Rape charges against transwoman Julianna Fialkowski dropped
Now 17 and legally emancipated Gwen Oliveira talks to PTG about the rape charges and writes a letter, hoping for closure.
April 21st, 2015 I wrote the first of what turned out to be many articles about trans advocate Julianna Fialkowski. In that post, I reported that Fialkowski had by all accounts saved a transgender minor from an abusive home only to face arrest and the possibility of having her future ruined.
Then in September Claire-Renee Kohner utilizing her great investigative reporting skills broke the story about the arrest of Fialkowski on child pornography charges. That story very well could have gone unnoticed had it not been for a tip from one of our readers.
In October 2015. Fialkowski once again made our headlines. While waiting for trial on child pornography indictment, she was charged with felony rape of then minor Gwen Oliveira and held without bail.
Fialkowski had been indicted by a grand jury Oct. 5, 2014, on felony counts of rape, abduction with the intent to defile, strangulation and enticing another into a dwelling with intent to commit a felony. Those charges were dropped January 4th along with a misdemeanor assault charge said Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison.
Fialkowski still faces eight felony counts of possession of child pornography, according to online Lynchburg Circuit Court records.
Prosecutors had elected to bring the case directly to the Grand Jury but dropped the charges citing ‘inconsistencies’ in following testimony from the victim.
“The messages detailed what happened during the assault, but who sent them has not yet been determined”, said Attorney Bethany Harrison.“There are a series of subpoenas for documents still pending that may or may not give us more information,” she said.
Accordingly the case could be reopened should new evidence come to light.
In a conversation, I asked Gwen Oliveira now 17 and legally emancipated, about the reported ‘inconsistencies’ in her testimony. The two according to Oliveira had been involved in ‘power exchange’ a form of S&M. I asked her if these inconsistencies could be chalked up to a court that didn’t know how to or just don’t want to talk about S&M.
“What I think it was, responded Oliveira “Was the fact that Julie and I had had a consensual relationship prior to the assault (march/April-ish) and my attorney said pretty much because the defense knew that the trial would be more traumatizing than the assault itself.”
The messages you see in this article were offered by Gwen Oliveira to Planet Transgender. Planet Transgender has not verified the origins of those messages.
Oft times those who publish with an agenda don’t tell the whole story. It’s so much easier to write about what would make people empathetic to your agenda.
Such is not the case for Planet Transgender. Our cause, the promotion of transgender rights, does not preclude or circumvent our responsibility to all human rights. In fact, this responsibility has energized our agenda as we find common cause with other advocates at the intersections of discrimination.
Gwen Oliveira, much to my surprise contacted us sometime after we published the first article. After such an experience it wouldn’t be unexpected if a Cisgender person held trans people in low esteem. But such was not the case with Gwen. Since then Gwen and I have built a solid friendship based on trust. Gwen asked for this opportunity to tell her story. I found that an amazing request and truly cathartic for all.
The following article is composed entirely by Gwen Oliveira and published unedited in whole. The views expressed in it are her’s alone.
Julianna ate my jellybeans.
By Gwen Oliveira.
I should have known from the day that Julianna Fialkowski ate two handfuls of my favorite jellybeans that I bought that she was going to be bad news. It was March, we’d just dyed my and her hair and she had a class to go to so before quickly running out on Louis, her bike she scooped up two handfuls of my butter popcorn jellie bellies (leaving me about 10) and headed out.
Julianna and I met January 24th, 2015 at a vigil she had put together for Leelah Alcorn, a trans girl who committed suicide early in December. My first impression of her was that she was a force to be reckoned with. Her turquoise hair and fierce aura is what initially drew me to her. I knew I had to be friends with her. That day at the vigil before leaving I told her thank you for putting this together and for being an advocate and she hugged me and said thank you darling, I noticed you in the crowd and you are stunning let’s catch up in Facebook. I thanked her and left knowing I needed to know her.
That night we chatted on Facebook for a few hours about things we were passionate about and little oddities about the two of us. That conversation wasn’t what sparked a friendship; it was a picture she posted on Facebook of a new hair cut, a sharp bob and it was dark blue. I commented and she messaged me and that’s how the whole thing began. We talked for hours and agreed to bring me to the tea and poetry reading she was doing that next day. This began a long few months of friendship. We were inseparable. We did everything together we rode put bikes and had sleepovers and went shopping and did everything you could imagine together. From what met the eye everything was perfect between the two of us from the end of January until the middle of June. Only it never was.
Julianna made sure to isolate me from all of our friends, she’d tell me “so and so hates you” and then tell all of our friends that I was some crazy person. She lied and told people that my partner at the time was physically abusing me and that I was a terrible person for staying. None of that was true. She completely isolated me from everyone. The sleepovers were the worst. When she thought I was asleep she would grope me, at the time I brushed it off as nothing more than my imagination or maybe she was just fixing my clothes then when push came to shove I realized it was never that innocent.
Julianna and I stopped being friends in the middle of June. My drinking had gotten out of hand and she found out I wasn’t telling her the truth about how bad it was getting. She told me she wanted nothing to do with me and I was horrible for lying to her about how bad it had gotten. I was crushed at the time but realized that it was my fault I lied to my best friend about my problem.
The beginning of August is what changed everything. Our friend group met up without Julie and realized all the terrible things she had been doing the entire time we were friends. She was constantly making up lies about me. She got violent and screamed at another person, she coerced another friend into kissing her. She manipulated, isolated, and hurt all of us. That was the final straw. We wrote a letter to the pastor of Unity in the seven hills regarding all of our concerns. The pastor shut down Julie’s group sanctuary and that was it. That’s when Julie had had it.
She messaged me that night and that’s when everything turned to shit. She blackmailed me into coming over by threatening a 15 year old living with her at the time. The next day she violently physically and sexually assaulted me. A few days later I filed charges with the help of an amazing support system. When it went public. All hell broke loose, she was being painted as a horrible person because she was trans not because she is a horrible person. Her gender plays no baring on her actions. The church, (unity in the seven hills) told me and my closest friends we were not welcome and that we were the bad ones. They paint us like we’re all crazy and practically worship Julie there. They’ve held prayer vigils for her.
This article is my closure it is my truth. Its my voice after not being allowed to have one for so long. Julie is the worst type of person. She was also my best friend. She is sick and she is terrible. And I finally am getting to say my piece after not being allowed to say anything for so long. She is a monster and I will never forget her but I am working really hard on forgiving her- for my sake not hers. Recovery is going to be a long road but at this point in my life I am happier than I’ve ever been with the people who surround me. Above all else I want to say: I am not julianna fialkowski’s victim anymore. I am a survivor.