Inspiring Strength: Katie Bailey, ‘15

 

Major at OCC: Criminal Justice

High School: Corcoran, class of 2013

You will not find a stronger person than Katie Bailey. Anywhere. It is rare for victims of sex crimes to be identified. Bailey not only allowed herself to be identified, she confronted her attacker at his sentencing in Onondaga County Court one year ago.

The pain Bailey suffered as the repeated victim of sex crimes motivated her to pursue a career in law enforcement. Between the years of 2003 and 2006 Bailey was victimized repeatedly by her brother, James. When she started taking classes at OCC in the fall of 2013, Bailey was heavily involved in legal proceedings against her brother. “My instructors were very supportive of me during this ordeal. They did not know all the details, but I would ask them questions during or after class about ‘scenarios.’ They never prodded but always gave a detailed response which helped me anticipate the next step.”

In 2015 Bailey became the first member of her family to earn a college degree. She achieved the milestone while continuing to deal with the case against her brother. “Graduating provided a much needed lift for me and my family. We really needed something to celebrate.”

Bailey transferred to SUNY Cortland where she majored in Criminology. In the spring of 2017 as she approached the end of her final semester, Bailey’s brother was finally sentenced for his crimes. At his sentencing on April 6, Bailey gave a powerful victim’s impact statement. When she concluded, Judge Stephen Dougherty sentenced Bailey to 32 years in prison.

One year later Bailey is engaged to be married and preparing to take an exam with the Ithaca Police Department. Her goal is to become a detective and work with victims of sex crimes. “I feel I can bring the strength to people to come out and push for justice while serving as an example of the good that can come of it.”

Bailey will return to OCC Wednesday, April 4 when she will share her story with the campus community. She will speak in room 345 of Mawhinney Hall beginning at 11:10 a.m.

 

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