Letters from the week of May 29, 2003

Maxine Schuman
Via e-mail

A friend in need: Last August our 14-year-old son found a new friend at school named Ronnie Grossman. We were thrilled because Ronnie is an intelligent, respectful boy who enjoys being with his friends. We like him a lot. The one odd thing was that Ronnie would never talk about his father.

Our family was shocked to read your article and to find out all that Ronnie has endured. We need to help this family. Heather has obviously done a good job rearing Ronnie and his brother and sister. However, Ronnie does not talk about his situation and in fact tries to cover everything. It is scary to think how the abuse in that house has affected him and will continue to affect him the rest of his life, especially if it is not brought out in the open and justice is served.

Heather needs support to help her continue to live for these children. They need Heather to be there for them in body, mind and spirit. She and her family need validation of this awful situation so they can continue to move on.

We are gravely concerned that our county and state officials are not coming to her aid. What could possibly be stopping them? Does the Grossman family have that much money that somehow our officials are afraid to prosecute? Sorry, but I had to ask. It seems unbelievable that there is a refusal to prosecute. There seems to be no reservation in pursuing the Catholic Church, however, over such matters. Cases of elder abuse have been prosecuted (thankfully) on far less evidence.

Did the attorney's office even interview the witnesses? Did any investigation take place about John Grossman and his past marriages and subsequent divorces? Is there a family history of abuse that should be looked into? Would this case be handled the same if the husband didn't have money to hire the best attorneys and many of them, to head off Heather and the children at every pass? I know I am not the only one in this community who has many questions.

John Grossman and his family need to own up to the past abuse and get help. Heather, Ronnie and the twins are victims of a cruel system if they won't even take a look at the 1,100 pages of corroborated abuse.

These children need their mother and she needs support. Let us now, as a community, support her and take a stand against abuse in rich and poor homes. We are either going to protect those in our society who cannot do so themselves or we are not.

Carrie Jackson

Victims' rights: As a friend of Heather, I am grateful that New Times has brought her ordeal to the forefront. Perhaps it has helped other abused and battered families step forward. But if they face the same maze of dead ends that Heather has faced, their role as victim will only continue.

Heather Grossman and her children are victims of physical and extreme emotional abuse. They are also victims of a legal system that may be broken beyond repair.

Are we to believe that the Paradise Valley Police Department documented in-depth accounts of abuse, corroborated by witnesses without any inkling of whether county officials would recognize these as serious crimes? Clearly the Paradise Valley Police Department was surprised that the county willingly turned a blind eye to these events. According to the article, the County Attorney's Office had contact with and accepted the wealthy Mr. Grossman's accounts of various incidents. Did the County Attorney's Office contact the victim to discuss the allegations? No, it did not.

John Grossman has been divorced twice before; both divorce documents are sealed. Clearly the story of abuse did not start with Heather. The judicial system is an advocate of John Grossman's gross deeds, but who will champion Heather's cause?

The Florida legal system failed Heather and on account of their negligence she is a quadriplegic. The Arizona justice system has failed her as well. If the Arizona system allows John Grossman to go free, the trail of abuse will only continue. Somewhere else another woman and more children will be abused and terrified all thanks to our thoughtless and unaccountable judicial system.

Tricia McKnight

Fiscal education: It's been three weeks since I read the article "Paralyzed in Paradise," and it still has left a haunting feeling in me! Such a story of bad luck and bad karma, but to let a man who is so clearly angry and abusive over his wife's high-level disability go free is simply saying that the abusive behavior is okay both morally and, more important, legally.

This story also clearly shows that abuse can be seen by many and no one either is noticing it or feels it's their place to make mention of it. Going through so many nurses means that many saw abuse, were victims of it themselves, saw that the children were being emotionally abused, and no one came forward to report this? Money, in this case, seems to be the root of evil.

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