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In September 1990, Vivian Forsythe, the twenty-four-year-old daughter of a wealthy Tennessee farmer, went to see Judge David W. Lanier about a job. She didn’t have a college degree, but as an A student in anthropology at her university, she considered herself well qualified for a secretarial position. Before Vivian left the judge’s chambers, he had raped her.
A riveting sexual drama whose events ripped a community and its families apart, Power to Hurt encompasses the landmark federal case against Judge Lanier, who was sentenced in April 1993 to twenty-five years without parole for having violated the civil rights of six women. The major political power in his region and heir to his father’s political dynasty, Lanier arrogantly abused women through extortion, threats of reprisals, obscene telephone calls, stalking, and rape. Horrifying incidents such as these became the obsession of FBI special agent Bill Castleberry, who, investigating Judge Lanier on suspicion of political corruption,…[more]