School Rape Victim Comes Forward After 32 Years Of Silence: Rapist Memorialized By School
School Rape Victim In Ohio

School Rape Victim Comes Forward After 32 Years Of Silence: Rapist Memorialized By School

There is a beautiful rock memorial in front of Paulding Middle School honoring a former teacher. Today, a man who was raped by that teacher 32 years ago wants it removed.

Barry Vance has held his secret inside since 1982, and even his wife didn’t know the shocking details of the traumatic rape so long ago. But recent talk of putting up a new memorial honoring his rapist was the push that Vance needed to come forward and open up about the ordeal that has haunted his life.

At a crowded meeting in the cafeteria of Oakwood Elementary School on Tuesday, April 29, Barry Vance spoke with a trembling voice to the Paulding Exempted Village School board and superintendent Bill Hanak, and described in detail how his former teacher, Don Schnepp, had raped him many years ago when he was just a student in the 8th grade. He feels certain that Schnepp raped other students, and hopes that his breaking the silence will give other victims the courage to come forward.

He also wants to see the school board enact a a written protocol regarding teacher, coach and student relations.

Prior to becoming a victim of the attack, Schnepp had approached Vance several times, both at school and in other settings. “He made the promise of money and even better grades if allowed to make inappropriate advances and each time I refused until the day he overpowered me to the floor.” Barry described how the teacher attacked him in the paper cutting room of the middle school, during school hours.

“This teacher came in, closed the door, locked the door. Had a pair of scissors in his hand and threatened me with them. Attacked me, threw me to the floor, had his hand over my mouth, pulling on my neck, slammed my face, the left side of my face, which I still a mark on my face where my face went into the leg of the table, and he raped me.”

“I remember that day when I came home a scared teenage boy, who went to the bathroom, cleaned myself up, and then hid.”

Vance feels that his childhood, as well as the last 32 years, was taken away from him. The school he attended has a great big memorial honoring the man who took it away, with plans to build another monument inside the school building. That was too much for Vance. So he has chosen to speak out now to share his story of being raped at school.

“I asked to have this removed back in December and it was rejected. Tonight, I come to you asking you to have a little consideration. I’m still the 14-year-old boy that has lived with this for 32 years.”

In 2004 Vance wrote a letter to Schnepp, to tell his former teacher how the events of his eighth grade year have impacted him. One week later, Schnepp was found dead. Police ruled it a suicide.

Vance feels certain that there are other victims, which is almost universally true of predators. Generally pedophiles and child molesters have violated a number of victims before they are caught, if they are ever caught. The Inquisitr recently reported on an 18-year-old rapist who was originally arrested for raping one young girl. In less than a week, 17 other rape victims came forward.

School Rape Victim No Longer Silent

According to Vance, other teachers who worked with Schnepp believe there are more students he raped, ” that there is at least one student, for each class, for every year that he taught in that school.”

When questioned why he is coming forward after so many years, Vance replied, “After 32 years I just got so tired of holding it all inside. There are other victims, at least two, and it’s time for me to have peace and closure.”

The school board plans to meet to discuss the removal of the memorial, which was purchased by teachers. Hanak says that the board has the authority to remove the stone monument. The next board meeting is May 20.

Hanak told the Paulding County Progress that he “would listen to anything anyone wants to say. There may be others out there. That’s my job, to get to the bottom of this.” He reported that he feels “horrible that anything like this would happen to any child. There’s no excuse. It’s sickening.”

If anyone has any relevant information, which will be kept confidential, they are encouraged to contact superintendent Bill Hanak at 419-399-4656 or email w_hanak@docs.pauldingschools.org.

School rape victims, like Barry Vance, are far more common than they should be. Sometimes children and teenagers do not have the words or concepts to recognize that they are indeed being molested or raped. Shame, fear, and coercion are very common. If anyone thinks that they have been a victim, there are resources available, such as RAINN.org. There is a National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE for rape, incest and abuse victims. No one should have to suffer in silence for 32 years.

[images via google images and bing]

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