Victim or monster. Which is Deborah Sena? A motion being heard this morning could help determine the answer.
Sena and her attorney, Kristina Wildeveld (who is a friend of mine,) maintain Sena is a victim of abuse who sought refuge at a shelter, told police the truth about her husband’s revolting acts in which she says she was forced to take part and now finds herself facing trial for child sex abuse.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who wasn’t disgusted a year ago by the allegations against Christopher Sena, Deborah and Sena’s ex-wife, Terrie.
Terrie Sena faces a possible life behind bars after pleading guilty to sexual abuse. She will be eligible for parole after ten years.
Christopher Sena, who was kind enough to videotape his encounters and provide prosecutors with plenty of evidence now, faces a slew of child sex abuse and child pornography charges.
And pictures don’t lie. Or do they?
Attorneys for Deborah Sena say the videotaped images of their client allegedly engaged in incestuous acts of child abuse don’t tell the full story.
The videos, they say, don’t capture the threats to comply or the physical and psychological abuse endured by the family until Deborah Sena, her son and step-daughter fled the home – slithering along the floor, according to testimony, to evade the cameras Christopher Sena used to monitor his family’s every move.
It’s an important issue given the fact many victims of abuse are threatened by their batterers with threats of “exposure” – be it drug use, prostitution, or some other criminal behavior.
Wildeveld and others fear the prosecution of Deborah Sena could snowball into a full-blown chilling effect, preventing victims from leaving their abusers and coming forward.
The case was to go to trial in November but prosecutors allege Wildeveld unnecessarily delayed it. Now those prosecutors, who Wildeveld tried unsuccessfully to have removed from the case, are further delaying the trial by trying to get the court to give Wildeveld the boot.
With apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein, the motion, which I’ve attached, Sena_State Response to Def Mot Cont (1) reads something like “How do you solve a problem like Kristinaaa?”
The D.A.’s office alleges she’s mishandled witness interviews, offered flimsy excuses for delays and handed her client the basis for an ineffective counsel claim.
No doubt Wildeveld can “outpester any pest” but she says it’s warranted by prosecutors who are selective in their presentation of the facts.
Wildeveld’s counter C-15-303922-1-7612253_MSTR_Motion_to_Strike_State_s_Countermotion_to_Appoint_New_Counsel_and_Countermotion_to_ (2) says the prosecutors have misstated facts and evidence, have “lost their duty and ability to focus on relevant facts” and have intentionally refused to prosecute Christopher Sena for domestic abuse – a calculation to avoid recognizing Deborah Sena as a victim.
Update: Parties agree to February 22 trial date.