ST TAMMANY PARISH -- While the attacks were distinct, the memory of them isn't, Justin Bleker told the judge in the civil trial over whether St Tammany Parish Public Schools failed to take reasonable steps to protect him from the Abney Elementary School janitor who raped him twice and molested him once in the school's bathrooms.
The attacks happened in the fall of 2007. A jury convicted Dino Schwertz of the aggravated rape of Justin Bleker and the molestation of another boy. Schwertz is serving a 999 year sentence at Angola Prison.
Justin Bleker testified Thursday afternoon that many of the details of the attacks, now nearly a decade ago, have ether faded or been forced from his mind.
"I remember being choked. I remember him telling me to be quiet. I remember him telling me he was going to kill me," Bleker told Judge Raymond Childress, who will ultimately decide whether the school district should be held liable in the case.
After starting to cry, Bleker then told the judge, "I remember him raping me."
Bleker described the fear and pain he went through in the days, even years since the attacks. He said he was scared to be alone.
"At one point, I started sleeping with two fully-grown German Shepherds because I don't feel safe," he said choking back tears.
It's the second time Bleker has had to take the witness stand. His testimony in Schwertz's criminal helped to convict the former janitor.
But his mother, Rebecca Hickman, spent hours on the stand for the first time Thursday. From Bleker's learning disabilities, to problems with his stomach, Hickman said Bleker sobbed as she talked about the fallout on her family.
"I have a broken family because of this. Broken!" she exclaimed.
Attorneys for the school district pointed out documented stomach problems Bleker had been having before the attacks.
But Hickman said the problems intensified, saying Bleker would vomit as many as a dozen times a day after the rape. Medical records revealed physicians could find no physical problems behind Bleker's stomach problems.
While attorneys for the district appear to agree the rapes happened, their earlier questioning of witnesses hinted they may argue the rapes happened on Schwertz's lunch break, not on school time.
They are expected to call two expert witnesses as they begin to mount their defense.