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Rocky

Remembering a woman of courage, who stood up to a monster

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By Reese Frederickson, Pine County Attorney

The naïve part of me believes that once evil is locked away, closure and healing can begin.  But, reality is complicated, and the scars from years of trauma remain even after achieving justice.

Reality delivered a blow last week when I learned that Jessanna “Jess” Schlinsky took her own life.  She was 32 years old.  We sent the monster who had sexually abused her for all her teenage years to prison three years ago.  Although the crimes were in the past and her abuser will spend many more years in prison, the suffering loomed large for Jess every day.  It ultimately proved insurmountable.

Jess, along with Lindsay Tornambe, bravely exposed cult leader and traumatizing narcissist Victor Barnard for the years of childhood sexual abuse suffered at his hands.  Jess and Lindsay grew up in Barnard’s cult that was located on an isolated camp in Pine County.  When Jess and Lindsay were 12 and 13 years old, respectively, Barnard separated them from their parents, forced them to reside in a remote spot of the camp, and began raping them.  The sexual abuse and Barnard’s control of their daily lives continued for the next nine to ten years until the women escaped the cult.

 

Jess and Lindsay’s quest for justice took many years.  Barnard was eventually charged, caught hiding in Brazil and extradited to Pine County in 2016.  As county attorney, the case was my responsibility to prosecute.  (continued at the link above, worth the time to read)

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I can't access the document (in UK).

I'm so sorry for this young woman - and her family.

I wonder if this news has reached Barnard; and if so, whether he accepts that it was his behaviour, his abuse, that pushed her over the edge - even all these years later.  Whether he accepts that or not - he killed her.  I'm glad that she got the opportunity to see him put behind bars where he can't hurt any other young women.

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37 minutes ago, Twinky said:

I can't access the document (in UK).

I'm so sorry for this young woman - and her family.

I wonder if this news has reached Barnard; and if so, whether he accepts that it was his behaviour, his abuse, that pushed her over the edge - even all these years later.  Whether he accepts that or not - he killed her.  I'm glad that she got the opportunity to see him put behind bars where he can't hurt any other young women.

Check your private messages.

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Thanks for that, Rocky.  A fine tribute to a troubled young woman.

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This situation is beyond terrible. Shame on the silent ones who fail to warn about any abusive Way offshoots like that one was.

In 2016 I wrote a blog about Barnard's arrest. Recently I updated that blog to honor Jess.

https://charleneedge.com/update-rape-victims-demolish-cult-of-way-corps-graduate-victor-barnard/

 

 

Edited by penworks
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WW, Rocky sent the text to me in pvt msg.  Hence my thanks to him.

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16 hours ago, Twinky said:

WW, Rocky sent the text to me in pvt msg.  Hence my thanks to him.

Fine, but I thought it was a good idea to add those links and make it easier for everyone to read it.  You might want to read it directly in the thread later. Someone may want to but not want to post to ask, and so on.   Just because I could read the news didn't mean you were the sole reader who was excluded.   So, I figured it was better to link that than not to link it.

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31 minutes ago, WordWolf said:

Fine, but I thought it was a good idea to add those links and make it easier for everyone to read it.  You might want to read it directly in the thread later. Someone may want to but not want to post to ask, and so on.   Just because I could read the news didn't mean you were the sole reader who was excluded.   So, I figured it was better to link that than not to link it.

Good point. Thanks.

 

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