Suzanne Smith called detective huntington into court as a witness. She seemed to think that my going to the police would bode well for her somehow (????) but the judge said “wow that really is gross negligence” (which voids the contract) instead. I learned that detective huntington did ask a non-midwife about how appropriate the examination was, and he was much more respectful this time around. He stated that the outcome of the case was that he lacked enough evidence to go forward with it. I feel a lot less angry about the ordeal with the police as a result.
The judge also said that he thought the fact that Ester’s attorney advised her not to speak to the detective was indicative that something unsavory had occurred. It was validating. I thought it was standard advice- apparently not, if nothing happened you can just say so.
I am also so glad that my baby is alive. I can’t imagine the burden of women who have had their child die in the care of negligent midwives, only to learn that the community will rally around the midwife instead of the grieving parents. Being sexually assaulted is terrible, but its better than being dead. I am glad to be around to fight for change in maternity care in Utah. Maybe someday the people who defend killer midwives will grow some empathy and stop advocating for direct entry midwifery. There seems to be nothing a midwife can do to be rejected from the natural birth community. Whenever I become frustrated I try to remind myself of women who lost their children and got the same treatment from midwives.
I thought going into the case that I would either win or lose, I didn’t anticipate losing with a side of “you have a good shot at appeals”. I wanted this portion of the fight to be over with already, but I’ve found more strength to work on my case. I am proud of how far I have come in therapy as well- I spoke in public, to strangers, about what happened, and I didn’t feel stupid or ashamed about what happened to me.
I’ve been in touch with attorneys to try and take over the appeals process for me if possible (or help me through it). If anyone in the utah area has a recommendation for an attorney or a source of legal help please share in the comments.