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Opinion & Essays - Nov, 2000 Issue #75 

A request for help from
Merilee Gage-Groesz

I am writing to find help for my father, Steve Gage, who was part of Royal Haven. He has been in jail for almost 5 months now. I told myself I would stay strong for my dadís sake, show no weakness, and let nothing get me down. Then reality hit me and I realized this would even make the strongest of men crumble. I am 21 years old with two young children and a wonderful supporting husband. I can honestly say that since this whole situation has happened it has torn my world apart.

On June 2nd, 2000, I was moving into my first home I purchased with my husband when the phone rang, informing me that my father and Karen had been arrested. I fell to my knees, dropping what was in my hands, and cried for what seemed like forever. At a time like this you canít even begin to explain to anyone what you are going through or what kind of pain you are in. Later I learned the police had shown up at their house with a warrant for my fatherís arrest. Karen called my dad on his cell phone and the officer got on the phone. My father said ďI will meet you at the jail.Ē Karen asked if there was anything else she could do and the officer replied, ďWe also have a warrant for your arrest.Ē My father drove himself to the station and turned himself in. Karen was released on bail a few days later, but my father has been in there ever since with a bail set at $1,000,000.00.

I know my father is innocent. I have never been so sure of anything in my life. I have two little sisters who wonder when their daddy is going to come home. One of them even sleeps with a picture of him at night. How do you begin to explain to a 5 and 6 year old that their daddy is behind bars because of lies?? You donít!! All you can do is shield them from this horrible situation. My father was a huge part of their lives and now because of lies he can only talk to them on the phone daily, is not able to give them hugs and kisses or spend time with them. He deserves to be with his family now, as he did for the last 5 months.

I am looking for attorneys, lawyers or anyone that can volunteer time or money to help to make sure that he doesnít spend the next 5 months without his family. I am also looking for anyone who knew my father who could lend some support. Anything is appreciated, even if you didnít know him and you just want to send your prayers for my whole family.

There is just one more thing: lies are circulating about my father and Karen hiding money and that they where making $4000.00 a girl per month. To set the record straight, my father and Karen didnít receive any money from several of the parents; their girls were there absolutely free of charge. There were also parents that paid as little as $700.00 a month for their daughters. If anyone has any children of their own then they know how expensive it is to take care of kids, especially teenage girls. They have no money put away and have no money ďstashedĒ anywhere. If that was the case, donít you think that my father would already be out on bail?

I will be accepting good or bad e-mail and will try to reply to all of them. If you have questions, please understand that there are some questions that I canít answer because of legal reasons. I will, however, try to answer the rest of them to the best of my knowledge. Also, please remember even if you donít agree with me and you want to e-mail me, please remember that we are all adults and should act in that manner. I would appreciate any help in any way that you can.

Thanks for your time.
Merilee Gage-Groesz

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