Posted by A Neighbor, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm
You have no "right to know", Marti. The Shumate case tore Pleasanton apart and pitted neighbor against neighbor, family against family. The charges were filed, the case heard, the verdict rendered and the sentence pronounced.
Why do YOU need to rehash this painful experience? The victims will spend the rest of their lives dealing with it. Who are you to demand they expose themselves to repeating the ridicule and accusations they suffered through once already? They owe you nothing, Marti.
Posted by joanna, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jul 3, 2011 at 12:55 pm
The fact is, we will never really know. I don't think that there will ever be true closure about the Shumate case. The only "witnesses" were very young children; it was their word against his. There was definitely a witch-hunt kind of atmosphere present in the country at the time--remember the McMartin pre-school trial? All charges were eventually dropped in that case, but Mr. Shumate's career, reputation, and home life were destroyed when he was sent to prison. If he was indeed guilty, of course he deserved it. If he was not, it was a horrible miscarriage of justice and the people responsible must deal with their consciences. The families received substantial financial settlements from the school district. I would think that even if the children were coerced to lie or exaggerate, that they were so young at the time that their memories may be faulty by now. Or not. In any case, yes, it did tear the community apart and it should be put to rest as there will never be a way of ascertaining the truth. No way to prove his guilt or innocence one way or another.
Posted by Arroyo, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 4, 2011 at 9:57 am
Wrongfully accused people are later found innocent and released from prison regularly. There isn't any time limit for the truth, regardless of how it affects the community.
If you're questioning Marti's "right", you may have a valid point. I simply do not know. However, if she is a friend or relative of the Shumates and your concern is that it will adversely affect the community - then, that's too bad.
Personally, I felt Mr. Shumate was the victim of overzealous prosecution, and is innocent. But, not being a member of his family or a friend I certainly have no "right" to resurrect the case, even though I feel an injustice has been done.
Happy 4th of July -- "With Liberty and Justice For All"
Posted by Joe, a resident of the Siena neighborhood, on Jul 5, 2011 at 9:20 am
Hmmm...nobody wants to answer my question. That's okay--I'll dig deeper online to see if I can find out what this case is about.
To the person above, inmates are NOT released "regularly" from prison. Yes, on rare occasion there will be a case where some type of evidence becomes available that was previously either not available or not known about. But to say that this happens regularly is absolutely not true.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Jul 5, 2011 at 9:59 am
Mr. Shumate knows the truth; you wouldn't have to bother those who testified. If he is guilty, he has no incentive to tell anyone; he served his time and there has been restitution for those wronged (difficult to know if it was sufficient restitution). If he is innocent, saying so would likely fall on deaf ears. I don't see the point of rehashing this, unless Mr. Shumate does.
Posted by Marie, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 6, 2011 at 11:12 pm
To Joe: From my recollection, Mr. shumate was a keg teacher at Fairlands elementary school who was accused of child molestation. He was convicted and sent to prison. Not sure of the exact time frame, but it was around the mid 1990's. He has served his time and is out of prison.
Posted by Blossom, a resident of the Stoneridge Orchards neighborhood, on Jul 10, 2011 at 7:20 am
Well, speaking only for myself, I like talking about the issue because it makes me feel morally superior to so many around me, and believe me, I need it. I wonder how OJ's children are doing? Over the years, they've matured and might have more to tell us now. Maybe someone should give them a call?
Posted by Sandra, a resident of San Ramon, on Aug 8, 2011 at 11:05 am
What concerns me about Mr Shumate is not the crimes committed (yes committed he was only "accused" until found guilty, now there can be no question)in the early 90's but those crimes that MUST have occurred before and after the very public arrest and trial. Studies show us 89% of cases of childhood sexual abuse are perpetrated by a family member or close family acquaintance, we know that Mr Shumate has at least one son who has been arrested and placed in prison on charges from misdemeanors to felonies which are classic signs of acting out in an attempt to block the pain inflicted as a child and that by nature & nurture they eventually turn into the monsters that created them, now that son could very possibly have sons of his own as well as many other nieces/nephews and family in the age range of Mr Shumate's initial targets, how many children have to be hurt before we start understanding this is a chain, a cycle, and being vilified, having your life ruined and hopefully hunted and hounded to the ends of the earth like a dog trying to escape euthanasia is worth every second if it means just one child be saved. This type of abuse is an STD and what this man did was infect children, the victims did not choose to be victims but if studies teach us anything its that some if not all will turn into the very same monsters. He is walking free these days as is every possible monster he created. To say a Child Molester payed his debt is like saying a murderer did, there is no taking back or repaying what was done, innocence lost is like life lost. Its gone forever.
Posted by Former Fairlands Flyer, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Dec 8, 2011 at 5:16 pm
I know what he did, I was affected by what he did, I am still affected by what he did. He made us dress and undress for him. He would stand above the stalls and watch us in the bathrooms. He would keep dressing and undressing us after we used the restroom in the classroom.
He would take two children out into the hall and make them undress and then put on costumes - so that we could learn letters. He would take us in the hall, remove our clothes, touch us, and make us dress up. I remember the girl I had gone to change with was not fast enough to crawl under desks out in the hall and hide while she was changing. I remember he took her to a different location to change. I remember how she cried when he brought her back. I remember her crying while she had to sing her song about being annie the astronaut. I remember she never came back to class. I remember him taking me out to change and making me change in the children's stall in the classroom.
I remember him forcing me to undres while he watched me. I remember him forcing me to take off my overalls. I remember him touching me. I remember him doing things to me. Things that I was too young to understand why. I remember him doing things to me because I was something new to him. I know it happened multiple times. I remember not being able to use the restrooms at the school and living with those consequences. I remember him staring at me, with cold determination.
I remember his stare, I remember his hands touching me, how rough they were. I remember him touching me with those rough hands. I remember he would wait until the children were at play or asleep. I remember him choosing children.
I remember his birthday rituals, if it was your birthday you had to sit on his lap while a hard freeze-dried cake was brought out candles lit. We all had to sing. I remember the lights going out, I remember the sound of children drying and seeing the child on his lap grabbing their groin and sobbing uncontrollably when the lights came back on.
I remember, most of all, how commonplace these things were. How we lived in fear of him. How he would give 'time outs' to kids. How a time out meant we were going to be touched.
Marti, I was there I was molested, I am an adult, my parents never knew about the assaults. I never went to the police - because I didn't remember until a few weeks ago. I went to a store, picked up a pair of overalls I saw the color of the button, the denim and I remembered his hands on me while I was struggling to get my clothes on while he was there touching me. I remembered it all. That man molested me and many other children. Children who refuse to come forward, or have repressed memories like I have. I will not be silent. I want justice for what happened to me.
Posted by Sad, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Jan 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm
Former Fairlands Flyer - I am so sorry for you having to remember these awful things. I was friends with one of his daughters. We were in middle school when all of this came out. She disappeared from school one day and I never saw her again. I hope you find a way to deal with the things that happened and can move on. I hope all his victims went on to live good lives. I hope his children are ok.
Marti, I don't really get why you felt the need to post this... Hope fff satisfied your curiosity.
Posted by Hoffman, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm
Former Fairlands Flyer:
No justice for you. Statute of limitations has long passed.
I will say that your story says nothing of molestation. Just a kindergarten teacher who had costumes that we all wore, who kept an eye on you.
I remember those bathrooms in the classroom. And I remember how many times Neil had to help wipe kids behinds, help them button overalls, etc. I think your shrink has uncovered deeper issues of yours...As we both know Neil never touched you...the parents and volunteers were always in his classroom and would have intervened.
I remember getting paddled at that school...it was the 80's and still allowed as a means of punishment. But, I earned my paddling...and it's not abuse or molestation.
That man was amazing. Stop perpetuating the lies and get a better shrink.
Posted by ForTheChildren, a resident of another community, on May 9, 2013 at 1:45 am
Hey Hoffman: I think YOU are the one who needs to get yourself a shrink....you are obviously a closet Pedo(& a lover of child touchers). If NOT: You obviously have your head stuck stuck in your own anus. How dare you insult a sex crime victim like that. You are heartless. I would call you SO MUCH more, but I don't want my comment deleted(ONLY thing holding me back).
As for YOU, Neil Shumate, IF you are reading this: You KNOW you are guilty(just as much as "I" do). God sees everything & you thought prison was bad: Wait until you die: Things will get MUCH worse for you. And it won't be long from now, considering you are already an old man.... You sick/twisted, depraved pedophile. I hope whatever comes NEXT for you, makes the TV show "Dexter" seem tame. You are a Cockroach stuck to the bottom of my shoe in the afterlife. I hope you forever suffer the way you have made all your child victims suffer.....& for all the hate, negativity & ugliness you help spread in this existence of ours. I wish you, as well as ALL your advocates NOTHING but the worst.