Florida Teenager Uses OTEP Song To Inform Mother Of Sexual Abuse At Hands Of Father

Michael Kruse of the St. Petersburg Times is reporting that a 16-year-old Florida girl used the OTEP song "Jonestown Tea" to tell her mother that she and her half sister were sexually abused by the man they called "Daddy."

The first few years it was happening, Jessica Kelley — who is now 19 — says she didn't even know it was wrong. Neither did her half sister. Cassie LeBlanc, 15, thought it was the way daddies showed their love.

[NOTE: The girls wanted to tell their story to the St. Petersburg Times so that others who have been sexually abused might feel more comfortable coming forward. They wanted their names used, too, for the same reason — even though Times policy in cases like these, almost always, is to omit the identities of the victims due to the nature of the crimes.]

Later on, when he kept coming under the covers, they said, and doing what he would do, and telling them not to tell, they knew more. They knew they wanted it to stop so bad they sometimes peed their pants.

In March 2003, finally, Cassie said something to her mother. Then Jessica. Then they went to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. And not quite three years later — some dozen years after the abuse started, more than five years after it ended, and after the divorce, after he had moved to Massachusetts, after one prosecutor closed the case and another one opened it up again — Clarence LeBlanc, 46, last month got life in prison without the possibility of parole.

OTEP's "Jonestown Tea" lyrics (excerpt): "Look what he did to me! Why did you do it to me? / How could you do it to me?! Why did you do it to me? / I will not cry ... I will not cry / I prefer to die!"

Read more at St. Petersburg Times.

In a 2002 interview with Lawrence.com, OTEP frontwoman Otep Shamaya spoke about how the song "Jonestown Tea" — a first-person account of teenage sexual abuse at the hands of her father — came together: "I wanted to do something dramatic for the record. At one of our rehearsals, management was there and some people from a label scouting us, and we just started (to improvise) ... By the end of the song, which was about 13 or 14 minutes later, people's jaws were on the floor. I'd kind of gone off into this other place and didn't really realize what had occurred. Something remarkable had taken place. Once we'd gone through that and everyone was like, 'Where did that come from? I decided that this was something important that I wanted to express and communicate on the record."


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