Nearly two decades after a man started sexually abusing an 8-year-old family member, the girl-turned-police-officer listened as a judge in Texas sentenced him to life in prison for her abuse.
"I've always, always wanted to be a detective," the officer, identified only as Hannah, told The Daily Beast. "I was fresh out of the academy. It was kind of, 'If he's going to talk, he's going to talk'—how do I prove it?"
Hannah went to the McLennan County Sheriff's Office in 2014 to discuss her case with Detective Brad Bond. She told deputies that starting when she was 8 years old, Erlis Joseph Chaisson sexually abused her on a regular basis. The abuse went on until she was 12.
"I thought to myself: I'm the difference between him and prison," Hannah told The Daily Beast.
With Hannah's position as a sworn law enforcement officer in mind, authorities set up a ruse to catch Chaisson confessing to his crimes. Chaisson agreed to meet Hannah in September 2014 in Granbury, Texas, according to The Daily Beast.
To prepare, Hannah hid an audio recording device in her bra. Another officer waited in a car nearby.
The two-hour recording she made was played last month for a jury during Chaisson's trial on aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child by contact charges, The Waco Tribune-Herald reported.
Chaisson confessed multiple times during the conversation.
"I don't think it's fair to blame an 8-, 9-, 10-, 11-, 12-year-old for that because it wasn't my fault," Hannah said. "You'd come in my bedroom, though, when I was asleep. That didn't have to happen."
"I kept you a virgin, didn't I?" Chaisson said. "Sweetheart, you was young and curious, and I was old enough to know better but too young to care. That's the only way I can say it."
Chaisson was in his 30s at the time of the abuse, according to The Daily Beast.
Hannah, now 27, told jurors that she kept her abuse secret for years until she admitted to the abuse in a questionnaire from a counselor's office when she went for help with relationship problems.
"My job is in law enforcement," she said on the stand in August. "I'm held to a higher standard. I just want to protect people, and how can I do that if I can't even protect myself?"
A jury found Chaisson guilty and a judge sentenced him to life in prison on Aug. 26, a sentence that was handed down automatically because of a prior conviction for molesting a young girl, according to The Waco Tribune-Herald.
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