SURVIVOR TESTIMONY

My story began when I was sentenced to 12 ½ years for drugs. I was in this same institution ten years ago, when the staff were most of them homophobic. They were real mean and unprofessional towards myself. They would call me names like you “fucking faggot,” “fucking Spanish faggot” or you “faggot drug dealer.” I did complain to higher people. I even wrote back then to GLAAD. They helped me a lot.

Well my first “rape” happened when I was nine years old by one of my father’s siblings. My second one was when I was 34 years old and I was already in custody of the Feds. I had just gotten to my designated prison in Fort Dix, New Jersey. I remember getting to my unit house around 11:00 am. I was scared, so once I was done fixing my belongings, I went to the restroom. It was a nice hot day, so I leaned on the window to see everyone out there before I went outside. All I know was that someone wrapped a towel around my face, punched me, and dragged me to the showers.

There he told me to not fight and don’t look back. He punched me again. He told me not to scream. With one hand holding my head, he pulled my clothes down with the other hand. He forced me down and did what he wanted to do to me. I was numb and scared and in such pain. Once he finished, he threw me to the floor and left. I never knew ‘till later in my sentence who it was. I didn’t mention it to no one.

In 2004, I was on my way to see the judge on an appeal back to Boston, Mass. They took me to Philadelphia Detention to wait for a transfer. They put me in a two-man cell with a guy from Philadelphia. I was there for two weeks. Everything seemed to be okay. We used to talk. He didn’t look like he was going to hurt me at all.

A week before I was gonna go, we were in the room. Out of nowhere, he grabbed me by the hair and put his hand on my mouth and told me not to say anything or scream. I shook my head saying yes. “I will kill you if you tell anyone. Tell me you won’t say something,” he said. I said I won’t. He told me to take my pants off and get down. I followed his commands. He made me give him oral sex and grabbed my hair hard. He would look at me and spit on my face. Then he raped me while still holding my hair.

I was so angry. Twice I was trash. I was feeling so low, like I don’t mean nothing, but I guess that’s how they get off. So all I can do is comply and not get hurt, even though I was getting hurt.

Once he was done, he threw a washcloth at me and told me to clean myself - no evidence. I did. I couldn’t sleep for days. Twice in less than three years in prison. All I thought was HIV or any other stuff. I did all I could and finished my sentence in 2006.

I would not wish this to happen to anyone. So thanks to you, I can let it go now.

Thank you.

-- Carlos, Rhode Island

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