Statutory rape victim tells her story - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Statutory rape victim tells her story

June 29, 2005

Thomasville-- A statutory rape victim is telling her story with the hope that it will help other children.

On the outside, Jacqueline Demoga looks like any other 17 year old. But on the inside she's recovering from something no child should experience. "It just hurts. I have dreams about it. I don't even like to go to sleep because I know what I'm going to think about," says Demoga.

When Demoga was 13, a family friend forced himself on her during a church function. "He came in there when everybody was asleep," she says. He was a family friend who also happened to be Demoga's youth minister. Roderick Suber was sentenced on Friday to four years in prison for statutory rape. "He came and laid on the floor with me and started talking to me and telling me not to say anything and not to move," says Demoga.

Suber ignored Demoga's pleas to stop. She endured his advances until she was 14, waiting so long to tell someone because her best friend was Suber's sister-in-law. "I knew I would lose her if I told. And I got tired of it one day, and I just had to tell," says Demoga.

Investigators arrested Suber after gathering evidence and questioning Demoga for six days. She had endured an ordeal that ruined her childhood. "I can barely sleep. I don't want to do anything, because I'm scared someone is going to come do something to me. I can't go shopping, I can't go to the grocery store. I can't do anything, because I'm scared," she says.

Demoga dropped out of school, her home life was ruined, her parents distraught over their daughter's condition. "Jacquelyn went from beauty pageants, singing in the church, to outlandish and crazy behavior," says her father, Wayne Demoga.

That behavior that forced Demoga's parents to hospitalize her seven times, beginning a life long regimen of therapy and medication, and losing valuable years with her family. "The little special times, the memories that we were going to share together. He stole my dream of what I wanted to do with my children," says Mr. Demoga.

Now, Demoga and her parents want to educate other families about how to avoid a similar situation. "It's a total personality change from what they had and how they've grown up," says Demoga's mother, Marsha. "If somebody looks at you like they want you to come by yourself with them, or they touch you in a certain way, even touching your hand, just go and tell somebody," says Jacqueline.

Telling her story may be the closure she needs. "I'm going to go back to school and become a nurse, I'm confident." says Demoga. That's confidence Demoga says is strong because despite the youth minister who hurt her, her faith in God hasn't weakened.

Demoga says Suber's mother is the only person who apologized to her for the crime. When Suber is released from prison, he'll be on probation for six years. One condition is that he cannot have any unsupervised contact with a minor.

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