New York Times

Kathleen Ham, Who Met Her Rapist Twice in Court, Dies at 73

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At the second trial, the defense lawyer did not cast doubts on her credibility and let her off the stand after 12 minutes. The jury returned a guilty verdict in two hours.

Afterward, nine other women came forward and said Mr. Worrell had raped them too.

He was sentenced to at least 15 years in prison; combined with a life sentence he earned later in Maryland, Mr. Worrell, now in his mid-70s, is all but certain to die behind bars.

Ms. Ham said after the trial that the experience had been positive.

“I think the minute when I blurted out ‘You can use my name, I have nothing to be ashamed of,’ my whole life changed,” she told NBC. “When I said that, I got my voice back.”

But friends said that even after the gratification of seeing her attacker brought to justice, Ms. Ham remained deeply scarred.

“It was the rape compounded with participating in both trials, in which she felt re-victimized and re-traumatized,” said Lilla Russell, a close friend from college and law school and a retired psychotherapist. “She still had a lot of pain and anger.”

Kathleen Helen Ham was born on April 9, 1947, in Englewood, N.J., the youngest of four children. The family lived for a time in nearby Teaneck, but when her father, Harold Ham, who was a chemical engineer, became an executive with a cosmetics company, they moved to California. Her mother, Katherine (MacDonald), was a homemaker.

Information on survivors was not immediately available. But Ms. Ham was close to extended family in New England and was proud of the fact that one of her ancestors, Henry Samson, had been a passenger on the Mayflower.

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bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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