Power to Hurt: Inside a Judge's Chambers : Sexual Assault, Corruption, and the Ultimate Reversal of Justice for Women

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9780061096006: Power to Hurt: Inside a Judge's Chambers : Sexual Assault, Corruption, and the Ultimate Reversal of Justice for Women

The compelling and disturbing chronicle of the landmark federal case against Judge David Lanier, who abused the women of Dyersburg, Tennessee, through extortion, stalking, obscene telephone calls and rape.

"Horrific and chilling... A book that every woman in America should read, and every man should read, too." Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone

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Review:

"His was a sensibility in which sex, hate, and the lust for power were so intertwined as to be indistinguishable." Are you in the mood for reading about a real-life villain whose abuse of power was compared to that of Henry VIII? Look no further than this small community in West Tennessee, where a detestable judge used his influence over jobs and child custody cases to intimidate several women into a state of sexual victimization and emotional paralysis. Darcy O'Brien's writing is among the best I've ever seen in the true-crime field: it is eloquently descriptive, with a good feeling for character--such as the heroic, yet humble, figure of an FBI agent who cares enough about the community to involve himself in local problems and bring the judge to trial. Power to Hurt is nominated for a 1997 Edgar Award.

From the Publisher:

In September 1990, Vivian Forsythe, the 24-year-old daughter of a wealthy Tennessee farmer, went to see Judge David W. Lanier about a job. She didn't have a college degree, but as an A student in anthropology at her university, she considered herself well qualified for a secretarial position. Before Forsythe left the judge's chambers, he had raped her.

A riveting sexual drama chronicling the events that ripped a community and its families apart, Power to Hurt  encompasses the landmark federal case against Judge Lanier, who was sentenced in April 1993 to 25 years without parole for having violated the civil rights of six women. The major political power in his region and heir to his father's political dynasty, Lanier arrogantly abused women through extortion, threats of reprisals, obscene telephone calls, stalking and rape.

Power to Hurt  is the story of how eight women, at first too terrorized by Lanier to come forward, eventually found the courage to denounce him publicly and to ensure his sentencing. Most prominent among them was Vivian Forsythe, a divorced mother who overcame addiction and battled her own family to become the star prosecution witness against Lanier. Her strength of character and eloquent defense of women became the turning point in this precedent-setting case, with all its astonishing background, which is told here in fascinating detail and with exclusive photographs.

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