Most people forget about everyone else affected when a person is falsely charged with a crime. You have friends, co-workers, maybe even employees, and most certainly family, all brutally impacted by the viciousness of the government’s unrelenting pursuit of conviction. In my case, my entire family suffered. Not only did they know I hadn’t done anything wrong to justify being charged, they were terrified I would be convicted. All through the trial, my family was beside me, having to endure the lies told by government prosecutors and my own former tax attorney.
Victoria Quiel, my high school sweetheart, wife of 36 years and mother of my beautiful daughters was especially impacted. Her father was a decorated U.S. Air Force Officer and was raised to think highly of the government. She believed in a system where you are supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty, and where justice is honored above all else. She wasn’t ready for the reality of the injustices that occured to me – to her! And, she wasn’t prepared for my conviction. It broke her.
I really thought I had lost her. She became incoherent and inconsolable. In a short period of time I ended up having to take Victoria to the ER three times.
With me being taken from them and put into prison for something I didn’t do, my family’s faith in the United States justice system disappeared.
They are afraid. They are injured. They are Collateral Damage.