Going to court on Thursday, I have mixed feelings about court and what I am up against. I feel that the judge will not understand my feelings and why I have turned to drugs to help me with my pain. The drugs have helped me cope, but its important that I deal with what happened to me without numbing myself out. I’m trying what I learned in therapy to help express my feelings rather than just stuff them down.
In December of 2008, Orson Mozes, identified as one of America’s Most Wanted ‘Dirty Dozen’, was captured and taken into custody in Florida. Mozes, arrested for extorting money from innocent adopting parents, was transferred back to Santa Barbara, California where he was charged with 62 counts of international adoption fraud. But Mozes’s crimes were darker than they appeared. Days before Mozes disappeared from his Santa Barbara home, his adopted Russian daughter Zoie, fourteen, tearfully confided to her teacher that her father had been inappropriately touching her for the past several years. The teacher promptly reported Mozes to Child Protective Services.
Fearful that her father would return and act on his threats to kill her, it wasn’t until January of 2008 that Zoie found the courage to speak of her nightmare and asked the Sheriff to charge her father for the four years of sexual molestation she had endured. At this time the D.A. opened a case against Orson Mozes, only to drop it months later citing a lack of evidence.
A local newpaper reporter wrote:
“He would later claim that the deteriorated relationship with his wife was why he ran away and disappeared for years. But there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Mozes left for other reasons, and it wasn’t only to run from the crimes of his company. Just prior to his disappearance, a teacher of Moze’s daughter–who was adopted from Russia in 1994–filed a child abuse report with Child Welfare Services. The child apparently told her teacher that Mozes had touched her inappropriately, a charge relayed to the Sheriff’s Department. But, said investigator Norma Hansen in the District Attorney’s office, there was a “lack of enough evidence to do anything with it.” ~The Independent September 10, 2009~
Unable to cope with her feelings of abandonment by the judicial system, coupled with the pain and suffering of sexual molestation, Zoie turned to drugs as so often happens in these cases. Her mother, fearing for Zoie’s life, admitted her to a residential treatment program where she received two years of intensive counseling and drug treatment.
Her psychologists and therapists wrote letters asking the D.A. to re-open Zoie’s case.
“We work with Zoie day in and day out and during her therapeutic sessions listen to and work with the intense emotional pain she feels regarding her father and the sexual abuse she incurred while he was in the home with her. This child has discussed the particulars of this horrific abuse in detail, and as a team we are shocked that her father has not been charged for his demonstrative behaviors. Zoie repeatedly discusses how as a young child she feared that she would be smothered or crushed under the weight of her father when he would lay on top of her, how he kept a knife under the bed and threatened to kill her and her mother if she was ever to tell. Even more disturbing is the fact that her father would give her drugs to perform sexual acts on him. We listen to this child cry in fear that her father who is currently in prison for fraud will be released and come and fulfill his promise to kill her or her mother. It is difficult to explain to this child why he has never had to be held accountable for his actions while she is constantly being held accountable for hers.”
To add to Zoie’s grievances, the Santa Barbara District Attorney used California’s Freeze and Seize Law to allow her father to plea bargain away Zoie’s $166,000 of court-awarded child support––– the only money she would ever hope to see from him. In offering Mozes a plea bargain deal, the D.A. informed him that his daughter, Zoie, had initiated a case against him for sexual molestation. Although he originally publically pled his innocence to 62 counts of adoption fraud adding up to 44 years of prison time; he now agreed to plead guilty to 17 counts of fraud in exchange for a prison sentence which resulted in less than two years of incarceration.
In April of 2011, Zoie, now 18, asked two Santa Barbara District Attorneys to reopen her case. After interviewing her for an hour, they told her they believed she had been sexually molested by her father and would have their investigators search for corroborating evidence.
Sensing that the closure she was yearning for was near, on August 17th, 2011, Zoie and her mother were called into the Santa Barbara D.A.’s office, where the District Attorney informed them that Orson Mozes was not going to be charged. The D. A. stated that she believed Zoie was sexually molested, but despite finding some corroborating evidence; she would not charge Orson Mozes because she lacked physical evidence. Zoie’s mother, furiously responded, “This is why one out of three children in America are sexually molested––– because these men know they’re going to get away with it. You won’t charge them without physical evidence? How is a twelve-year-old in fear for her life going to provide you with that?”
Zoie walked out of the District Attorney’s office and said,
“Mom, she didn’t have him coming into her bed at night and she wasn’t afraid for her life and didn’t have to do what I had to do to survive. I can’t deal with this.”
Two days after meeting with the District Attorney–––on August 19, 2011 a distraught Zoie Brown, after having been sober for several years, was arrested for driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Charged with possession and transport of a controlled substance, Zoie now faces two felony charges while her father, Orson Mozes, walks free.
This beautiful 18 year-old girl feels she has been molested twice––– once by her father, and once by the judicial system. Unable to find justice, she has not been able to heal. Her arraignment is scheduled for September 22, 2011.
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