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Does the Murrieta Police Department Really Even Care?

Photos Shannon Fosgett has posted on social media since allegations began.



Rape is a double violation. It violates your physical body and your mental will. It is someone claiming your body as their own tool of satisfaction.

Rapists justify their actions. They make excuses, they blame the victim, highlight their own need for love, or desire to be loved, and successfully bend the reality of their victim to keep their actions hidden and protected.

Rapists of children learn to master these skills. Master manipulators, they learn to “groom” their prey. In studies of sexual predators, similar deliberate tactics are often used to help select victims and engage them in sexual abuse. Like the wolf in Grandmother’s nightgown, sexual predators use trust, confidentiality, and their position to leverage a child’s accessibility in their favor. They create a relationship of trust and then they abuse the innocence they have been entrusted with.

Recently, the ongoing investigation into Murrieta Valley High School teacher, Shannon Fosgett has revealed a ruthless wolf. One that befriended her students and passed out her personal cell phone to help with homework. One that participated in school functions to gain access to victims. One that showered favoritism on some students while abusing others. One that repeatedly took students from their classes in order to go for coffee or speak privately in her empty classroom.

As Fosgett’s disturbing behavior is slowly unveiled, however, more disturbing behavior is coming from the Murrieta Police Department. Behavior recently highlighted in social awareness as “victim blaming.”

Victim blaming is societal and ideological justification to hold the victim of a crime partly or wholly responsible for what they suffered. It is an active element of rape culture which tends to normalize rape and trivialize the suffering of rape victims.

In the last several weeks, as Fosgett’s case has become a vague memory for everyone but her victims, the police have wandered haphazardly through their investigation.

Victims ages are changed and mistaken. Material is lost and threats made are swept under the rug. All the while, Shannon Fosgett walks the streets of San Francisco and San Diego out on bail. A warrant for her phone, laptop, and ipad wasn’t even served until this Wednesday, Dec.16 . Almost three weeks after allegations were first made.

Furthering the sense of danger and victim blaming felt by students at MVHS, the Murrieta Police Department’s own press release introduced the statutory rape of the student with the words; “As the relationship grew.” When confronted with the re-victimization these words caused, Sergeant Phil Gomez defended the release.

“While everyone is clear that he is a victim, the truth is that at any moment he could have said no. You’re a big guy and you could have said no or stopped it at any time. He chose to go to her house and he didn’t tell anyone. That’s why I can’t charge her with rape. [In California, the charge of sexual conduct with a minor is statutory rape] While I understand your concern, the reality of that this is the most vanilla statement we could have released. While I did not personally approve this, it was written by the lieutenant, this is the most generic release we have and these words aren’t incorrect because it was a relationship. Just like relationships can be in different forms, this was a relationship because you participated.”

The normalization of rape and the blaming of male victims only furthers the damage committed by the perpetrator, and reinforces the grooming and brainwashing suffered. In the Washington Post, by Simone Sebastian, Sebastian highlights the pervasiveness of this attitude in our society.

“Growing evidence shows that boys who are sexually preyed upon by older female authority figures suffer psychologically in much the same way that girls do when victimized by older men. But in schools, courts and law offices, male victims are treated openly with a double standard, according to interviews with a dozen experts in law, psychology and social work.

But all of the experts agree that the discrepancy in the treatment of victims of nonviolent sexual abuse by their high school teachers is real. And it shows: Male victims typically receive lower awards in civil cases, the experts say, and female perpetrators get lighter sentences.”

When confronted with the fact that this choice of words put the victim at risk for cyberbullying, harassment, and character assassination, Sergeant Gomez and Det. Jimno immediately replied that this was simply to be taken as a fact of life.

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“You will have to get used to students harassing you, or texting you that you had willfully participated. That’s just the way it is. You seem to be a strong guy and you're handling this well.”

Despite this reassurance from the Murrieta Detectives, Cyber bullying is outlined in the California Penal Code as a crime, punishable by law.

Furthermore, the California Penal Code(Cal. Pen. Code § 653.2.) focuses on cyberbullying as “posting personal information to cause fear.”

For the children threatened on the weekend of Dec. 5-7, “Any person who electronically posts or transmits:

  • personal identifying data of another person, or
  • a harassing message about another person

with the intent to cause the other person to reasonably fear for his or her safety or the safety of family members commits a misdemeanor crime in California. (Cal. Pen. Code § 653.2.)”

So once more, we ask does Murrieta care? Is the Murrieta Police Department doing due diligence in protecting the people, and most importantly the children of Murrieta?

Are boys victims or willing participants? When will perpetrators be held up against the full extent of the law, rather than a case clearance percentage, or a perversion of the Alford plea?

How do we entrust schools like Murrieta Valley with the lives and welfare of our kids, yet stay quiet as they fail them? Again. And again.

Since 2011, Murrieta has fallen from the 3rd safest city in the U.S. to the 47th. Who do we hold responsible and who do we turn to?

If you have any information or knowledge of a crime being committed against a child, reach out. If you don’t care and take action, will anyone else?

Parents of Murrieta Valley High School students, talk to your sons. Please make this a time of open discourse. There may be more victims afraid to come forward. There cannot be fear or a shaming of victims. A teacher is not to violatate the trust of a student. The kids of Murrieta are our future. They are the heroes in this case. Bring the truth forward so these boys can find justice. At a time when we celebrate the birth of a man child who brought peace on Earth, let us remember the dreams we have for every boy born to every mother.

Project Unbreakable is a project aiming to give a voice to survivors of sexual assault.



doboyscount? on January 23, 2016:

@Another victim: Who are you? The perpetrator, or the persons that were supposed to protect and serve? How do you know alleged weight, height, etc? Where was that sited? Do tell.

another victim on December 21, 2015:

this poor 17 year old, 6'1, 190 pound victim. He must be so traumatized. He purchased $40 worth of marijuana and drove to the teachers house with the plan to have sex with her. Yes, this poor baby is such a victim. I hope he can find the courage to someday have a normal life again. stay strong baby boy!!!! The police should have foreseen this heinous crime in their crystal ball and stopped it before the victim purchased the marijuana and drove to the teachers house and forced to have sex.

MurrietaMom on December 21, 2015:


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MurrietaMom on December 21, 2015:

I wonder if we really know what our kids are doing. I mean, they could be chronic liars, drug dealers and cheaters. Sigh.

More explaining on December 20, 2015:

My ex husband befriended a "friend of my son" she was 17 and my ex is 37. Murrieta did nothing about it!!! Her mother shame on her said nothing was going on to cover up!! A crime still occurred!!!

nighthawkmama on December 20, 2015:

Who remembers this post 13 days ago? Karen Parris 13 days ago

As the Public Information Officer for Murrieta Valley Unified School District I can assure you I have been in contact with Lt. Ron Driscoll at Murrieta Police Department and he has confirmed that their officers are actively investigating these reports and they have determined there is no credible threat. The safety of our students is our first priority. The School Resource Officer will be at MVHS tomorrow and as a precautionary measure there will be an additional police presence at MVHS.

#no on December 20, 2015:

What you allow, is what will continue.

Seen sick comments. Hope she goes down.

exposelies on December 20, 2015:

Bam! I was right when the previous article was written! She was Gypsy! Friday was an eventful day for the MPD. A fight near the school over drugs,an alleged drug debt, and a detective hurt with 17 year old boys involved (could they be acting out?). In Temecula a 19 year old killed a 19 year old! Teacher preys on teenagers gets a slap on the hand and then vacations for two weeks on our tax dollars and posts it on social media while continuing to terrorize kids and she continues to get a pay check I am sure. If you can't do it for the right reason think of how real estate prices are going to slip as you become more and more ghetto Murrieta. Especially, with your epic mayor scandals. Murrieta get your act together. Start taking care of your children and stop acting like them!

nighhawkmama on December 20, 2015:

Look at the Gypsy picture on Haight street!!!With the previous denial from the Murrieta police that she was Gypsy. Those poor kids that were terrified all weekend and refused to go to school while the police and school denied there was any connection. Thanks for the Mamabear link with the information on how pedophiles groom their victims etc. Now, I understand why this teacher was at all the male sport events last year even though her kids aren't athletes!!!!!! I never knew the public part of grooming the victim is so important. I will call CPS, State Police, and the rape crises lines first I think if I have any information. Thanks.

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