The Short of It
In the video, which has been viewed over 54.4 million times on Facebook, we see mother Catherine St. Germain holding up a series of signs. The first tells us she is a 34-year-old from Loveland, Colo., then we learn she has a 17-year-old daughter named Alyssa.
Two years ago, Catherine started dating Aaron Scott, a father-of-three whom she'd known for 20 years.
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Nothing seemed out of the ordinary with Aaron, who is a Navy veteran and former cop. We learn through Catherine's series of signs that her boyfriend had close friends and family, and was hardworking and intelligent.
"I thought I had finally found my happily ever after," the next page reads. The couple married in 2014.
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But in April 2015, Catherine got a call from the police to come to the station and to not tell Aaron. As she tells WCSH News, "We were in the police station, and the policeman handed me her statement. And I started reading, and I don't even think I made it more than a couple of lines in. And I just collapsed on her. And hugged her and told her I was so sorry and how much I loved her."
The night before, Aaron had sexually assaulted her daughter, then 15 years old. She immediately kicked him out and divorced him, despite the fact that he maintained his innocence. But DNA evidence proved he had assaulted Alyssa. He accepted a plea bargain, and he served just 90 days in jail! But he will also serve 8 years on sex offender probation.
That's why Catherine urges all single moms to check the National Sex Offender Registry and believe their kids if they claim they have been sexually abused. She also wants people to know that strangers aren't the only people you have to worry about.
"Monsters look and act normal," she says via her handwritten cards. "They are very good at hiding who they really are."
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Since posting her video, messages of support from other abuse survivors have come pouring in. Catherine says you may never believe something like this could happen to you or your child, but 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are sexually abused.
She told KUSA-TV, "I keep saying I didn't do anything brave my kid did. My kid did the bravest thing. She spoke out against the person who sexually assaulted her within 24 hours."
What is your reaction to this powerful video?