Six years ago, I wrote an article for WND headlined "Sailor to spend 12th Christmas behind bars." The article began as follows:
"Still a little drunk and almost assuredly drugged, Steven Nary regained his senses as Juan Pifarre climbed on his back and attempted to rape him.
"'Please, stop,' the lanky, 18-year-old sailor begged as he struggled through a paralyzing stupor. The 53-year-old Pifarre would not.
"Finally, in desperation, Nary grabbed a glass mug by Pifarre's bedside and smacked the chunky, coked-up Pifarre in the head with it. Pifarre fought back.
"When the young sailor finally subdued him, he grabbed his clothes and fled back through the deserted streets to his ship. That was nearly 12 years ago, and the last time Steven Nary would negotiate the world as a free man."
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Unknown to Nary, Pifarre died in the encounter. If this incident had taken place in some city other than San Francisco, it is unlikely that Nary would have been indicted, let alone convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced.
In San Francisco, the fact that Pifarre had entered the country illegally and been previously arrested for sexual assault only served to enhance his victimhood.
When no appeal to justice worked, the WND readers who had been following this case chipped in to hire California's best parole attorney on Steven's behalf, and Steven was sprung a month before what would have been his 18th Christmas in prison.
Here is what Steven has to say about his experience, unedited by the way. Steven did an excellent job of educating himself during the 17-and-a-half years of his incarceration:
"Every prisoner who had a life sentence at some point believed, whether they want to admit it or not, that they would die in prison or get out after everyone in their lives had passed on. Of course, this didn't happen in my case.
"Through all of your hard work and patience, I was able to stay focused, to keep my eye on the prize, and to experience the real miracle. Nov. 13, 2013, walking out those gates and into the real world was amazing.
"The real miracle is all of you. Thank you, because everyday with you is a daily Christmas. We all come from different walks of life, and different approaches to issues; but it all was unified to allow me to not only get out, but also to be who I am today.
"My Christmas started out with a few volunteer opportunities. One, a Christmas dinner and screening of a documentary. After a month out, this was my first look back into prison walls as the documentary followed two families who have sons doing life.
"A lot of tears were shed as I realize just how blessed I am, and the fight that those who are reading this went through.
"I then volunteered at a toy drive in south central LA. I had so much fun helping out and giving back. Every moment I was treated like a person, and not until the end was it revealed to everyone that I had just gotten out.
"It brought more joy to mothers, because they have family inside and seeing people get out inspires hope. Behind prison walls I stayed positive and tried to tell people the happenings of prison life without causing too much stress – 'the everything is OK bit.'
"I think I got good at that. But there were times that what I'm experiencing now seemed like it would never come. It has been so wonderful to be in everyone's lives, especially more so with my mom, dad, sister, and other relatives, because I was scared of how our interactions would go.
"But it's been better than I could ever have imagined. It brings me to tears that I could be so blessed. I don't care how this journey has come, but I embrace it because God is working a miracle in each of our lives and we just have to stop questioning it and welcome it.
"The real miracle is God's love for you and your journey. May I be blessed to assist you as you all have assisted me. Thank you all so, so, so much. Love you all. Happy New Year."
If you wish to contact Steven, please email Dave Holt.
Media wishing to interview Jack Cashill, please contact [email protected].