised by OSI and Ava Imhof, Family Advocacy, not to speak with Megan of the abuse.  I could respond to her by listening if she brought up the abuse.  Megan did talk to me of the abuse.  She also drew a picture of a room that had videotapes in it.  In her journal Megan writes, “I think it might have been Dale’s wife, Kimberly’s house.”  Megan told me she was videotaped and that others were involved in the abuse.  She told me more than once that her dad made her repeat things over and over (after the abuse incidents).   Megan wrote her memories (blurbs as she called them) on paper in 2004, 2005 and 2006; and I gave copies of them to the OSI.  I’m not sure if the German courts actually saw Megan’s journal copies and I do not remember if Dr. Brunger (German child psychiatrist) did.  It seems to me the German court and Dr. Brunger mainly relied on the OSI report and Masino’s input.  Megan stated in her handwritten document of January 14, 2007, that Dr. Brunger’s demeanor changed after the first interview and Megan wrote “We talked about the abuse a little, but mostly he avoided the subject completely.”  I have copies of Megan’s journal entries.

Megan told me she was abused by Fr. Kevin Randall.  She reported it to Fr. Brubaker who reported it to the church authorities.  Fr. Marcantonio spoke with Fr. Tom Doyle on the telephone and informed him that Fr. Kevin Randall was involved.  Tom Doyle and Fr. Kevin Randall are close friends, which Fr. Marcantonio did not realize until he spoke with Tom Doyle about Kevin Randall.  Tom Doyle refused to believe that his friend could be involved in abuse regarding a child, etc….  At this point, Tom Doyle and I no longer had any contact.  Tom Doyle was influential in uncovering the child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church and is a strong advocate for the victims including many who have no actual physical proof of the abuse – and some only from “recovered memories”.  From what I know of Tom Doyle, he most likely would have gotten involved if the priest Megan and I both named was any other but Kevin Randall, a close friend.  My respect for Tom Doyle for refusing to help in our situation has lessened, but it does not surprise me that he would choose friendship over the truth in this situation.  I think it is quite sad because for all of Tom Doyle’s flaws (and we all have flaws), I thought he was a man of integrity when it came to the advocacy of sexual abuse victims in the Catholic Church.

Megan also told me that she doesn’t remember when she wasn’t abused.  Megan recently told me that she never felt close to the father like her friends were.  They would miss their father while he was deployed and be so happy when he returned.  Megan said she never felt that way regarding her father.  Megan told me of being raped by her father.  She told me she was afraid of him.  When we were in Spokane she told me she was afraid he’d find us, take her, and put her in his basement of his house to abuse her.  While we were in Spokane, Megan could relax.  She would talk about her dad when she needed or wanted to.  I still to this day have not told her much regarding the abuse.

I scheduled an exam for Megan through Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and an Army pediatrician.  Ava Imhof (Landstuhl Family Advocacy) had wanted Megan and I to travel to the United States (as stated previously)  as a military family in our situation would have been allowed to have professionals interview Megan, examine her, etc…  The military would not allow that.  Once again since Tom was a civilian working for the U.S. Air Force – he had some rights of U.S. military personnel but not all.  That fact complicated every facet of the sexual abuse investigation, the courts, etc..  Megan did have an exam for signs of sexual abuse.  Exams in children can easily be inconclusive as the pediatrician explained to me in detail.  At the time, the current newer SANE (exam) was not used in Landstuhl.  The pediatrician who examined Megan verified that the results did not prove that sexual abuse did occur and it did not prove sexual abuse did not occur.  A child’s body at that age heals quickly.

While being separated, Tom would call on the telephone to speak with Megan.  I did exactly what I was advised by my German attorney.  I did not interfere.  I gave the phone to Megan even though she told me she did not want to speak with her father.  Megan would get on the phone and tell her dad she did not want to speak with him, and then hang up the phone.

Tom took the custody/visitation/divorce case to the German court system.  In the German system, the divorce (dissolution of marriage and division of retirement monies only) is one case.  The child custody is another case.  Alimony is another case.  Child support is also a separate case.  The Landstuhl court ruled that Megan needed to have supervised visitation with her father.  The judge ruled that Frau Brumen’s office would be the site for the visitation.  I objected because Tom had seen Frau Brumen for some therapy sessions and she was the head person (owner?) of that therapy group.  I opted for a more neutral site.  The judge ruled otherwise and Megan was seen by Herr Stefan, a therapist in the same office as Frau Brumen (Tom’s counselor).  At this point, Megan and I were following the advise of the OSI and not telling Herr Stefan that Megan had been abused by her father.  (This was especially important since Herr Stefan informed us that whatever we said could be told to the father.)  Megan had two supervised visitation sessions in the summer of 2004.  Herr Stefan and Megan set the ground rules which included ones that said Tom would sit away from her, no physical contact, and that Megan could play her Game Boy during the visitations.  The sessions were unsuccessful.  At one session (according to what Megan reported to me), Tom took the earphones from her ears.  Megan got angry and walked out of the room.  She was then not forced to continue with supervised visitation.  She had not seen her father since, except in passing in public situations.

On December 9, 2004, a German court in Landstuhl unexpectedly gave Tom custody of Megan.  Without any forethought, I calmly took Megan out of the courtroom past Tom.  Megan and I quickly went to my car which was parked blocks away.  We hid for about one week until my lawyer filed papers and the German appeals court set aside that ruling.  (While we were in hiding those days, Tom went into our German residence and took many items of Megan’s including books, toys, and a bookcase.  In the hospital notes from Dominion Hospital in Virginia Megan makes reference to gifts her dad gave her this Christmas, 2007, that were items that were taken from the house in December of 2004.)  Megan was to remain in my physical custody until psych evaluations were completed on Megan and on me and until the final decision was made by the appeals court in Zweibrucken.  Tom was not required to have a pscyh evaluation because he was being investigated by the American OSI.  (In the U.S., usually both parents would be evaluated.)  At this point, I thought the courts were beginning to listen to Megan and I as far as the abuse was concerned.

I took Megan to see Dr. Susan Hendricks for counseling.  Col. Susan Hendricks is a child psychiatrist.  She is the doctor who prescribed my anti-depressant and she knew of my case from Fr. Marcantonio (who consulted her frequently) and from myself.  Fr. Marcantonio was my therapist.  He also was the pastor of the Landstuhl Catholic Community on post.  Megan knew Fr. Marcantonio from attending Mass and her participation in the Catholic activities.  At no time was Megan in therapy with Fr. Marcantonio.   Dr. Hendricks PCS’ed or moved from Germany since her tour there was finished.  I tried to find another counselor for Megan and was only able to find one on Ramstein Air Base.  Dr. Masino (Ramstein Air Base) agreed to take Megan as a patient.  There was some initial confusion regarding who had custody of Megan at this time and I showed proof that I had physical custody of Megan while the appeal for custody was being considered (and while the psych evaluations by the German people were completed).

In January 2005, Megan and I met together with Dr. Masino initially for 15-20 minutes.  The rest of the appointments were Megan and Dr. Masino only except for a few where Megan was always present also.  Megan began to tell me that she did not want to see Dr. Masino.  I thought she was just hesitant to be in therapy.  Then she began to tell me that she did not think/feel that Dr. Masino believed her when she spoke of being abused by Tom.  One time she said she asked Dr. Masino if he believed her and he was evasive.  Another time she asked again if Dr. Masino believed the abuse happened and he said that he believed she believed it.  I decided to take Megan out of therapy with Dr. Masino, met with him, and gave him a letter explaining the reasons for the termination of therapy.

In Germany I discovered when I finally was able to get copies of parts of Megan’s psych records from Dr. Masino’s office that Tom had been speaking with Dr. Masino very soon after Megan began therapy with her.  It appears unethical that Dr. Masino would not let it be clear that he was speaking to both the father and the mother of the child.  (After we were discovered in Spokane, and after Megan was institutionalized in Dominion Hospital, VA, I was able to get further records.)  Tom and Dr. Masino were in much contact.  Tom informed Dr. Masino of “his side”.  Mind you, I told Dr. Masino only the bare minimum of “my side” because it seemed important that the child, Megan, be heard by the therapist without the therapist being bombarded with both sides of a bitter custody battle where abuse was involved.

Also, Dr. Forbes was Dr. Masino’s coworker and superior.  Dr. Forbes’ daughter took Karate Tech classes (and could still be taking them).  According to Dr. Masino’s records, Dr. Forbes recommended Dr. Masino contact Tom (around March 4, 2005) although Dr. Masino was already in contact with Tom.  There appears to be a conflict of interest if your daughter was taking classes from the abuser(s) that were reported to the authorities and you were in Dr. Forbes’ position.  As far as I recall, it was also Dr. Forbes who made it difficult for me to get Megan’s records.

Dr. Masino at no time contacted my therapist, Fr. Marcantonio, who is a licensed marriage and family counselor (VA licensure) to ask about me, my diagnosis, etc…  Dr. Masino took Tom’s opinions and as far as I know did not research any of the facts himself.    Within Megan having four or five visits with Dr. Masino (and Dr. Masino having much contact with Tom), Dr. Masino decided the abuse could not have happened and that Megan had Shared Psychotic Disorder.  In order to have shared psychotic disorder, I would have to be psychotic and/or delusional.  Dr. Masino made his diagnosis before I was even evaluated by the German psychiatrist, Dr. Fees.  (This is verified in Masino’s psych records for Megan which I finally received copies in January, 2008.)  The decision to take child away from me, put her in psych facility, then give Megan to her father was made months before Megan and I even met with Dr. Brunger (German child psychiatrist) for Megan’s psych evaluation.  That decision was made in March, 2005, by Dr. Masino, Ramstein Family Advocacy, and Frau Kramer of the German Youth Authority before I was even evaluated by the German psych experts.  Frau Kramer of the German Youth Authority had also been in touch at least one time with Dr. Fees (German psychiatrist) before my evaluation.   These decisions were based on input from Tom ……..  not input from me, not input from my therapist.  It appears apparent that my German psych evaluation (Dr. Fees) was tainted with information from Tom, Dr. Masino, German Youth Authority even before I was evaluated.  My therapist, Fr. Marcantonio, never was able to input Dr. Fees’ evaluation.  It was very one-sided.  Megan’s evaluation with (German) Dr. Brunger was tainted with whatever Dr. Fees’ information was and then added to.  While I was working with the German legal and psych system, Tom was undermining the process by using the American military system via Ramstein Air Base (which did not have jurisdiction in our case at all) to influence the German psych and legal system.  It worked.  The evaluations were biased.  My daughter and I never had a chance of getting fair evaluations.

Before Dr. Masino decided on this diagnosis, he thought it could be parental alienation syndrome or PAS (which is not even an acceptable diagnosis by the APA, but was a diagnosis Ms. Blumen the German psychologist Tom had seen for counseling mentioned),  then Dr. Masino thought it could be Munchausen by Proxy, then Fictitious disorder by Proxy.  He finally settled on Shared Psychotic Disorder.

Dr. Masino, Tom, and others decided to contact Ramstein’s Family Advocacy.  (Landstuhl’s Family Advocacy (Army) had already decided Tom was guilty of emotional abuse towards me.)  Without my knowledge, without my therapist’s knowledge, Dr. Masino, contacted the Ramstein Family Advocacy (Air Force).  When Landstuhl brought charges against Tom for the abuse, he was notified and able to defend himself.  Unfortunately Ramstein Family Advocacy did not notify me.  I had no knowledge I was being charged with emotional abuse.  I wasn’t even given the opportunity to defend myself.  I was judged mentally ill (by my daughter’s therapist, not by my own therapist of years), my daughter was diagnosed as mentally ill, and there was no recourse since we did not even know this was occurring.  (What Dr. Susan Hendricks knew of the Dr. Masino situation, I do not know.  As far as I know she hadn’t diagnosed me.  Dr. Hendricks knew more of my case, than Dr. Masino.)  The excuse not to notify me or Fr. Marcantonio (my therapist) was that I would “kidnap” Megan again.   At this point I had only protected Megan once by running with her after the Landstuhl custody ruling on December 9, 2004.  By protecting Megan that way, I did succeed for the first time to have Megan’s voice be heard by the courts and my own in the German appeals court.  They took the sexual abuse charges seriously.  If I was going to run with Megan, I would not have stayed to be evaluated by the German psychiatrist and for Megan to be evaluated.  I was committed to the legal appeal in the German courts.   I have always been a law-abiding citizen and I was naively hoping that the German legal system would see the truth.  Unfortunately the American military system (Air Force) decided to take matters in their own hands with Tom’s input and not give me the fair chance to defend myself.  The American military system had no legal jurisdiction.

Megan was correct that Dr. Masino did not believe her.  She was also correct that I should not have made her continue therapy, especially since I know now it wasn’t therapy.  As various entries by Dr. Masino in Megan’s files, Megan was being kept returning for therapy sessions so mother would not flee.  As other entries show, Megan distrusted him and would not speak openly about the abuse.

In Megan’s declaration which was submitted to the  Spokane court dated November 27, 2007, Megan wrote, “Meanwhile, I was interviewed by the OSI at age 9 and Dr. Masino at age 10.  I was hurt when I discovered my therapist (Masino) was in contact with my dad without my knowledge.  Plus, I talked to Dr. Brunger at age 11.  None of them believed me, however which is part of the reason why I’m having a difficult time writing this letter.  I wonder if this statement will make any difference, because people have not believed my story.”  (See the complete statement at the end of this summary.)

I realize now what a bad decision I made having Megan see a therapist she did not trust.  It is a decision I will regret for the rest of my life.

Let me clarify the base situation.  Ramstein Air Base is an American Air Force base near Landstuhl (which is an American Army post).  The Karate Tech classes, the chapel we attended as a family, the location of Tom’s work, and most other places we frequented were on Ramstein Air Base.  Fr. Marcantonio, Dr. Susan Hendricks, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the chapel Megan and I switched to eventually, and other services were on Landstuhl.  (The initial German court was in Landstuhl Village – a German village and not base/post related.  The appeals court was in Zweibrucken, another German city.)

People are human – wanting to protect their friends and trusted teachers, clergy, etc.  Unfortunately abusers are from all walks of life and all career fields.  I wonder how Tom discovered he was being investigated by the OSI.  Who was responsible for the leak?  It is hard for a community to investigate their own.  If the German police would have investigated from the beginning, would the outcome been any different?  Of course, it is too late to change the course of this recent history.  I do hope others and myself can learn from these errors of judgment, so that future investigations can be conducted more fairly and justly.    After I had the initial interview with OSI, I had hardly any contact with them.  Looking back at the situation, I realize that I was not considered credible or believed early in the case and neither was Megan.  I do know that Agent Verenbec of the OSI was in close contact with Tom, the person he was apparently investigating.  In fact one day when I was working I received a phone call from Agent Verenbec informing me that Tom was trying to get a hold of me to ask me about my car.  I never understood why Agent Verenbec (a busy OSI investigator) would be using his time to contact me on Tom’s behalf regarding an issue about our car.  It does not appear professional or maybe Agent Verenbec was overinvolved?

Also, as parents, many do not want to believe that someone they trusted their children with could be abusing children or raping adults.  On a U.S. military base, people tend to think they are safer, more protected from crime and definitely from abusers.  Background checks are only a good tool if someone has already been convicted of a crime.  It is extremely hard for parents and victims in an average city environment to come forth and truthfully accuse an adult teacher, clergy, or any person of authority.  People are taught to become part of the military family.  Tom, Megan and even I (although I did not take Karate Tech classes) were deeply entrenched in the Karate Tech world/family.  Tom and Megan even became Karate Tech teachers as were most of the other abusers.  To accuse someone on a military base in the military environment is risky not only to victim’s own personal and family reputations, but to the military member’s livelihood – his job, his career, his promotions.  Abusers, especially of children, do not normally abuse one child and stop.

I wonder how many other children have been abused by these Karate Tech people and either did not tell their parents or the parents decided not to believe the child or not to report the abuse for fear of retaliation.  Megan mentioned to me at times that she wondered about a couple other of her peers – why they left Karate Tech, if they were ever abused, and why some stayed.  That’s from the voice of a 9-10 year old – one who was abused by these perpetrators herself.  Doesn’t it make you wonder?

I was able to come forth to report the abuse perpetrated by “Master” Jorge Ordonio, Dale Peters, Dwight Collins, Lyn and Martin Vasquez, and Fr. Kevin Randall (not Karate Tech student or teacher) to the OSI partially because I was a civilian and not military.  Megan also reported Diane and Mark LeBrun from Karate Tech as abusers in our home with their two sons being victims of abuse also.  (See ABUSE section.)  (As far as I can tell from the Internet, Karate Tech is being taught in Germany; in Aviano, Italy; and at Holloman AFB, New Mexico; and the instructors teaching more children include some of the perpetrators which we have reported and I have just listed.) On Ramstein Air Base, Master Jorge Ordonio is well known and liked.  The U.S. military world is small especially in Germany and many children and adults attended these Karate Tech classes.  Dr. Susan Hendricks (the Army Psychiatrist who Fr. Marcantonio consulted) believed I was abused by Tom and that belief was reinforced by Tom’s reaction when Fr. Marcantonio, Dr. Hendricks, and I confronted him in November 2003.  At one point Dr. Hendricks wondered if I could even be suffering from DID or MPD (multiple personality disorder) which can frequently happen in severe cases of abuse.  Fortunately that is not the case in my situation.  PTSD has been the consequence of my extensive abuse history.  Dr. Hendricks began having difficulties facing that the others could be involved when she were told they were Jorge Ordonio and other adults from Karate Tech.  Dr. Hendricks’ own son attended Karate Tech classes and was taught by these people.  Dr. Masino’s boss, Dr. Forbes’ had a daughter who participated in Karate Tech and received her black belt at a young age as did Megan.  It is hard for anyone to face that reputable adults, especially figures of authority, could be abusers.  That happened in the Catholic church and it happened in the Karate Tech and U.S. military community.  I do not know if any of the OSI agents or bosses had children or if they themselves took Karate Tech classes.  Just as women who are abused by spouses who work in the law enforcement arena many times are not believed when they report abuse or the perpetrators are not investigated in a correct manner, this situation was equally as challenging.

Also, I reported these abusers because I knew I wanted to protect Megan plus in my idealism or naivete, I thought it was the right thing to do.  Reporting, telling the truth, might help another child who has been abused and eventually save others from ever being abused in the first place.  Even then I thought maybe next time someone reports the abuser, a police member could remember my case and Megan’s.  Eventually others will come forward unless the secrecy and fear of physical harm and/or retaliation continues especially after the victim and parents see the severe consequences that Megan and I are receiving for telling the truth.

The abuse happened.  People are taught to become part of the military family.   Most likely there are other victims who are too young, too terrorized (by Karate Tech trained individuals) and parents who are fearful and hesitant of reprisals.  Tom, who already had control of me, had more physical control over me after becoming adept at Karate Tech because all he had to do was use a pressure point technique or wrist lock technique on me or Megan to render us helpless.  Megan was not a match for her father or any adult schooled in Karate Tech.  One can easily imagine what threats by martial arts adults can be used to keep children quiet.  Yet if more victims and their parents came forth, eventually we would be heard and believed.  Look at the Catholic Church abuse scandal.  Once victims stood up, came forth one by one, became vulnerable to disbelief, shame, retaliation, etc…  many were believed finally.  I hope this can happen in this situation also.

Now to continue with the chronological section of my history.  My psych evaluation by Dr. Fees (a court-appointed German Freudian psychiatrist) in June, 2005 consisted of one appointment which lasted 1 to 1-1/2 hours long.  Dr. Fees did not speak English and I do not speak much German.  A translator was needed.  The evaluation existed of an oral history.  There were no psychological testing as would be done in America.  Dr. Fees also had a letter from Frau Kramer (German Youth Authority – the person Megan nor I had spoken to of the abuse because we had been advised not to at the time).  Reference to a letter from Ms. Blumen regarding Megan and me was also mentioned in Dr. Fees’ evaluation.  As stated previously, Ms. Blumen is a therapist who heads the firm that Herr Stefan, the supervised visitation therapist who Megan nor I could tell of the abuse at the time because the OSI and Ava Imhof advised us not to.  Neither Megan nor I spoke with Ms. Blumen.  In fact, Tom had initially gone to Ms. Blumen for some kind of counseling before we were told by the Landstuhl court judge that Megan had to have supervised visitation there.  I wanted a neutral place and told the judge that Tom had seen Ms. Blumen for counselling.  The judge paid no heed.

Dr. Fees’ diagnosis of me as having schizophrenia was based on this one appointment and the information from Frau Kramer and Ms. Blumen (with possible input from other sources.)  The fact that my possible father and that my brother were diagnosed with schizophrenia influenced that decision as well as the information I gave to him regarding the nature of the abuse.  Schizophrenia is not normally even diagnosed in an adult of 45 years plus.  Schizophrenia would have showed up before then and/or medication would have already been needed.  (I did not know of the two letters from Frau Kramer or Ms. Blumen until recently when I read the entire report in English, since the original report was in German.)

The evaluation of Megan by Dr. Brunger (a court appointed Germany child psychiatrist) followed Dr. Fees’ evaluation.  That evaluation consisted of three appointments of a total of 6 or 7 hours (which included time with me, time with Megan and time with both of us).  Dr. Brunger did speak English but a translator was there.  The evaluation dates of Megan by Dr. Brunger were:  November 15, 2005, January 20, 2006, and February 3, 2006.

After the evaluation of me by Dr. Fees (German), I decided to be evaluated by Dr. Nassif of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (Landstuhl Post – American).  When Dr. Susan Hendricks left, I would see Dr. Swanton for refills on my anti-depressant, Celexa.  Dr. Swanton transferred, then I saw Dr. Nassif for the medication.  I was never in therapy with Dr. Swanton or Dr. Nassif.  Dr. Nassif sent me to coworker, Dr. Jones, who does the evaluations.  Dr. Jones gave me one test (the MMPI?) on one day.  Dr. Jones concentrated on asking me pointed questions about the abuse.  Apparently Dr. Jones knew much about my case before I walked into his office.   He then asked me to return the next day.   I returned and Dr. Jones proceeded to give me the Rorschach test (inkblot).  After I described each “picture”, he required me to go through the entire set again and to elaborate on each picture again.  This is the evaluation that Dr. Nassif referred to in Dr. Masino’s notes of July 20, 2005.  It is apparent than when I thought I was going to a neutral, non-bias person for an evaluation, Dr. Nassif had already been in contact with Dr. Masino who had already made his diagnosis of “shared psychotic disorder” months earlier.   (That “shared psychotic disorder” diagnosis was made after only four or five appointments with Megan.)   Dr. Nassif stated he thought I may be delusional.  Dr. Pontzer in his statement which is cited in future pages of this summary refutes that diagnosis.  I have also included a copy of the two complete declarations by Dr. Pontzer, Acting Chief of Inpatient Psychiatry at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

In August, 2005, Tom moved back to the U.S. and I remained in Germany with my daughter until July, 2006.  Tom did send Megan mail.  I gave it to her or, many times, she’d get the mail.  She’d give it to me and say she did not want to read it.  The first time we mailed it unopened to him.  She never wanted to read anything he mailed to her.

Meanwhile I rented an apartment and returned to the workforce after many years of being a stay-at-home wife and homeschooling mother.  Megan and I lived in the apartment for over a year.  She was home schooled, played on a soccer team, participated in children’s choir, and more.  We both had many friends and a great support system.   Megan stayed with a few families when I worked.  Two of the families have many children and Megan enjoyed herself.  We were both active in the Catholic community and Megan was involved with the secular sports community.

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