Monday, November 5 2012 3:33 PM EST2012-11-05 20:33:36 GMT
Tiara Stevens and her son are tight like many single moms and their boys, but their lives are more tightly intertwined than almost any pair could be. It's already a complex and universally delicate relationship."ThatMore >>
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Investigators have arrested a suspect in a murder that happened on Friday afternoon in a small community near Clinton.More >>
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LANCASTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) -
Until she was 12 years old, Tiara Stevens says her father was there for her, but then, she says, he ripped her childhood away.
"At the time, we only had a two bedroom trailer, so I slept on the floor of the mobile home, and he would come in there and he would go have sex, and he would leave, and he would go back into the bedroom."
At 13, Stevens had a little boy. A DNA test shows her father was the father, and she became a mom.
"Hardest part is not knowing when to treat him like my son, and when to treat him like my brother. That confuses me," said Stevens.
Now her baby is 14 years old, and her father is a free man.
"He never said he was sorry," said Stevens. "He never told me why he was doing it. Nothing."
Stevens made a statement to deputies and the Department of Social Services. That was back in 1999. She went into detail. Her father bonded out, and after more than a decade of living in the same small town, they will face each other inside this courtroom in early November.
"I didn't do nothing wrong, and what system is trying to do to me is not right, waiting 14 years for justice."
But why has Stevens been waiting so long?
The 6th Circuit Solicitor's Office has had the case for all these years. The solicitor won't go on camera because of the upcoming trial, so we asked our questions over the phone.
"Well, it got indicted in 2000, and it's just a case that we did not realize was, we jumped on it. She called. We jumped on it. We've been working hard on it ever since," said solicitor Doug Barfield.
"We didn't used to have a computerized system up here. We also had a fire at the courthouse which destroyed a bunch of documents and we had to recreate some things."
Barfield says it was a call from Stevens that got things on track.
Stevens says the anticipation of the trial is frustrating her.
"Will I actually get in the courtroom and receive justice for me and my son?" said Stevens.
The courtroom has been assigned. So has the judge. Stevens will go face-to-face with the man who she's been trying for years to avoid. She's hoping that the man who gave her one of the biggest blessings in the worst of ways will go to prison, but unlike her, she says, he'll one day be free.
"Looking at my child and looking at what I've been through, I've been through too much," said Stevens. I refuse to stop, refuse to give because he did this to me."