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In day two of the defamation case underway in District Court, registered sex offender Ted Vives told jurors he learned during three years of therapy how to control the urges that led him to have sex with a student in Florida in 1990.
“I learned those things that caused me to offend … I learned that a sex offense is not about sex, it’s about power and exerting that power over another person,” Vives said. “It was something I had to learn how to deal with. I learned above all things the identity of the victim must be kept confidential for their safety. I basically learned how to keep myself from doing it again.”
Vives explained that a sensitive trigger for him is to be unsupervised around minors.
Defense attorney Paul Grace reminded Vives that in his deposition he admitted that he did not tell his first wife about his crime and that at times he was alone with her minor children.
Vives also admitted keeping his past from parents when he moved to Los Alamos and began teaching private music lessons in his home to teenagers.
Vives is suing local resident Linda Hull for intentional interference with contractual relations, infliction of emotional distress, false light invasion of privacy and malicious abuse of process for speaking out publicly and writing e-mails alerting people to his sex-offender status.
Hull’s attorney Paul Grace laid out a laundry list of reasons his client is countersuing Vives for malicious abuse of process, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and injunctive relief.
Grace told jurors Vives has harassed and intimidated Hull for some five years " ever since she first alerted Los Alamos Public Schools that he was a registered sex offender.
She fought courageously, he said, to ensure the school board adopted a policy requiring Vives, and all other registered sex offenders have escorts when stepping on school property.
Hull remained on the stand most of the day as Grace had her detail for the jury retaliatory incidents that she believes Vives was behind including:
Two anonymous subscriptions to pornographic magazines;
Posting a lewd advertisement on Yahoo’s personals in Hull’s name;
Four repentance-themed Christmas cards mailed to Hull’s home address;
Harassment of Hull’s teenage daughter on two occasions;
Two incidents of soiled cat litter in Hull’s mailbox;
Three incidents in which Hull’s car was keyed;
Numerous menacing, threatening and lewd e-mails;
An obscene poem;
Several disturbing public confrontations; and
Litigation costing Hull more than $100,000 in defense fees.
Hull recounted for the jury how these incidents followed events in which she had spoken out against sex offenders being allowed to engage in activities and events involving children and families.
Vives is the musical director of the Community Winds, which intended to bring in a Star Trek event geared to attract families.
Hull contacted Los Alamos Public Schools and Mesa Public Library that were listed as event sponsors.
She informed them that they were supporting a family event being put on by an organization led by a sex offender. Hull also wrote George Takei who played Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek.
The event was cancelled and Hull said more harassment followed, which she believes Vives instigated.
Hull described an incident in Smith’s parking lot one evening following a late meeting. She told the jury that while she was in her car speaking on her cell phone to her husband, Vives pulled into the parking lot, walked up and stood in front of her windshield smirking and waving his keys in front of her before walking slowly along the side of her car.
Hull said she is being treated for depression, adding that she is afraid of Vives and the ongoing situation between them has affected her confidence and caused her to lose the sense of safety she had for years living in the local community.
Vives took the stand towards the end of the day and denied ever doing any of the things Hull attributes to him.
“It’s been nearly five years of uninterrupted attacks on my character; attacks on my person in terms of fabricated events … a tremendous amount of stress, a tremendous amount of lack of sleep, a tremendous amount of soul searching as to why this is happening,” Vives said, becoming emotional. “I understand some people can never get beyond the sex offender thing but what I can’t deal with is people thinking I’m some sort of violent person.”
Vives told jurors he’s always wondering if people are looking at him.
“She just keeps on and on and when she doesn’t get the results she wants, she ratchets up the rhetoric. Instead of sex offender, I become the violent sex offender,” Vives said as he began to cry. “I’m not trying to bankrupt Linda Hull - I just want her to stop.”
Court proceedings in this case are expected run through Thursday.
Contact Carol A. Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org or (505) 662-4185 ext. 25.