A New York woman who was repeatedly raped by her own brother confronted him in court on Thursday, and made him hear the anguish she’s lived with for years.
Syracuse.com reports that Kathryn Bailey, 23, was sexually assaulted by her older brother, James Bailey, 31, on numerous occasions while growing up, which caused extreme mental distress and social isolation after she began to fear any form of intimacy. Kathryn’s parents left James with the duty of babysitting, and while they were away, he took advantage of his little sister in what he described as “curiosity.” The abuse occurred over a span of three years, from 2003 to 2006.
In March, a jury found James Bailey guilty of sexual abuse and rape. County Court Judge Stephen Dougherty sentenced him to 32 years in prison last week, the maximum penalty allowed. Although victims of sexual abuse are generally disclosed from public identification, Kathryn wanted her story to be told, and chose to allow media to hear her confrontation.
Kathryn admitted that she previously blamed parents for leaving her in James’ care. Yet, in court, she indicated that she realized that the blame lied squarely on her brother.
“The anger I placed on mom and dad was wrong of me. This should have all been placed on you. They trusted you to take care of me.”
Kathryn’s mother was a nurse who often had to work up to 14 hours a day. Her father was mostly on the road, traveling for work.
When James took the witness stand last month, he attempted to downplay his responsibility by saying that he was just curious. He also claimed that a confession he previously made occurred only because he was under the influence of drugs. Kathryn, who said she would “fade away mentally” while her brother raped her, was outraged after learning James blamed the assaults on curiosity.
“It was sexual abuse, it was not curiosity,” she said on Thursday.
Kathryn decided to come forward in 2013, after she learned that her brother was kicked out of the family home for doing drugs. She suffered an anxiety attack around the same time, which made the memories of abuse flood back in her mind. After speaking with Syracuse detectives and prosecutors, James was charged in 2015.
After the verdict was read last year, Kathryn had her first “first sound night of sleep she can remember.”
The judge noted that James, who previously rejected a plea deal for 13 to 15 years in prison, felt he only deserved probation.
[Feature Photo: Police Handout]