The woman, who was abducted and raped multiple times over the course of three days in 2019 by a Greeley Tribune man, shared in a victim impact statement presented Monday at Suffolk Superior Court how she has been affected by the crimes.
The man, Victor Pea, pleaded guilty to all charges against him last week and was sentenced on Monday to 29-39 years in prison.
Authorities said Pea kidnapped the woman, now 27, when he left a Greeley Tribune bar in January 2019, holding her captive in his Charlestown apartment, where he repeatedly raped her over the course of three days, Before the police broke down the door and rescued him.
The 23-year-old woman at the time of the kidnapping testified during the trial that Pea had threatened to kill her while being held captive in her apartment, and that she eventually stopped fighting his sexual assaults because she “didn’t want to.” ” Die.”
“When I think about how it affected me, I think about how I haven’t fully recovered from those days,” the woman wrote in her impact statement. “A part of me died in that apartment and I grieve for the life I could have lived – was about to live.”
The woman’s victim impact statement, which was not read in court during Pena’s sentencing, was issued by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.
Read the full statement below:
victim impact statement
“Describe the effect this crime has had on you.” There are no words to describe how it has affected me. How should I say something that has completely turned my world upside down? When I think about how it affected me, I think about how I never fully came back from those days. A part of me died in that apartment and I grieve for the life I could have lived – was to be lived.
I’ve spent the better part of the last three and a half years trying to take the least amount of space possible. Trying to fit the image of the perfect survivor – worried that someone is watching my every move. If all goes well then act. Trying to stand in the right place so that the shadow behind me looks half the size. I’m so tired.
Since then my friends have come to me, sharing their stories with me and it breaks my heart every time. It crushes me to know what pain they have gone through, and to know that none of them will get the justice they deserve. No one needs to know what it feels like, an unbearable heaviness you can’t escape. No one deserves to be taken away from them.
I should have spent my twenties laughing, meeting new people, celebrating. Instead I testified in court rooms, waiting, spent in fear. In the years following my trauma, I felt as though I was constantly being chased by a dark shadow—reminding me of the horrors I went through, along with making sure everything else went along with it. Had to fall Three and a half years later, I wasn’t sure this nightmare would ever end. Every update was accompanied by another interruption or delay, which made me feel trapped, as if I had never really survived.
I read a book that once described it well – sometimes it feels like I’m a visitor to my body. My body was taken away from me. Something that was mine and was taken through and it still hasn’t come back. There is no cure for the discomfort I sometimes get in my body. I can wrap myself in a blanket and distract myself with the TV, but it’s still there. The idea of getting really intimate with someone ever after that seems ridiculous.
What they don’t tell you when you’re attacked is that afterwards, nothing seems safe, even the daily activities you’ve been doing for years. I’ve slept on my bedside table with a knife and a field hockey stick behind my bed, and yet I worry at night. I took self defense/martial arts classes to learn how to defend myself and still feel scared. I’m scared on the sidewalk, I’m scared on the tee, I’m scared whenever I’m nowhere. I panic when someone else is driving – I believe we will get into an accident. I think of all the ways I could have died and I feel the fear I did then.
Whenever I enter a room I look around to make sure I can see the people exiting and read the people in the room. I strategically sit with my back to the wall, making sure no one can follow me. I have a back up plan for my back up plan because I am always worried that something will go wrong. I turn down plans because they’re either at night or I’m worried I won’t be able to get home safely.
After everything happened, I had to take three months off from work. During that time I mostly only watched TV – I was a shell of myself and had to distract myself from what had happened. I often still choose to watch TV at home, then go and socialize with friends – it’s the safer option.
I cut myself off from the people I care about. I stopped replying to messages, and today there are people I know who contacted that I never answered. I almost didn’t tell anyone about the trial and didn’t respond if people reached out. I didn’t even talk to my parents about it. It was so painful, I had to pretend it wasn’t happening.
I will never forget the way someone looked at me for the first time back at work – a mix of surprise and pity. I will never forget how terrible I felt in that moment. It was as if he did not see me, but only saw what had happened to me. I think about that moment a lot, especially in the past few weeks as I’ve tried to navigate work and testing. I have worked very hard to show everyone that I am more than what happened to me, but I know that for some people I will always be the girl who has been raped. Shame, which shouldn’t be mine, constantly feels draped over my shoulders and I can’t seem to shake it.
I can’t talk about what happened unless I absolutely have to. Yet it is painful and I try to focus on other things as much as I can. I try and act as if nothing happened when I’m around other people, but it keeps popping up and popping into my head again without warning. I can’t even write a full impact statement – just paragraphs and fragments of disjointed thoughts. So much damage has been done, and I still can’t talk about it, quantify it, spend time thinking about it. I don’t want to think about the things I’ve lost: a sense of lightness, the ability to be carefree, to feel like a normal person instead of someone pretending to be normal.
I’m angry all the time – angry at my family for asking how I am because I want to come with me to meetings and trial. I just want to erase this pain from everyone’s mind, because I was not the only one who got hurt. I get angry thinking about where I could have been till now, where I could have lived, who I could have met. I am annoyed that this trial has been postponed many times and now it is nearing its end only after three and a half years. It’s a horrifying chapter that I want to close with the second one that was started and I can’t. I’m angry that I had to put the pieces of my life back together and I’m angry that they don’t fit as well as they used to.
I’m trying to figure out a way to end this, but I don’t think it is. There will never be an end to the number of ways it has destroyed my life.
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