Friends, I’m calling on your support and prayers. I don’t often say “read this” but READ THIS. Take two minutes and read the whole thing.
Almost nobody knows about this story and that’s part of the tragedy.
Richard Mette and his wife Wendy took in foster children in South Dakota who they adopted. The Mettes were given about $300,000 in taxpayer money over the years as foster & adoptive parents.
Richard Mette raped the girls for years. Both parents beat them, sometimes with shoes or belts. The children said Wendy knew about the abuse.
Imagine the terror these girls faced every night for around a decade: not knowing if 6’9″ Richard Mette would once again force to choose between a beating or sex with him, not knowing whether they would be beaten or cut with a knife. As evil as the abuse was, it’s the waiting and not knowing what would be next that makes me cry when I think about it: thousands of nights anticipating more abuse.
Now imagine these children praying every night that someone would come and help them, to make the terror stop. Their hopes were dashed every single time.
In 2001, the Department of Social Services and police investigated. The children were betrayed: the Mettes were given a warning. In 2007, another investigation and another betrayal. Years more abuse as the state of South Dakota ignored porn everywhere in the house and stories of abuse and touching. Wendy was furious at the children who’d reported the abuse, and yelled at them until they cried.
In 2010, the children are finally removed from the home. Arrests followed as the sickening details came out. Now-finally-maybe the nightmare would end. They were saved, with the help of prosecutor Brandon Taliaferro and child’s advocate Shirley Schwab.
But the children were about to face the biggest betrayal of all.
The state of South Dakota was worried about a lawsuit since they’d failed the children so many times. The dropped all charges against Wendy Mette. They dropped all but one charge against Richard Mette. Then the state of South Dakota snatched the children from the sister they were living with and sent them back to live with Wendy. And in an unbelievable twist, they arrested the people helping the children: Brandon Taliaferro and Shirley Schwab.
Now, the children were betrayed not just by their adoptive parents and the state of South Dakota’s highest official but by the South Dakota media, who didn’t want to rock the boat.
That’s why almost nobody heard of this story. The South Dakota newspapers, TV stations, radio stations and other media outlets failed these children, too. I truly don’t understand this: did these reporters go into journalism to cover up for politicians or to tell the truth that protects the voiceless?
Nobody told their story. Now, many powerful people want to cover it up. The girls were let down at every turn.
Now, I’m begging you. plea let’s make sure that you and I don’t fail these girls.
Right now, you can help them by making sure their story reaches as many people as possible..
You’re busy. A million things call for your attention. Your life has enough struggle and drama.
But now that you know some of the story, don’t just walk away. Take a few moments and do something. Tell others.
One of the girls wrote this a few days ago:
“Although all of this is hard for me to talk about and brings up horrible memories, I have a voice and I’m going to use it. This is the some of corruption in the state of South Dakota that my siblings and I had to deal with. Brandon Taliaferro and Shirley Schwab are our heroes NOT criminals like they were/are made out to be. They were the ones who were there for us and helped us find a safe place and until people like the Attorney General Marty Jackley, States Attorney Kimberley Dorsett and others took that away. Please spread the word, the truth”
Now, YOU are the voice.
Those girls survived because for year, they said thousands of prayers for help. Their faith that someone would answer them kept them going.
In this moment, I want you to see that you are the answer to one of those prayers.