Episode 93: Jody Plauche, Child Abuse and Kidnapping Survivor
Karen speaks to Jody Plauche, a child sexual abuse and kidnapping survivor, and the author of The Jody Plauche Story - Why Gary Why? The question that law enforcement asked Jody’s father, Gary Plauché, seconds after television cameras recorded Gary shooting and killing Jody’s kidnapper and rapist, Jeff Doucet. Jody shares his story and how he now educates parents regarding the sly tactics that predators use on children.
Intro Voices 00:04
Where do I go? It only happened once. I was singled out. The phone calls began about one month ago. What is hazing? Something happened to me when I was younger. I'm worried about my safety. He said he was sorry. Can someone help me. Where can I get help?
Karen Ortman 00:30
This is you matter, a podcast for the NYU community developed by the Department of campus safety. Hi, everyone, and welcome back to you matter, a podcast created to teach, inspire and motivate members of the NYU community who have been victimized in some form or fashion and to identify resources both on and off campus that can help. I'm your host Karen Ortman, Associate Vice President of Campus Safety operations at the Department of Campus Safety, and a retired law enforcement professional. Today, I welcome Jody Plauché , a child sexual abuse and kidnapping survivor and the author of the Jody Plauché story."Why, Gary? Why", wherein Jody shares his story of abuse at the hands of his childhood karate instructor. Today, Jody is an advocate on behalf of children and educates parents regarding the sly tactics that predators can use on their children. Jody, welcome to you matter.
Jody Plauché 01:32
Thank you for having me.
Karen Ortman 01:33
Tell me about your life. up to age 11. I believe you were living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Jody Plauché 01:41
Born and raised in Baton Rouge, my life. You know, growing up, I was always involved in sports. From the time I was five years old. I was The Waterboy my older brothers peewee football team. When I was six, I started playing actually organized tackle football, which you probably wouldn't let kids do today. Then when I turned eight, it was basketball. I played softball And I played soccer when I was on a state championship soccer team when I was like nine years old. So I was always involved in sports. I remember one time leaving a football game and going into a soccer game. I'll let the football go to the halftime to make it to the soccer game. Well, I was always always active in sports going on.
Karen Ortman 02:19
How many siblings do you have?
Jody Plauché 02:22
I have an older brother, a younger brother and my sisters, the youngest.
Karen Ortman 02:26
Okay. And were you all involved in sports together?
Jody Plauché 02:31
Me and my older brother were my little brother wasn't because we were a bigger age gap than my older brother. That's how we ended up taking karate because my mother thought that might be a good activity for my younger brother to get involved in, involved with. So she signed us all up. And that's how I ended up taking karate
Karen Ortman 02:48
you are a very busy child.
Jody Plauché 02:51
Karen Ortman 02:52
when did you start taking karate lessons.
Jody Plauché 02:56
We first said it's taking karate lessons in the fall of 1982. And the original guy who started teaches karate, he never showed back up for the second lesson. So our names were turned over to an up and coming karate studio who was willing to honor our lessons. And his name was Jeff Toset. So we started taking karate from Jeff Toset I believe, like very end of maybe December of 82, January of 83. But it was around that timeframe.
Karen Ortman 03:25
How old was Jeff? When you met him? Your karate instructor?
Jody Plauché 03:29
Alright, let's see. So his birthday was February 3. And at this he died at 25 and 84. So what does that put him at? 23? Maybe 22.
Karen Ortman 03:41
Okay, what was your first impression when you met him?
Jody Plauché 03:46
You know, just he was a karate guy that he had a black belt and that was someone that when you stepped into that studio, or that Dojo that was someone that you showed respect to show respect to a blakc belt.
Karen Ortman 03:57
Okay. Did your parents like him?
Jody Plauché 04:00
At first? Yeah, first. You know, eventually not, you know, not that soon. But once we started going on road trips, and I mean, my dad traveled with us to Houston to go to a karate tournament. So yeah, I mean, he was welcome to come over to family night on Saturday nights he would family dinner with my grandparents one time. So yeah, no, he was he was embraced by the family.
Karen Ortman 04:24
Okay. So you started lessons in the fall of 82. You and your brother, your younger brother,
Jody Plauché 04:30
older brother and younger.
Karen Ortman 04:31
Okay. How soon after you started lessons did you start traveling to tournaments?
Jody Plauché 04:40
Alright, so I know for a fact I had a basketball tournament in March of 83. And I did not make that trip to Houston and my older brother and my younger brother both made that trip. And we heard all the stories about how fun it was. They went to AstroWorld they left my brother at the gas station and had to go back and get him. I mean So it's so like it was a great time. So the next time we had a trip to Houston, me and my dad made sure we went on the trip.
Karen Ortman 05:07
And every time... so how many tournaments would you say that you traveled to? With your dad with Jeff with your brothers?
Jody Plauché 05:19
Probably three or four. I know we had one local tournament here in Baton Rouge that we fought in. But we went to Houston a couple times. And we went to Fort Worth for the programs in July of 83. And I ended up staying with my uncle for a couple of days. And that's when my uncle noticed, like when Jeff went to drop me off to go with my uncle, Jeff gave me a mouth kiss, he kissed me on the mouth. And that really bothered my uncle. And because my uncle didn't know, Jeff, he told my dad, you know what, something's not right. With this relationship. I don't kiss my kids in the mouth. But because my dad knew Jeff and trusted Jeff, my dad was like, no, just as very affectionate he, you know, he loves kids. You've never hurt him, that kind of thing. So my parents had been groomed to trust him as well.
Karen Ortman 05:59
Yeah. Now, did Jeff, kiss your brothers on the mouth?
Jody Plauché 06:06
That's a good question. I know, my older brother at some point decided he didn't like Jeff and wouldn't take karate. So he probably tried. And then my younger brother, I mean, if it wasn't maybe like a peck, just to kind of show that he showed affection to everybody. Yeah. But like, I think the kiss he gave me was more passionate. Yeah. So to say,
Karen Ortman 06:25
Okay. Is it fair to say that at that point, you're 10 years old, still, or had you turned 11. at that time
Jody Plauché 06:35
would have, if I would have turned 11 In April of 83. So July 83, I would have been in my 11th year,
Karen Ortman 06:42
that kiss on the mouth that your uncle witnessed was that the beginning or had the abuse already begun,
Jody Plauché 06:51
It was full blown. It already been been going on just I would have been the end of July, maybe beginning in August. And like he started, he first performed oral sex on me in April, then he first had sex with me in May. And then from that point on in May, it was almost every day, so it would have been going on. So Jeff, would have been mad because he wouldn't have been having his partner for, you know, the next week.
Karen Ortman 07:17
What do you mean by that? He wouldn't have had his partner for the next week.
Jody Plauché 07:20
Like he viewed me as like his romantic interest, like his partner, his boyfriend or child for him. You know? I mean, that was that was kind of like the role I was in.
Karen Ortman 07:32
Did he say that to you? Or was that your understanding? Even, you know, at that young age of 11,
Jody Plauché 07:42
it was it was more of my understanding. But I mean, he also said, you know, he also told me, he loved me, and, you know, we have a special relationship and that kind of thing. I mean, it's less. Most people think that, like, pedophiles will threaten the child, it was less threats than it was, you know, more than the affection and not wanting him to get in trouble. Or like I tell people all the time, I knew my dad would kill him. So I just kept my mouth shut.
Karen Ortman 08:02
Yeah. Can you speak to the grooming process that led to the sort of trust that you had, of him,
Jody Plauché 08:17
part of the part of the grooming process is just coming across as a good guy. And part of it is, you know, gaining not just the trust of the child, but the family. I mean, just the fact that we would go on road trips with him. And we'd go to skate and rings and ice skating, and go to AstroWorld. All that stuff's very fun to kids. And, you know, the family members, were looking at this, like, look, he's good. He takes him do all these fun things with the kids. So it's just a way to gain the trust. And then they got to start testing the boundaries, to see if the child will keep the secret. And so Jeff was able to do that, by letting me drive the car and he put his hands in my lap.
Karen Ortman 08:56
You wanted to drive the car? I'm sure you probably felt special being able to drive a car.
Jody Plauché 09:02
We all want to drive the car. Yeah, we definitely worked. It was a standard. So you'd work to shift and we drive the car. Yeah. But it's a it's a place that had to go. And that's how I kind of justified it in my mind. Like, you know, he doesn't realize his hands are actually touching my penis, but he knew exactly what he was doing.
Karen Ortman 09:18
Yeah. Is there any way that your parents could have known what was happening? Or did you really make tremendous efforts to protect him?
Jody Plauché 09:36
I didn't really make any efforts to protect him other than not telling on him. But I think in 1983, and 1984, things were different. Yeah. I think that my parents had read my book. And I'm not just saying that to plug the book, but had they read my book. I think they would have noticed notice some personality changes in me. Like I quit playing all the other sports that I love playing only one wanted to focus on karate, and family night, I would have to sit next to Jeff on the couch and watch TV. Whereas I normally would have been playing password or whatever video game or whatever board game they were playing that night. So I think with those little sighs I think if someone would have read my book, my parents would have read my book, they would have been able to say, okay, maybe we need to have a talk with Jody.
Karen Ortman 10:21
So family night, Jeff was invited to your family night, like family game night.
Jody Plauché 10:26
Eventually, eventually, he was over with the family. And at first the family liked him. And then they started kind of getting weary of him, but it was like my uncle, you know, a lot of parents were like, That's just how Jeff is, I think, you know, he may have trained as hard to hoard one time, and he put like, not bruises, but like welts on our stomach. We were doing sit-ups he was hitting us in the stomach. And I think our parents felt like that may have been like, a little too much training. But for the most part, you know, he was welcomed with family night.
Karen Ortman 10:56
So instead of doing what you typically did, which is play games, you would sit next to him.
Jody Plauché 11:02
Yeah, he may even want me to sit next to him. But I had to sit there watch TV next to him and say, Go and play it. Or go, I wasn't allowed to go play with other kids. Like if they were outside playing kick the can or whatever. I had to sit with Jeff. Yeah.
Karen Ortman 11:14
And what made you think you had to sit there? Did he tell you that?
Jody Plauché 11:20
Um, I don't know if he said it directly. But there was an implied that was for like coercive control. That was an implied like I had to do with Jeff and wanted me to do and if I didn't do it, then maybe he would train me maybe run an extra two miles. Or he would make me do extra jumping jacks or sit-ups. But yeah, there was, it was it was no, not to me that I couldn't go play outside.
Karen Ortman 11:43
And there would be consequences if you did,
Jody Plauché 11:46
right. Same thing, as he used the same thing with my dad, whatever a parents split up, he didn't like me to go like drive to the store. My dad, he want me to hang out with my dad. And he would use that same coercive control on me to just control me while he wasn't even around.
Karen Ortman 12:04
You mentioned in your book, how he intentionally put a wedge between you and your father.
Jody Plauché 12:17
He felt like he was he felt like he was in competition with my dad's affection.
Karen Ortman 12:21
Yeah. Can you describe the ways in which he did that? And did your father ever know?
Jody Plauché 12:31
No, of course, my dad didn't know because I would have never told him. But he would like if I go to my dad's house, or the camp for the weekend, my dad would have this. And if I did ride to the store with him, my little brother, when we would come back home, Jeff would question So what y'all do? Where'd y'all go? Where Jody where did Jody go. And my little brother would be the one that will tell him, "Oh, him and daddy went to the store." And then once my little brother was gone, then it's like, oh, you love your dad more than me, then he's still in these guilt trips, and you're trying to make me feel bad. And,
Karen Ortman 13:01
and you felt you had to prove otherwise.
Jody Plauché 13:03
Karen Ortman 13:07
Did you enjoy karate?
Jody Plauché 13:11
Oh, I you know, that's a good question. I didn't really care about it. I didn't hate it. But I don't think I really enjoyed it. I did pretty well when we fought in tournaments. But, you know, I like the other sports better.
Karen Ortman 13:26
And how did you feel about Jeff as your instructor and your friend?
Jody Plauché 13:33
At the time, you know, he was someone that I cared about, I thought he was, you know, a good guy other than I knew he was wrong for the sexual abuse. So if he wouldn't have had that part of him, which of course, made him the good guy that he was, or like the fun guy he seemed to be. You know, at the time, if he was just not a child rapist, he would have seemed like he was a good guy. But for reasons I didn't know he was a child rapist.
Karen Ortman 13:59
Did you ever become suspicious of him? Or develop that sixth sense, where you just knew something wasn't right
Jody Plauché 14:12
With what I knew, as soon as he put his hands in my lap, that something wasn't right, you know. And then, when he offered to perform oral sex on me, I really knew something wasn't right. You know, but I had known my mother would watch a TV show called a fallen angel. And my parents had warned me that there were people out there that would take advantage of children. And if it ever happened to tell I you know, but at least I knew that I wasn't the one that was crazy. I knew that he was the one that had something wrong with him.
Karen Ortman 14:42
There came a time when you knew that Jeff was planning to leave the state of Louisiana.
Jody Plauché 14:53
Well, I know Jeff owed somebody some money and I knew he was trying to borrow it from people. And he told me he did tell me that if He can't come up with the money that he was going to leave town. And if he did, he was going to take me with him. So I didn't know when it was going to happen. Or, you know, I knew why was going to happen. And I was just hoping he would get that money. Well, eventually he didn't get the money. So that's when he decided to take me.
Karen Ortman 15:17
How did you feel when he told you that if he didn't come up with the money that he was going to take you with him?
Jody Plauché 15:24
That's the closest I ever came to tell him because I didn't want to go. But again, I decided to heir on the side of keeping my mouth shut and just go along with it. So when he told me that he was, you know, literally, he said, we were going we were looking at some carpet that his brother was supposed to install on this new house that was being built. And we ended up going to his brother Mike's house, and we got some, like a sleeping bag and some of Jeff's clothes. And that's what he told me said, we're going I'm taking you, we're going to California. So we drove from Gonzales, Louisiana and my mother's car that he bought from my mother to Port Arthur, Texas. And we stayed that Sunday night with his mom. That Monday we went to visit his uncle to try to get money for a bus ticket to LA. He got money somehow. And that Tuesday morning, we left out on a bus from Orange, Texas heading to Los Angeles. Mainly in meanwhile, that Tuesday morning, my mother in sheriff's deputies from Baton Rouge were heading to Port Arthur to look for me.
Karen Ortman 16:20
How did they know to go to Port Arthur?
Jody Plauché 16:23
Because Jeff's mother contacted my mother and let my mother know that Jeff was there. That's why she didn't go the next day. And my mother was told that Jeff was gonna bring me back Monday. But what I didn't come back Monday. That's when they left Tuesday. So my mother Jeff gave Jeff the benefit of the doubt that he was going to bring me home the next day. But when he didn't, that's the next day they went to Port Arthur looking for me.
Karen Ortman 16:47
What did Jeff's family think about Jeff traveling with an 11 year old boy?
Jody Plauché 16:56
You know what, considering they knew that he had been arrested for molesting children before, I think they should have really been concerned but they never said anything to my mother until after he had kidnapped me. So I don't know what they thought I know they wouldn't let their kids around him.
Karen Ortman 17:12
Wow. What did he owe money for? And how much
Jody Plauché 17:17
he had started up this idea. I think like the Pittsburgh Steelers Terrible Towel like a bandana. And it was called The Tiger Rag was LSU bandana. And he sold him in my dad actually introduced Jeff to the guy. And the guy had like a local convenience store. Think of like a 711 or a Circle K. He had like 37 of them around the Baton Rouge area. And so he was gonna carry them exclusively and buy them from Jeff. Well, Jeff never delivered on the order of bandanas. So he Oh, the Oh, the do like $15,000. And he couldn't come up with it.
Karen Ortman 17:51
You mentioned in your book that there were many warning signs. beyond what you've already shared. Were there any additional comments made? Or?
Jody Plauché 18:05
Well, there was one, I guess you could call a warning flare. I'm almost 50 years old. And I don't want to go hang around a bunch of 10 year olds. I think the fact that you know putting yourself in a position to where you're surrounded by children. I have a lot of wonderful coaches. But I mean, you have to be surrounded by children in order to bless them and you have to get them alone. So if someone's showing too much interest in your child, or more if someone was to spend more time with your kid than you do, that, to me is the biggest red flag out there.
Karen Ortman 18:35
So you began karate lessons in the fall of 82. And the kidnapping occurred when?
Jody Plauché 18:48
February 19 1984. It was a Sunday.
Karen Ortman 18:52
So almost two years after you started.
Jody Plauché 18:55
Well remember I started with another guy for so what it wasn't a couple months later. So we started taking with Jeff So I think Jeff would have been right around January of 83. So yeah, it was just about a year.
Karen Ortman 19:08
Jody Plauché 19:09
Or just over a year that we started taking running.
Karen Ortman 19:15
So after you get the bus ticket tickets to Los Angeles, you and Jeff are on a bus. What happens next?
Jody Plauché 19:25
Once we got to California we stayed the first night Los Angeles. Then we took a bus to Anaheim the next day. And it probably wasn't until I think it wasn't until the third day after we got to California, he went bought some hair dye and he dyed my hair black. So I was I was a cotton top. I mean I had white hair when I was a little boy. And I blonde hair when I was 1011 years old and he died that pitch black
Karen Ortman 19:54
did he tell you he was going to do that?
Jody Plauché 19:56
Yeah, he did. He knew he had kidnapped. I knew he'd kidnapped me. So when he said, I'm dyeing your hair black, it was like, alright, you know, I just got to go along with it just like I did whenever he said I'm taking you.
Karen Ortman 20:06
Yeah. Was Jeff familiar with California? Is that why you went back? Or you went to California?
Jody Plauché 20:13
Yeah, he was familiar with California. He was he had been in the Marine Corps. And his brother had lived in Simi Valley, and he wanted to go live in Canoga Park. That's what he liked Canoga Park for some reason. But we ended up in Anaheim. And by the time he ended up getting arrested, he was out of money. And I think that's why he allowed me to call my mother collect. He told me, give your mother a call. And we didn't have money. He said, Just call collect. And I think he knew it was over.
Karen Ortman 20:41
So how long were you in California? Before he said to you give your mother a call?
Jody Plauché 20:47
By so I got there Thursday morning, this would have been Sunday evening. So I was gone one week from the time he took me from the time I talked to my mother and let her know that I was alive and well.
Karen Ortman 20:59
And what was her reaction when you called her?
Jody Plauché 21:03
Oh, she was just thrilled to death to hear from me. And, you know, just we were telling her we were in New York. And a lot of the times she was asking questions like, Do you have a jacket? Do you have a coat just to kind of get an idea of if we really were in New York City, because in New York City, it was 26 degrees in California was 78 degrees. So because it was February. So just questions like that. Because on the other end, the other end at the house, we had a phone with two receivers. And Mike Burnett with the battery Sheriff's Department. He was a major I actually just ran into him at lunch today. Yeah, he was at the house and he would write down. You know, just Jody have a coat. You know, what time isn't that kind of thing. And one time they asked him what time was it? He gave the California time
Karen Ortman 21:48
Jeff wanted them to think that you were in New York.
Jody Plauché 21:51
He was telling my mother that we were in New York.
Karen Ortman 21:55
How long did he talk to her? Before you talk to her?
Jody Plauché 21:59
I would talk to her, he would talk to her. I think it was a total of nine hours of phone conversations that they had recorded.
Karen Ortman 22:08
At any point to do you recall, Jeff having the conversation about bringing you back home with your mom,
Jody Plauché 22:16
a lot of times when he talks about Mother, I wasn't even in the room.
Karen Ortman 22:19
So what was Jeff's mistake that actually drew law enforcement to your location?
Jody Plauché 22:27
Well, he allowed me to call home, collect back, for those people who might be in college today that are young, back in the day, when you had a land phone call, you didn't want to pay long distance you'd call the operator, they contacted the person and say, Hey, will you pay for this phone conversation? And they said yes or no. And so my mother agreed to pay for the phone conversation. But she asked the operator for time and charges and what that meant was when the phone call was over with the operator came back on the phone and informed my mother that phone call was 14 minutes long, and that was gonna cost you $23. So she asked her to type in charges. Well, when she did that, that's when Mike Barnett got on the phone and said, Look, I'm investing a kidnapping. I need to know exactly where that phone call came from. And they said it came from the Samoan motel. Anaheim, California room. 38.
Karen Ortman 23:17
So then the police responded to your location. The California police.
Jody Plauché 23:22
Yes. It was a California and the police andthe FBI. I think he was arrested on a Tuesday, which would have been... I know it was a leap year because if you look at his police photo, it says February 29 on the police photo. Okay, so, so it would have been 10 days.
Karen Ortman 23:37
So how did you get home to Louisiana from California?
Jody Plauché 23:43
Right. First, the police took me to the police station, they questioned me that I left the police station. I went to the hospital where they did a rape kit on me. And from the hospital. I went to the Albert Sutton home I think is what it was called for, like abused and neglected kids. And I stayed the day there. And then I flew out at 1am 1:15 I think or 1:05am March 1, 1984. I flew from Los Angeles International Airport to New Orleans airport
Karen Ortman 24:13
was Jeff on the same flight as you were,
Jody Plauché 24:17
no Jeff came back March 16. So he came back two weeks later.
Karen Ortman 24:21
Did you share with your parents your anyone in your family? What had been happening with you? With Jeff?
Jody Plauché 24:30
Not then? No. Because I first thing my mother wanted to do was get my hair dyed back to blonde. And then I went to the police station and they questioned me for like three hours and I denied everything. But in the back of my head. I knew that I had gone to the hospital and I knew that there was gonna be evidence that Jeff had sexually abused me so I made up my mind. I wasn't going to admit it until that came back that way Jeff can never say I told on him. And when I was done with that police interrogation that's what was was an interrogation on me. When I was done with that interrogation, they told my parents, either that man never touched him, or he's too brainwashed, he'll never admit it, and they were wrong on both.
Karen Ortman 25:10
It's so admirable for you to share your story. Because having worked these cases for many, many years, it was always very, very challenging, challenging to speak to a male survivor. And to the degree that they would be comfortable disclosing, you know, these very sort of intimate details of, of abuse, I think your story is going to be so helpful to people, to survivors who have experienced something similar,
Jody Plauché 25:54
That’s what I hope when I wrote the book, we just discussed that when I was having lunch, Mike had mentioned when the first time I came on the Geraldo Rivera talk show when I was 18 years old, we got contacted, and there was a local kid in the community of Baton Rouge that saw me on that show, and then said, that was the reason why he came forward. And they arrested this pastor who'd been molested, you know, 7,8, 9 kids. And Mike called me back when I was, I guess I was 19. When it show aired. He called me back when I was 19. And he said, this kid came forward because of you. And that's kind of changed my, my focus on life.
Karen Ortman 26:31
It's so impactful. Prior to March 16, 1984, when Jeff was returned to Louisiana from California. I asked you previously if you shared any details with your mother or father, up to that point, and I believe you said that you didn't?
Jody Plauché 26:51
Well, I so when I first I was returned, remember, there's a two week gap? Yeah. All right. The first week I was back, I denied everything. It wasn't until a week before Jeff came home, that the results of the rape kit came back. So a week before my dad shot him, Mike Burnett sat down with my mother and dad and told them that, you know, spermatozoa was found on the rectal slide. And that's when they found out so my dad had a week to, I guess, Bruins and bubble over? And...
Karen Ortman 27:23
Did he say anything? Do you? Did your dad say anything to you about that?
Jody Plauché 27:26
I hadn't talked to my dad, I told I told my mother not to tell my dad. And the things I had discussed with my mother, who I thought I had told him confidence, felt my dad was my father and deserve to know. And so she was going back and telling him some of the details that I had shared with her. And that is kind of what led him over the edge.
Karen Ortman 27:47
Yeah. So tell me about the day of March 16 1984.
Jody Plauché 27:55
You know, considering I had been kidnapped and had been returned, and I had returned back to school, it just seemed like a normal private, regular average day. It was a Friday. But it was my dad's weekto have us. And he sent my grandparents to pick us up which kind of kind of upset me because, you know, I felt like you were your kids. Why are you sending your parents to come get this is your week to have us. It's not there weekend to have us. And so we went out to our camp on falls river run we're about to run out there here in a little while. And we just spent the normal day like we got there five o'clock. We had my brother when hunting for fishes. I took a bath early went a bed early that night. It wasn't till the next morning, when my grandparents were like get in the car get in the car. We're going back to Baton Rouge, and I could tell something wasn't right. And we kept asking, you know what was Where's daddy? Because that daddy ever came out there that night. Where's daddy? Where's daddy? And well, they weren't telling us where daddy was because Daddy was in jail. So they drove us back to Baton Rouge, which is just like 40 minutes away, drove us back to Baton Rouge. And my mother sat us down at my grandparents’ house. And that's what she said last night Jeff came in. And Daddy was at the airport and shot him and then I don't think Jeff was officially dead yet. But his fate was to be what was determined we knew what was going to happen. And so I think one of my brothers said, Good. my sister says My daddy's going to jail. And I got upset because I didn't want Jeff dead at the time. Now for the people who think I am still upset. I'm not, you know, I'm not upset that Jeff's dead. But I think I would have preferred him to go to jail for the rest of his life. And they actually, the same people that were in the positions of power in the justice system that allow my dad to get probation would have been the same people who were taking it from a day of putting the guy who raped your son in jail. I believe that 100%
Karen Ortman 29:44
At what point did you learn your father shoots him in front of news cameras. So the shooting is broadcast all over the country
Jody Plauché 29:56
when not 30 At night, and it was a So the 10 o'clock news, I happen to be sleeping that night. And I didn't watch the news till five o'clock the next evening. But they told me, Jody, whatever you do, don't look at the newspaper. Don't watch the news. And so of course, the first thing I did was both of those things.
Karen Ortman 30:13
what did you think when you saw the actual shooting of Jeff?
Jody Plauché 30:22
Well, it was weird because at the time, I was 11 years old, and they told me that daddy had shot Jeff at the airport. My visual in my head was like, you know, when the presidents come down the stairs outside on the tarmac? I thought like, how did daddy shoot him on a you know, on a runway that so when I saw it, I had never been in Baton Ridge airport. I don't think at that time, or maybe I'd been once but I was still a kid. And then it dawned on Oh, he did it inside. He was walking through the terminal. But it just like it gave me clarification on what my visual was
Karen Ortman 30:54
now, recognizing that this happened in the 1980s, the abuse. And the laws were very, very different. resources were very, very different back then the way the criminal justice system looked at child victims was very different. In Louisiana, were there any resources available to you, in light of everything that you had gone through?
Jody Plauché 31:23
None that we were made aware of an ad probably would have refused any type of counseling, because when I worked at Victim Services Center in, in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, you know, we offered free counseling for survivors, family members of survivors. And they didn't have any of that they had advocates, like we would go to the hospital with victims, we would go to the police station while they gave their statements. You know, when I was at police station room, I was by myself and I had two cops ganging up on me. And it wasn't like I said it was an interrogation. They were trying to get me to break, they knew I was lying. So they didn't have any of those services. And it was nice because I started working in 93 Victim Service and 98 Victim Services Center. And right after I first started, they came up with the sexual assault response team where you had a specialized hospital, specially trained nurses, specially chain detectives, and you had the victim advocate that would all come to one hospital when the victim would happen. So I went from seeing your nurses not knowing what they were doing to the specifically trained nurses who were almost advocates themselves. And police officers who, you know, were specially trained. That was like, I was on this one case where a woman was raped in a bar outside a bar. And she went out her and a guy went out to the court to smoke weed. And then he raped her out there and the cop said, Look, we're gonna do a drug test to see if there's any other drugs in your system. But if you went out there to smoke weed, please be honest with me because if you lie to me now, they're gonna think you're lying to me later. And she's like, Yeah, we're gonna smoke weed. It's I mean, I saw I got to see it because he's like, I'm not worried about weed. Yeah. So I got I got to see that the detective change the nurse change. And that was a nice change. I fully support the sexual SART teams. They're wonderful.
Karen Ortman 33:04
They're the same SART teams, the sexual assault nurse examiner and the sexual assault response team. We have those in New Jersey too. And as a matter of fact, I want to say the coordinator of the same SART program, from when I was in law enforcement was actually a guest on my podcast, Jane Reynolds, and she explains what the same SART program is, and its origins and everything. So for anybody who's interested in hearing more about that, but it is an excellent program, and I'm really thankful that it exists today. In your book, you discuss grooming at length, you mentioned grooming earlier. Is there anything additional that you want to share with listeners, particularly parents, as it pertains to grooming? how it played out for you maybe in unexpected ways that maybe parents wouldn't think would be part of a grooming process?
Jody Plauché 34:09
Well, one of the things that I've kind of, I've kind of changed my stance on like when I went to victim services and to do community education programs. You know, we would teach the it was called keep in touch and safe and healthy and we would go talk to second graders, third graders, fourth graders, and we would tell them that their bodies ports were private and, and good touch, bad touch, but then that inappropriate sexual touch, we call it a secret touch. So I still think that should be taught. But I also think parents should have more of the knowledge to keep their child from being sexually abused, then putting the emphasis on the child to prevent it from happening. You still want to have the conversation and I think if you do have that conversation about safe and healthy touching, if someone does test the boundary like Jeff did when I was driving the car, that kid may have the confidence to say, you know, your hands in my lap, do not put your hands in my lap. And so when they test the boundaries, it's usually so that they can they can excuse it away.
Karen Ortman 35:12
You know, it's it also brings to mind. The expectation is that when a child is being sexually abused that there is pain or discomfort, or, or it is an unpleasant experience every time and that's not the case. Always. It. That is not always the case. It could be.
Jody Plauché 35:34
I was very careful how I worded it in the book, because I did I did want to address that because I don't think in other sexual abuse books, it's addressed enough. Yeah. Okay. When people talk about feeling guilty, and caring and blaming themselves, it's because of that the body is a body. And yes, so when Jeff was performing oral sex on me, I would not say I was enjoying it. But my body responded. And so my body indicated I enjoyed it.
Karen Ortman 36:00
Yeah, he wasn't inflicting pain on your body at that time. Let's talk about course of control. Let's talk about what coercive control is first.
Jody Plauché 36:14
Alright, so Jeff being able to have control over me with him not being there. Like, whenever I would go with my dad on the weekends, my dad would want me to go ride with him to the store, or maybe he was going to go get a beer or whatever. And I would be like, No, I'm good. I'm gonna stay here. Because if Jeff found out I rode with my dad, then Jeff would throw a guilt trip on me, tell me I didn't love him, make me cry. And by him not being there. I knew I was gonna face that. So he had control over me, even though he wasn't there. And that's the coercive control.
Karen Ortman 36:46
Yeah. Did Did he attempt coercive control with any other member of your family? Other than your father?
Jody Plauché 36:57
Wow, you know what? I think you could, you could chalk it up as that. But I mean, he was a very manipulative person. So I'm sure there were times he would manipulate my mother or, you know, he would try to, you know, he would tell me to come with him not to go with her. And my mother be like Jody, do not get out the car do not go with him. And I would stay with Jeff. So I think that he would use those manipulative tactics. So I don't know if that will be categorized as coercive control. But he definitely used you know, brainwashing, like guilt trips, power trips, you know, that kind of thing. Yeah, absolutely.
Karen Ortman 37:30
Remember, in the 70s, and 80s, some somewhat into the 90s. Stranger danger was the big cautionary tale, you know, for parents to tell their children stay away from strangers. But that's a pretty faulty premise, isn't it?
Jody Plauché 37:49
Absolutely. I mean, even when it comes to just abductions, most of the people who were abducted, abducted by parents, or someone known to the child. Yes, Stranger danger. I mean, you still want to teach it. But you also want to teach, you know, creepy uncle danger and creepy Coach danger, too.
Karen Ortman 38:09
Yeah. Were you angry at your father for killing Jeff.
Jody Plauché 38:15
Um, maybe the first couple of days, I was more upset about Jeff dying than actually dad to be the one that killed him. But I eventually got over it. They let me heal at my own pace. And it probably wasn't until later that summer. So that the shooting happened in March and probably wouldn't till August, that really, me and my dad's relationship kind of got back to normal.
Karen Ortman 38:38
And your father's no longer with us.
Jody Plauché 38:42
Now, he died in October 2014. In September of 2011, he had a very bad stroke, which required him to have full time care. So he was in a nursing home, two miles up the street, we go get him every weekend, bring him home, mother and sister would go visit him, you know, almost every day. So it wasn't like, you know, we just threw him in a nursing home and abandoned him. You know, my mother and sister had spent all day with him the day before he died
Karen Ortman 39:06
and my condolences for your loss. It's hard to lose a parent. In your book, you write that a child's actions act as a megaphone, and that there's a difference between a child who was being sexually abused and a child who was acting out. Can you explain that?
Jody Plauché 39:31
Alright, I got to be careful with this because people who get acted out on their experience is abuse. Does that make sense to you? So what their experience is, is another child performing inappropriate actions on them, but the acting out like let's say you take an eight year old child, and they're being sexually abused, and let's say the adults performing oral sex on a child well, it's gonna feel good. So that child might go to another child say, hey, look, I learned this trick. Let me show you. So they're just on you a trick that they learned. They're not just coming from, hey, let me take advantage of you sexually. Now again, the child who's happening to is not viewing it is that yeah, so there's so a child who's been molested who's, you know, showing in their friend, or there was one kid, I mentioned this in the book, there was a turtle girl, the turtle girl. She drew a picture of a turtle with an erect penis. And the teacher saw it and was like, Do you know what this is? And she was like, yeah, it's a dick. And so her mother called the hotline, my coworker took the phone call, and she came to me, do you think that this girl's been sexually abused? I'm like, sounds like it, she should know, of fully erect penis at that age. Well, turns out her older brother who was like 13, or 12/13, or 12, had been sexually abused by a family member, and he was acting out on her. So he was just, you know, he had been sexualized at a young age, didn't know what was wrong, and just was acting out. Now, again, from her perspective, she was being abused by her brother,
Karen Ortman 41:07
can you share with our listeners, what predators might be looking for?
Jody Plauché 41:13
They're looking for easy targets they're looking for. I mean, think about, you know, bank robbers, they're going to rob the bank with the least cameras. I mean, they're looking for easy targets and broken homes. Remember, my parents weren't split up whenever we started taking karate, but they were on the verge of splitting up my dad had a drinking problem. So they look for easy targets. And apparently, I was one of them.
Karen Ortman 41:37
How about some myths? What are some myths related to molestation and rape?
Jody Plauché 41:44
That if you're sexually abused, that you're going to turnout to sexual abuse people, I think that's a myth. If you're sexually abused by a male and you're a male, and the same goes female and female, that it's gonna turn you gay. That's definitely a myth.
Karen Ortman 41:59
If someone is interested in reading your book, The Jody Plauché story Why, Gary? Why? Where can they find it?
Jody Plauché 42:09
Right now, it's currently available on Amazon. And I'm pretty sure Barnes and Noble and other places where you get books from, but you can order from Amazon, they got the paperback or the Kindle version. If you want a signed copy, reach out to me. Jody email@example.com. And books $20, $5. Shipping, and I can send you a signed copy as well.
Karen Ortman 42:30
Wonderful. Is there anything you would like to add that I haven't already asked?
Jody Plauché 42:37
Probably the only thing I would like to add is kind of like the message of the book. It's kind of like the message of my speech is that just because you've been through something terrible, like sexual abuse, it doesn't have to define you, doesn't have to mean your life is ruined. You're not scarred for life. You're not damaged goods. I get tired of hearing people say that about abuse victims, you can overcome. You can become a survivor or thrive or however you want to define yourself. But just because you went through something tragic doesn't mean you can't come out. Okay, or better on the other side.
Karen Ortman 43:05
I love it. Thank you so much, Jody. Thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me today.
Jody Plauché 43:14
No problem next time in New York. I'll come by and say hello, I would
Karen Ortman 43:17
I hope that you do I look forward to that. Thank you.
Jody Plauché 43:21
Well, I'll walk the highlight and I'll come see you.
Karen Ortman 43:23
Okay, it's a date. Thank you once again to my guest, Jody Plauché and to all of our listeners for joining us for today's episode of You matter if any information presented was triggering or disturbing. Please feel free to contact the wellness exchange at 212-443-9999 are NY US Department of campus safety and their victim services unit at 212-998-2222. Please share like and subscribe to you matter on Apple podcasts Google Play tune in for Spotify.