Henry Germain sentenced to 15 years in prison Crimes & Incidents, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on May 27, 2009 at 1:51 pm
Henry John Germain closed his eyes as he listened to four women recount in emotional testimony their abuse by him in a Hayward courtroom this morning. Moments later, with applause coming from the victims' family and friends, he was taken into custody to serve a 15-year sentence in state prison for child molestation.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 12:36 PM
Posted by Dan, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on May 27, 2009 at 1:51 pm
Justice was served and I pray that the victims can find some peace in knowing that this despicable man is off the streets and cannot harm more young girls. As a community we owe a debt of gratitude for the bravery the victims showed in coming forward to ensure he will not see the light of day for a long time.
Posted by Hooray!, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 27, 2009 at 2:10 pm
This is wonderful news, indeed, but I will say that I think the sentence was too light. Four women of how many victims will have to live the rest of their lives with what he did to them as a child. He can start over in 15. Can they? No.
I don't think he should ever get out of prison, if there was real justice.
We only have 15 years of peace until he reenters our society.
Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on May 27, 2009 at 2:22 pm
Neil Rennis Shumate has yet to "start over." While many still believe he is a stellar Boy Scout leader, devout Mormon, and dedicated educator, the sentence and his time served continue to label him as a deviant accused of fondling young children's genitals, massaging their chests, and licking their ears.
People still talk about the damage that case did to Pleasanton. Let's not forget the damage done to the young children who were violated by someone their parents told them they could trust. Jill Hiatt, Deputy District Attorney, couldn't have said it better than when she stated, "There is a kernel of ugliness that that man deposited with these children that will live with them for the rest of their lives. That will never go away.''
Posted by BYE BYE, a resident of the Carriage Gardens neighborhood, on May 27, 2009 at 5:28 pm
Henry will be lucky to get out. He is being sent to San Quienton, although they do take precaution and put these sick-o's in a seperate place there is no way he will not interact with the other criminals that think this is a disqusting crime and have nothing to lose.
Posted by anonymous, a resident of another community, on May 27, 2009 at 5:29 pm
To Hooray: Henry would have gotten the full 32 years if this had gone to trial but the D A did not want the victims to have to sit in a public courtroom and tell the sordid details to a jury and add to the pain that they have already endured all these years. He also would have remained out on bail for maybe a year until the trial.
Posted by Hooray, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 27, 2009 at 5:42 pm
I don't think the victims should have had to do anything but ID him and move on with their lives. I think Henry should be let loose among the "general population" in prison.
That would be true justice! And also if he was sentenced to life for what he did.
I am so, so, sorry for the young women who were vicitmized by this man. They are true heroes to me for what they did for this community. I have a five year old daughter and I don't know what I would have done if they hadn't caught him...
Posted by anonymous, a resident of another community, on May 27, 2009 at 7:16 pm
Hooray, you may think your daughter is safe with Henry in San Quintin but you should keep an eye on Uncle Larry or Cousin Fred because your daughter is far more likely to be molested by a relative, someone you would never have suspected.
Posted by justice served, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 27, 2009 at 10:46 pm
Justice was swift, fair and firm in this case. This case resolved relatively quickly thanks to the brave women, cops and prosecutors. This was a great team effort by all to protect our children. What is great about justice is that in the end it is sweeter than revenge, hate or violence. How powerful it was for those women to stand up in court and have the last word before Germain was shipped off to prison for the next 15 years. To finally get to tell their story and stand up for themselves. To have the backing of the community and to know that people believe them. That is justice! It is time to heal now and move forward with our lives. I hope we all learned that we must protect our children, listen to them and believe in them. To the young women: you are so brave and your futures are so bright. Thank you. So much was taken from you but you have given back and made our community a better place and restored our faith in Justice.
Posted by BS justice served, a resident of the Ponderosa neighborhood, on May 27, 2009 at 11:33 pm
justice served- My a** justice was served. I know we are civilized and a country where almost all is forgiven. Good behavior and he's out in 7 1/2 years and that's justice. This should be a death penalty case as with all molestors, rapists, and muderers.
Posted by DL, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on May 28, 2009 at 8:42 am
Our justice system is really in a terrible mess! We as Americans are far too flexible and soft on sickos like this guy, as well as rapist and murderers.
Up until the 50's, serious crime was swift with justice being served, a bare minimum of people's tax revenue being wasted on a current over crowded prison system, costing us tax payers billions of dollars every year. Never mind the percentage of major crimes were far lower than it will ever currently be. One major reason why? Because most sickos realized they were scared of there pants to ever try and commit a serious crime. I'm still baffled why and the hell are sickos like Charles Manson still alive, getting three meals a day, a roof over his head???
They should have Henry John Germain neutered, and locked up for at least 30 years without parole.
Posted by 15 years? what a joke, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on May 28, 2009 at 11:01 am
15 years? That is an insult to society. The victims have their entire lives and he only gets 15. I am so glad that most prisoners HATE child molesters. Hopefully his day will come in jail and he could see what it is like.
Posted by Mother of one of the raped children, a resident of another community, on May 28, 2009 at 12:42 pm
Those of you who haven't had a child raped or molested have no idea of the long term trauma these children, now women, continue to endure. The light sentence Henry received is an insult to these women. We need to change the laws regarding sentencing of these pedophiles.
Posted by Pleasanton Tennis Mom, a resident of the Kottinger Ranch neighborhood, on May 28, 2009 at 3:58 pm
To Henry's Victims: You are noble, heroic women who can hopefully have one ounce of relief that he is behind bars because of you and your bravery. The horrific acts that took place will never be forgotten and I know that you will forever be scarred. Please accept deep, heartfelt thanks from a mom of a young lady who plays tennis at Castlewood. You have selflessly saved so many more from your same fate. You are all in my heart.
To Henry's Children and Family: May you find peace, healing and closure as you are also victims of this huge mess. Godspeed.
Pleasanton, let's put this behind us, move on, but never forget the huge lesson that we have all learned...trust no one. Sad, but true.
Posted by anon, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 28, 2009 at 7:19 pm
With good behavior he will be out in 12 years 9 months, i.e 74 years 9 months plus and have to then start paying restitution to the six victims and then be on probation until 84+ years. He will be a sex offender with most likely his picture and address on Megan's list.
Hopefully, the victims will get help while he is in prison. It would be horrid if their families are waiting for restitution. My friend was abused by her father and didn't get any help until she was in her late 30s. She was trying to change careers and get into social work - her past really came back with a vengenance.
Posted by Scott Walsh, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on May 28, 2009 at 9:32 pm
15 was not enough. He should have got 15 for each of the victims. And he should go to Arizona's outdoor no frill prison where they live in tents. Having a daughter, I am really sensitive to these scumbags. These victims should sue.
Posted by Survivor, a resident of another community, on May 29, 2009 at 10:38 am
To all the victims, children and family,
I am a survivor. I was one the girls he attacked. I was molested and raped by Henry Germain. This sentence was to light. It was a slap on the wrist. While this man serves a few years for what he has done, many will live with this forever. I want you all to know, we did nothing wrong. Don't let him take your life away. Be cautious not afraid. Don't let him have the satisfaction of thinking about him. In time we can forget this man. He is not worth one thought let alone many. I chose not to be a victim now, but a survivor. I survived. I am married and have beautiful children. I will not let the thought of this man hurt me or my children. I am cautious but not afraid. I am aware but not afraid. I have life and I am going to live it.
Posted by Still in Shock, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 29, 2009 at 9:05 pm
As tennis members at Castlewood, we are glad that this chapter is closed, at least as far as putting Henry in a place where he cannot harm others. This whole thing was a shock to discover, and the lesson here for all of us is that you just never know what people are capable of, so proceed with caution.
We are part of a large group of parents that enjoyed taking lessons with Henry and had our kids in his afternoon clinics. We are confident that none of our kids were harmed yet also believe that they were on his eventual hit list (as sick as that is to even say).
My purpose in writing this is to let others know two things: first, the parents up there had NO CLUE, and this is a group of parents that is very involved with their kids. It underscores just how careful one has to be in protecting our children.
Second, the tennis program is back in gear. We have a new director and teaching pro, and these guys are really strong additions who are helping build the tennis community, which is very strong. Our hearts break for Henry's kids, who are also victims of this mess. We need to pray for them alongside all those who were harmed.
Yes, this man deserves far worse than he got. But at least he's not out running around the tri-valley anymore. From what our police friends tell us, it will be no party for him.
May our entire community heal and learn from this and use even this negative situation to make the future a better and brighter place.
Posted by I know, a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, on May 30, 2009 at 8:49 am
Upon a prisoners request they can be segregated into basically a rapist and child molester block. The idea that they will be raped and beat, maybe murdered in general population is unlikely. That would be fine with me, but it would be the guards fault and they would be the ones in trouble. So he gets to spend the next 12 3/4 years (with good behavior) with people of the same interests. Not enough and the judges and politicians seem unwilling to make these cases a life or death sentence. They are some of the least likely to rehabilitate also.
Posted by Dinglehoper, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on May 30, 2009 at 3:46 pm
I don't think he should have to pay restitution. The victims got what they wanted, a conviction. Henry will be in jail for a long time. Let that be the end of it. If the girls insist on monetary gain from this, then I don't feel sorry for them at all.
Posted by boosta, a resident of Dublin, on May 31, 2009 at 1:00 am
As a neighbor of Mr. Germain, I have to say our family will feel much safer knowing a child molester will no longer be living (connected) near us! We have daughters and living so close to this man has been a nightmare! Hearing his children come and go and seeing him just a few weeks ago, outside playing ball with his children was awful! I feel bad for his own children and for the victims. I am glad the victims did not keep silent, thank you for your courage, you have vindicated many and saved many! God Bless!
Posted by Disgusted, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, on Jun 1, 2009 at 8:16 am
Dinglehoper- What you say disgusts me. These victims will not and can not profit from this. Would you let someone do this to your children for any amount of money? I know they are awful people out there but I'll add you to the list of idiots and evil people.
Posted by Dinglehoper, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 1, 2009 at 2:09 pm
I don't see why you would be. There's nothing in what I said to suggest that I support Henry or his actions. I merely said that he had been convicted and sent to jail. He will be there for a very long time. Once he gets out (if he lives that long) he's not going to have much life left.
I think you need to calm down and vent your anger in another direction. At some point people need to move on with their lives and not continue dwelling on this. From a psychological standpoint, I don't feel that it would be a good idea for victims to accept money from henry as per a court decree. Better that they feel comfort that Henry is in jail and that they move past this. Continue to dwell on it and remember it as a victim is not healthy. If you feel differently or threatened by my opinion then that is unfortunately. Learn to read and understand what people are saying before you attack them.
Posted by Disgusted, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, on Jun 1, 2009 at 7:07 pm
I understand perfectly well what you wrote. I am angry at the system, I admit that. "At some point people need to move on with their lives and not continue dwelling on this" When do you think this happened? They should be over it by now and move on? This isn't ancient history. I don't feel that he, or anyone of his kind, get what they deserve under current laws. You feel likewise, but you inversely think he received more punishment than he deserves. I don't think you support what he did only that you support the length of his 12 3/4 year jail term (with good behavior) and think that's plenty and he shouldn't have to pay restitution. You also think you know what is best for the victims of predatory crime against children. You must be a psychiatrist or think you are one. I have a PhD, and am not sure enough of my education as to tell victims how they should feel, what they should do, or will feel in the future. You claim “victims got what they wanted, a conviction”, when the victims stated they wanted him to get more time in jail than he got. Simply stated they did not get anything they wanted from this creature, or the conviction. You state that I misread, misunderstood and am threatened by your comments? By your grammar you are likely undereducated, and you think I should learn to read? "threatened by my opinion then that is unfortunately." Unfortunately what? I am not threatened by you; we can meet face to face anytime. Expressing the idea that "girls insist on monetary gain from this", is astounding. These victims lost what cannot be regained from any amount of money, and are insisting on nothing. There is no civil suit against him, but if they want to they should sue. You act as if they are cashing in. Just gross, you disgust me. I’m sure you have no children and have been convicted of something to identify with this bastard to the point where you feel he got all he deserves and more.
Posted by DL, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jun 2, 2009 at 10:00 am
Your reply to Dinglehoper was well said, not only with the utmost pure intelligence, but with "true compassion" for all the poor victims, from what that evil scumbag did. Furthermore, you may also be right to the "accurate point" that Dinglehoper most likely does not have children. In reality, that is not even the point. I'm sure there are many folks that don't have children, and would not support Dinglehoper's point of view.
As a devoted parent myself, can't imagine how horrible it most be for all the victim's parents going through the pain, along with their children. People like you and I also realize that those types of "scars" are not something one can just say, "I'm moving on from this" in a timely fashionable manner. Some take much longer than others to heal, and some never heal from those types of scars and disgusting memories.
Thank you kindly for putting your time and point of view/comments, on the table here. You certainly have my 100% backing and full support!
Godspeed healing to all the victims, their families, friends, and love ones.
Posted by Disgusted, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, on Jun 2, 2009 at 1:23 pm
Thank you ‘DL’ very much for the support. I got done typing and said out loud, “I hate people.” It is conciliation for me to read your words. I also don’t think that if you don’t have kids you feel like Dinglehoper. I hope his position is rare. I have a 1 year old son and didn’t start feeling this way about pedophiles recently. I just could not imagine that a parent could feel the way that DH feels. His line “…girls insist on monetary gain from this, then I don't feel sorry for them at all.” got me seeing red. I don’t know this guy but I don’t trust him and would likely tear him limb from limb if we met. For the record I am not a victim of abuse and don’t know anyone who was been for sure. I just am heartbroken every time I hear these types of stories. Kids are such wonderful things and in many ways show how great humanity can be. To do anything that harms them intentionally is unforgivable. To the victims of H.G. (I refuse to even type his name), or anybody else that has been, is, or will be abused my heart goes out to you and I wish I could help. I can only do my best that it never happens to anyone that I can help avoid this type of abuse. My love for children and good people is equal to the pure hate I have to these predators and those that stand by and allow it, or support the perpetrators in anyway.
Posted by Dinglehoper, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 2, 2009 at 2:43 pm
Several of the victims have stated themselves that Henry is not worth our further thought. Along the same lines, it would not be healthy in the end for victims to accept money from Henry whether it was court ordered or not. If you have read the articles you will see that Henry has been ordered to pay the victims a certain amount of money upon his release (assuming he lives that long). To my knowledge, the victims haven't requested this, the court has. I could understand this if the money were earmarked for some type of therapy if the victims felt they needed it. However, if the money is "open" in the sense that they can do what they wish with it, I do not believe that is healthy. If a victim chose to buy a car with the court-ordered payments they received from Henry, would that be helping them "forget" and "move past" what happened to them? No it wouldn't. While what Henry did is a horrible crime, it isn't healthy for people to buy material things etc. using money obtained from someone who did something that horrible to them. Now if they use the money for charitable purposes, say donating it to a women's shelter, thats fine, but I don't think that money should be use for personal gain (ie buying a car, house payments, etc.)
If people are becoming insensed over these opinions, it's because they aren't really reading the meaning behind this. They are probably upset that I am not bashing Henry like they are and can't handle anything that isn't 100% liberal and left wing.
Posted by anyonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 2, 2009 at 3:31 pm
The years and years of therapy that victims of Henry will have to go through will run into the thousands of dollars. Parents sometimes mortgage their homes to pay for this therapy. If you had been there and seen the pain in the eyes of his victims, listening to the quivering voices while having to look at him and tell him how they feel you would be able to offer a more informed opinion. I noticed that none of his supporters sat in court and heard this. There was audible sobbing from women in the courtroom who were there for other cases but were so moved by these courageous adult women standing up to a man they were so afraid of as children and announcing that they would never again be afraid of him!!!
Posted by Kent Parker, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Jun 2, 2009 at 4:19 pm
Dinglehoper- Distancing yourself from the "...monetary gain from this, then I don't feel sorry for them at all." comment? What meaning am are we missing about that comment? Honestly, are you a therapist or just a right wing know it all? And we are left wingers? I thought that right wingers are the ones tough on crime? I thought right wingers were pro death penalty? I thought liberals were accused of blaming the circumstances of the perpetrators life? You seem more caught up with money than real concern for people’s life and future. I would love to know who you are and meet with you. Please let me know if you want to meet for coffee or something.
Posted by shhhh, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 2, 2009 at 4:40 pm
This is all getting so ridiculous. Do you people have nothing better to do than to rant on to people you don't know. I feel for the victims. All of them, the women and Henry's kids. Those kids will also need therapy. Won't his kids need money too? The family will no longer get child support. If the women take all of the money, what will be left for them?
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on Jun 2, 2009 at 5:30 pm
henry is OVER! 15 yrs. is a long time. The environment of prison is dehumanizing and the air of insanity is inhaled through the nostrils. Physical violence can erupt in a flash and many inmates develop debilitating sleep and mood disorders. henry will soon find his last home before he leaves this planet. 15 yrs. in prison is the equivalent of several heart attacks. henry is over!
The world is a better place because of the courage of the survivor's. Gracias, gracias, gracias.
If you decide to sue the country club, you will likely prevail in court. They are insured and in times like these, it makes sense to sue for BIG MONEY!
Posted by none, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 2, 2009 at 6:32 pm
to: yes we need to worry. Don't you get it. These kids had nothing to do with their fathers sickness. Yes, you dumb ... They should be worried about. How in the .... do you think you would feel if your father - well known and loved in the community (used to be) did this. They had nothing to do with this. One of the people that they trusted most in the world - did this. They, and yes the women, will never be able to trust anyone again. Their world has also been crushed. It's an emotional thing, not physical.
Posted by DL, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jun 4, 2009 at 8:07 am
Final positive words and reflections:
First and foremost, you not a soul that hates people, but rather "despise" people that are evil, inhuman, and ruin the beauty on this small planet of ours. We must always remember that "hate is cancerous." So let's forget about people like DH, they're not worth commenting about anymore.
A big congrats knowing you have a son who's a year old! Sure you fully realize that it's the most amazing "miracle" a couple can have, bringing a child into the world. Your son would be very happy growing up knowing he has parents that are stellar compassionate loving souls. :-)
Enjoy these precious years, it's truly wonderful seeing the development and changes in a child, throughout the years to come. Focus on the "positive" you and yours have, raising a child in this crazy world of ours. The love you both give will certainly come back, ten fold over! You're truly right in regards that children are wonderful souls in showing the innocence of this world, how great humanity can be.
Like you, very proud parent with my 16 year old son. My first son died in my hands, due to a miscarriage my ex had. So I've experienced both ends of childbirth. My son will always come first, and has unlimited love and support. His mom and I are in 100% harmony for his wealth and welfare, the way ex spouses should be.
The topic here is a sad one indeed. On the other hand, we can also keep on track to give our children the love they need, keep them away from the sickos like the one we have read about here. At least this one scumbag is put away, hopefully the victims can heal (as much as possible), move forward, and see the light at the end of their dark tunnel.
Enough said on this side. Love will always prevail over darkness.
Posted by NoteThis, a resident of the Civic Square neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2009 at 10:19 am
Note: 16 woman came forward, 6 from Pleasanton and 10 from Palm Desert over a long time span! This guy should be executed! Kid, your going to need some therapy! It just might run in the family?
Henry John Germain closed his eyes in a Hayward courtroom as four women recounted the repercussions they face after being abused by him as children.
Moments later, with applause coming from the victims' families and friends, he was taken into custody to serve a 15-year sentence in state prison for child molestation.
The 62-year-old former tennis pro at Castlewood Country Club entered a no contest plea April 28 to three charges of sexually abusing children under the age of 14. Prior to that, Germain plead not guilty Jan. 9 to 16 charges of sex crimes against six female victims.
District Attorney Susan Torrance told the judge that this case was one of the most egregious she had seen, citing the length of time the alleged abuse had gone on and the number of victims. In addition to six victims with charges coming forward from the Pleasanton area, 10 women claimed they were molested when Germain was a tennis pro in the Palm Desert area in the early 80s.
"Cases like this can't be done without the brave victims coming forward," she said. "The victims are very brave and that's why we ended up with a good resolution."
Four women gave tear-filled victim statements to the court Wednesday, stating that their childhood innocence had been wrongfully taken away by Germain. One woman said that Germain has taken no ownership of his actions.
Another woman claimed Germain had abused her for three and a half years, beginning when she was 11 years old.
"He violently stole my youth and innocence," she said tearfully.
The young woman said she didn't come forward earlier because he said no one would believe a young girl over an adult.
Germain, who did not speak at the sentencing, was originally arrested at the country club Sept. 2 after three victims wrote letters with molestation allegations to officials at the club. Shortly after, three more victims came forward and brought charges against him.
His bail was set at $1.08 million and he bailed out on a property bond, only to be arrested shortly after when a 16th charge was added. His bail increased to $1.4 million and he again bailed out on the same property bond.
Judge Kevin Murphy said Germain must serve 85 percent of his 15-year sentence. Once he's completed his prison time, the Dublin resident would be on parole for 10 years and must register as a sex offender, pay restitution to the six victims and stay away from the victims.
Posted by me, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Jul 22, 2009 at 5:26 pm
yeah. im henry's child. and i just felt like commenting because i got bored. and i dont know whether he is innocent or not. who knows. if these girls would have just been quiet, my life would be a lot different and better. and same for my dad.
Posted by Karen, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2009 at 10:45 pm
People are guilty of crimes, not kids or whole families. You are not to blame for your father's actions - only Henry is to blame. No one else. It is very sad when one family member's actions affect the rest. It would have been much better if Henry would have thought about how his actions would have affected you and the girl's lives - but he didn't. His selfish actions will haunt the others forever, and he didn't care enough about it to stop himself.
Posted by Jon, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2009 at 11:04 pm
"Posted by me, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Jul 22, 2009 at 5:26 pm
yeah. im henry's child. and i just felt like commenting because i got bored. and i dont know whether he is innocent or not. who knows. if these girls would have just been quiet, my life would be a lot different and better. and same for my dad."
If you are Henry’s kid, I am so sorry for all the pain, confusion and suffering that you have gone through and that you will continue to go through.
If you have medical insurance please go speak with a counselor and if you are not insured, you can go to Axis Community health Care in Pleasanton.. DO NOT let this situation take your spirit or sanity from you!
Posted by relative, a resident of another community, on Apr 27, 2011 at 10:31 am
My heart is broke since I have heard about this (12/24/10). I cannot imagine what happened to this man, my cousin. I have always looked up to him and keep asking myself what happened? I wonder if Henry was molested as a child? I cannot understand any of this. Why do men turn out like this? My heart also goes out to all of the innocent women and children.