If you’ve read my story on my About Me page, you’re already aware that one of the main reasons I started this blog was to spread awareness about victims of sexual violence and trauma. My aim is to use this space to amplify the voices of those who are unheard. I want to draw attention to individuals and organizations that are in need of financial aid. That’s why I’ve committed to posting a monthly piece about a new survivor’s story. That being said, if you are interested in having your story or GoFundMe shared to my blog, you can submit it through my Get Involved page.
As I was searching GoFundMe, one story in particular struck me. Michelle LaPoint of North Dakota set up a fundraiser for her 6 year old son, Tayvion, who has recently become a victim of sexual assault by one of her trusted neighbors. This predator was reported to local authorities in September of 2020, but he has yet to be arrested or even charged. On top of this, when Michelle attempts to call the detective for updates about her case, she is told it’s under attorney review. Michelle has been tirelessly attempting to get the attention of the state even by commenting on the Burleigh County Facebook page, but their responses have been repetitive and careless. She has been told to call the same number that she’s already been calling and reminded that it is Tayvion’s word against the accused.
Who else has Burleigh County let slip through the cracks?”
This is a common hardship that survivors have to face when reporting these crimes; they are always told there is not much to be done if no “physical evidence” exists. Despite the fact that her son is displaying clear symptoms of PTSD as diagnosed by his doctor, the case does not seem to be moving forward. It makes you wonder, what exactly could be considered “physical evidence” in these cases? How can this proof be obtained under such circumstances? It seems she is getting the run around from people who aren’t able to or do not want to help. I know that the way in which these cases are handled may vary state to state, but I also know that this is not how a criminal investigation is supposed to work. The state is making it extremely burdensome for this family as they struggle to help their son recover from the trauma he’s endured.
In my opinion, Michelle is in need of aid as well as connections and resources, because this predator is clearly being protected. She and others in the community are concerned because not only does the predator know where the victim lives, but he also resides right next door to an elementary school. It blows my mind how slowly the state is moving. These circumstances honestly beg the question, “Who else has Burleigh County let slip through the cracks?” If you’d like to do further research, the case (20-17130) is being handled by state attorney Julie Lawyer and investigated by Detective Lahr in Burleigh County, ND.
I strongly encourage you to read more about Michelle and Tayvion’s difficult journey through this process. Below is the link to their GoFundMe. Please share or donate anything you can so that we can help to get justice for this poor little boy as well as protect other children in their community. So far, they have raised $3,304 out of their $10,000 goal. If you are unable to donate, please sign the petition linked below and/or share Tayvion’s story on social media.