In an emotional courthouse speech, a young woman spoke to her older brother who was sentenced to 32 years in prison for sexually abusing her as a child. Kathryn 'Katie' Bailey, 23, broke down in tears several times during as she addressed her sibling James Bailey, 31, in a Syracuse, New York court room on Thursday.
He was found guilty on two felony counts of sexual abuse after assaulting Katie repeatedly for four years beginning when she just was nine years old. During James's trial, he was asked what the first word was that came to his head when he thought about his relationship with his sister Katie, to which
he responded: 'Curiosity'.
Katie had the opportunity to respond to her brother, who faced her from just a few feet away, shackled and awaiting transport to his decades-long prison sentence. 'It was sexual abuse, it was not curiosity,' Katie said.
'Do you really think so little of what you did to me?'
Katie continued: 'You try to blame your substance and alcohol abuse on dad, but in reality, James, it was your mind dealing and processing with your guilt.'
James, 31, is appealing his prison sentence with the defense that he was under the influence of drugs during the time he confessed the abuse to police.
At the age of 17, James was primarily entrusted with his sister's care because their mother worked long hours, and their father traveled frequently for his job.
Katie decided to finally speak out about the abuse more than a decade later after her family reportedly disowned James for his drug abuse in 2013. The stress of remaining silent about the abuse brought on seizures and emotional issues for Katie, News Channel 9 reported.
'You stand here today, and throughout this entire prosecution with the mindset that you don't deserve this,' Katie said.
As she spoke, her brother stood with his body facing the judge, but his head turned and watched unemotionally as his tearful sister speak about the impact his abuse had on her life.
Katie began laughing incredulously through her tears when she discussed her brother's statement on the stand that 'curiosity' motivated his abuse.
She then began sobbing, and reflected on the gravity of the prison sentence handed down to her brother - 32 years. A judge has banned him from contacting Katie for the next four decades.