Rape ‘victor:’ ‘I survived you’

Sebetto confronts rapist, killer in court, tells him she, Jackson family will be heard.
Jessica Cuffman
Nov 15, 2013

 

The woman Curtis Clinton raped a week before he killed Heather Jackson and her children read a heart-wrenching and perhaps seismic statement in court Thursday.

Elizabeth Sebetto, 19, of Clyde, was held captive in the 42-year-old’s Campbell Street apartment for hours one night in early September 2012. Clinton had brutally assaulted her.

See a complete list of the Triple Homicide coverage HERE

Testifying in court two weeks ago during Clinton’s trial, Sebetto confidently and consistently described the attack. The Register typically does not identify victims of sexual assault, but Sebetto agreed to have her story told using her identity.

Thursday, as Clinton was sentenced to death, Sebetto reclaimed her strength.

“He’s finally where he belonged 16 years ago: death row,” she told the court, referencing the 1997 killing of 18-year-old Misty Keckler, who Clinton strangled to death in a Fostoria home.

She thanked everyone involved in the case for their support and their part in securing Clinton’s arrest, conviction and sentence. She also thanked jurors for deciding to put the “monster” to death.

“This whole thing has been a lesson for life,” she said. “I never imagined I would be here today, but one thing I can tell you, and you know who you are, you have made me stronger. I assure you of that.

“That night, you probably thought you won,” she said, addressing Clinton directly. “You probably thought you broke me. Did you think I would just let you live a free life? That’s how weak-minded you are.”

Watch and listen to what Sebetto had to say in the player below (Her testimony starts at the 19:45 minute mark)

When Clinton attacked her, he strangled her until she lost consciousness.

While she did what she had to to survive the night, she said she never lost her faith in God.

“You may have taken from me that night, but you didn’t take my pride or faith,” she said. “God never left me. He was there when you choked the life out of me. Who else put my breath back into my lifeless body?”

More than a year later, now 19, she’s a changed person.

“I decided early on I would not let this define who I am,” she said, again speaking to Clinton. “I am not your victim. I am a victor. I survived you. I prayed to God to keep me alive.”

Just as Clinton has said he’s not done fighting, neither is Sebetto. She made a promise to be there when he appeals his conviction and sentence, every step of the way.

“I want you to know, I’ll be there. You will never be let go as long as I breath. I’m bigger than you, stronger than you. I survived you,” she said. “I will always be heard, along with Misty, Heather, Celina and Wayne Jr. They will also be heard. You are where you belong and you will never walk on soil again. This is just the beginning of my life.”

Comments

Julie R.

I think the pregnant girlfriend of Clinton that was a so-called friend of this girl should have been charged with something.

Katelih-Trailer...

I think so, too Julie! Conspiracy or Aiding and Abetting...SOMETHING!

Nemesis

If she actually knew him or his significant other, then what she SHOULD be taking away from this is a lesson on the value of better discernment in choosing her social circle.

looking around

You are dead on!

Jessica Cuffman

Nemesis, I would suggest watching the full video of her statement in court. It may answer some of your questions.

YAWWNN

I agree. Here is a lesson to you young white girls. Stop mudsharking!!! Most of these black men have absolutely no control over their sex drive. Most of them haven't evolved past the ape species. Stay away from them!!!

deertracker

What species are you from and how many black guys have you slept with?

Nemesis

YAWWNN, It has nothing to do with race - it's about not hanging out with violent felons, REGARDLESS of their race. Get a clue.

Pterocarya frax...

And I bet you think you are not a racist too...right YAWNNN?

Katelih-Trailer...

Nemesis...I understand what you are saying..BUT the thing is..the 2 females were once neighbors/friends..One family moved away..A while after is when they reconnected..It was Clinton's girlfriend who went to visit her friend and introduced her to her boyfriend(Clinton) I wonder if the woman just missed her friend and went to visit her to "catch up" OR if she had something else in mind! Yes, I agree she (and everyone else in the world) should choose their social circle, carefully.

Nemesis

That touches on a big part of choosing one's circle and growing up - knowing when to cut ties to people who have chosen a path in life incompatible with your own.

All of Clinton's victims were people who knew him and to some degree accepted him into their social circle, making "choose your friends wisely" the single most important lesson to take away from this whole sordid mess.

sandtown born a...

I applaud her strength and courage and wish her the best getting on with her life

BabyMomma

Plus 1^^^^^

A Young Adult's...

I wish her all the luck in the world getting past what this monster has done to her.

That being said, it seems a bit unlawful allowing her to be in the courtroom because the two incidents were unrelated. Not that I care a whole lot because Clinton deserves to suffer immensely, just a thought.

OMGreally

not unlawful for anyone to be in courtroom...she has as much right there as you or I.

A Young Adult's...

Makes sense.

A Young Adult's...

Makes sense.

MakeITHappen

Perhaps you can know all of the facts before you go on talking about how a rape victim is being unlawful. She was in the court room because Clinton was on trial for her RAPE along with the 3 murders. That's why she took the stand during the trial. The incidents WERE related.

A Young Adult's...

I understand that. I just meant that it was unlawful to try the rape and murders at the same time. They were SEPERATE incidents. Either way, the idiot deserves the death penalty.

rsgabby1

maybe somebody should be looking at Clintons girl friend sounds like she was setting people up and giving up imfo to him shouldn't she be held accountable

gene44870

Yea and I agree with everything that has been said on here . I lived down below Clinton and I was never told about his past or that he was a registered sex offender ,Had I know what came to light when it was way to late I would most certainly done something ,I would have contacted the Sandusky Police dept or the sheriff and let them know what was going on in that apartment when I was home .
As far as Misty is concerned . I dont recall if I was home that night or what , But I can tell yea that if I would have heard something going on I would have done something .I like a lot of folks that lived in the apartment building can tell yea that none of us heard anything or I know I would have steped up to the plate and done something .
I feel bad that I was not notified that Clinton was living in the building ior what he had done in the past .I blame the Erie County Sheriff Dept , and the Sandusky Police Dept cause they were called to Clintons apt on the night of July 4th as a noise complaint .They should have done a computer check on him and it would have sent a red flag up in the air at that time and chances are this all might have been averted .
My heart goes out to the victims and I hope they can get on with there lives and live a good full life

Julie R.

I totally agree. A registered sex offender just gets out of prison for murdering a teen-age girl 12 or 13 years ago. The cops are called because of a noise complaint at his address and (according to one article) there were teen-age girls at the party (some of them pregnant) and they don't even do a check on him? A registered sex offender in his 40's isn't supposed to be hanging around teen-age girls.

I also find it hard to believe after a 17-year-old reported how he brutally raped and choked her ~ and the check on him showed how he just got out of prison for raping, choking and murdering an 18-year-old ~ that the cops actually WAITED. One would think the Sandusky Police and the Sheriff's Department both would have been on his doorstep within 10 minutes of that girl reporting it.

Nemesis

They waited because she wasn't willing to cooperate at the time. Taking action before they have a case could make it harder to act when they do have a case.

In a free country, they police cannot be all powerful, and that means we share some responsibility for our own safety.

Julie R.

I don't agree. Not even considering that they knew he just got out of prison for the horrendous rape and murder of an 18-year-old girl years earlier, he was a registered sex offender. They should have picked him up immediately after that 17-year-old reported it. Of course she wasn't willing to cooperate at the time --- she was scared to death of the evil monster. Nevertheless, she was only 17-years-old and once again, he was a registered sex offender. Based on that fact alone, the police and the sheriff didn't even need her cooperation.

Nemesis

Yes they do. You can't just drag people in without reliable evidence. His prior convictions don't consitute evidence of present acts. He's still innocent until proven guilty, and if they don't have a case to prove him guilty, he has the same rights as you or I to be left alone.

Julie R.

BULL. That scum was a registered sex offender. They get a report that he raped and choked a 17-year-old ~ almost identical to the murder of the 18-year-old thirteen years ago ~ and they WAITED? Once again, BULL. Had this happened in Huron, you can bet every Huron cop would have been on that monster's doorstep within minutes of that report.

Nemesis

So, Julie, tell me how that works. They haul him in, and since they don't have a complaining witness, they have nothing. In the USA, you can't just haul people in without solid probable cause, and if you do, you risk finding evidence that will subsequently be inadmissible.

Now, since our last exchange, someone claiming to be the girl's father has posted here claiming that she WAS willing to pursue the matter, contrary to the information provided by the police at the time of the murders. If what he says is true, then I'm with you on this, but in the context of what the police claimed at the time, they acted properly.

Nemesis

Gene, you can go online and find all the sex offenders in your neighborhood. It's a good idea to do so on a periodic basis. The person you can trust most to look out for your safety is the one who has the greatest stake in it - you.

starryeyes83

What's really sad is you cannot always control who comes into your house, if a friend or relative , landlord, etc. brings someone with them.

Nemesis

Yes, you can. You just have to be willing to exert control over your own home.

starryeyes83

easier said then done.

red white and blue

Young adult ^^^your handle fits you is it me or every time u comment you never have any idea what you are talking about related? Really she was raped and strangled multiple times like the victims that he killed.As far as picken better company it was sn old friend she hadn't seen in years she was set up .Please do not comment any more unless you know the facts its called reading.

A Young Adult's...

Please learn basic grammar skills before criticizing me. You obviously need better comprehensive skills as well. Try this thing called reading a book.

Nemesis

Sometimes you have to cut old friends loose. A good sign that you're looking at one of those times is when you discover they're dating a convicted killer.

moochmcbetto

The discovery of him being a convicted killer was not made until it was too late. I do however appreciate your advice. Some of your points are valid, other points I may not agree with as much.

The detectives on this case did a great job! I asked
you to listen to the detectives testimony and clearly
you didn't. In his testimony he explains the investigation process and the length it would take to send the rape kit in,gather the info requested from Wood Co on what his charge was in 1997 ( no one including the police was aware of his background) etc. After explaining this process and knowing there would be a wait on gaining some of the info, he said to "Take her home, keep her safe, and be mom". This was the fourth time of her telling her story and on a Thurs. We were to meet him on Monday and still had to do a home interview with the case worker that was working her case. None of us knew Monday would be too late.

The acting police chief is who I would have a problem with. I come from a full LE family and will keep my true thoughts on his lack of response in reference to my daughter's case to myself out of respect.

The word cooperate is defined as ; to work together toward a common end purpose. I assure you, my family cooperated and appeared to every interview and request for my daughter to tell her nightmare over and over. I can not answer why he responded like that considering the case was being investigated. Maybe because of the public, who really knows. I can only speak for us and the detectives we worked with and what we had planned for a process.

My father is a retired detective. I understand the importance of reporting. I understand the importance of choosing your friends wisely. I also understand being 17 and thinking your parents are the most unintelligent, judgemental, non understanding person(s) on earth. My response to my children with that has always been "Good, that is how you should view me, if you liked me all the time, I would not be doing my job as your parent".

In no way is the Sandusky PD at fault. I do at times
question the law as to why we had to go through
children services and get a referral to report instead
of being able to go straight to the police dept. That
was something new I had learned in this case.
Although it's not everyday my family has been
involved in a rape and triple homicide, so I learned
quite a bit. I personally think a mother should be able to take her child from the hospital directly to the police station and no referral from children services needed, but maybe that is something I can work on getting changed for future victims of rape.

While I thank you for your concern in today's youth, I assure you I have a handle on my family. I will
ensure her well being is kept up and will avoid
commenting any further if possible so we can start healing vs defending ourselves.

We have a continued bond with the families that we met through this terrible tragedy and will remain close with only us knowing the privileged information.

Sincerly,
Laura

Nemesis

As I said, my comments on cooperation were based on police statements at the time of the murders, and made in response to others who condemned the police for not immediately taking Clinton into custody. However, nothing I could post defends their handling of the case better than your endorsement of their actions, since you were involved in the process.

I understand about 17 year olds. It's very unfortunate that your daughter had to learn the hard way that parents are judgemental for good reason - they've seen what the world is like. I'm sure you have probably lost some sleep wondering if there was anything more you could have done. The point of my comments is that because of what happened to your daughter, other parents in the area now have another thing they can do - they have a glaring example of what evil an unsavory friend can bring into one's life. My hope is that every one of them will make their daughters read the articles about this case, and tell them that this is why they may disapprove of prospective friends, and maybe there won't be a next time for something like this.

red white and blue

Rsgabby^^ his girlfriends time is coming beleave that very soon!

A Young Adult's...

Books be good. They be helpin u laern

red white and blue

Young adult you are allmost as intelligant and funny as your side kick stopit.funny thing is that's the only thing. You two can come back with.

A Young Adult's...

RW&B, I resort to that because you obviously lack the ability to carry out an intelligent conversation. If you ever get to a place where you can openly discuss opinions without degradation or disdain, then I will offer a rebuttal.

Nemesis

Ignore the attack and offer the rebuttal. Don't let his conduct dictate yours.

red white and blue

I am the way I am because people like you don't Think before they speak as far as my spelling I got my point made

red white and blue

Nemesis^ to answer your last comment she had no idea her friends boyfriend was a convicted killer if she had she would have not been there.Don't blame a victim for not knowing I'm sure we all don't know eveyones past after meeting them three days before

Nemesis

Then she should ask questions - who is this guy, what's his story, etc. An acquaintance you haven't seen in years shows up, there's some converation about what's your life like now that needs to happen before you pick right up where you left off. You talk about her boyfriend a little before you meet him. People are just too quick to assume everyone they meet is OK. From the articles at the time of the investigation, it was clear that everyone within Clinton's circle knew his record.

It's also a safe bet that if this friend is dating someone like Clinton, she's probably from the sort of social circle that guys like Clinton tend to frequent, and giving off a LOT of cultural cues to that effect. The way she spoke, dressed, etc., should have been alarm bells to the fact that she's immersed in a subculture that is far too accepting of someone like Clinton. I mean really, what sort of woman dates a guy who is two parts scumbag, three parts criminal, and six parts monster, with the credentials to show for it? I can't imagine that someone who encountered such a woman wouldn't be able to tell that she's bad company.

red white and blue

Also I do agree with you it is a lesson learned I'm sure in the future she will be more aware of her surroundings.I to wish her all the luck in the world and commend her for being so brave

Nemesis

The important takeaway is that everyone with a daughter should be sitting down for a serious talk about being discriminating in the company one keeps.

red white and blue

Amen to that

moochmcbetto

I have read your comments the last couple days Nemisis and quite frankly can keep quiet no longer. She did cooperate. Perhaps you should take Jesseca's advice and watch the statement as well as testimony of Detective Nixon. Her case was being
investigated. We had to go through children
services to move forward with charges. I apologize to you Nemesis for buying a home on a quiet street where my daughter met the young women who left her inthe hands of a rapist and killer. Since you feel you know all the ins and outs of this case because you sit at your computer. Not that it is any of your
business but my daughter had just reconnected
with her due to the girl had moved away. They were
teens who had just started talking to each other
again for roughly two weeks. So quit your all mighty
tone of how to pick your company. I did not know
how evil this young lady and her family was or my
daughter nor I would have condoned her being
around us as a family. I do have control over my
home! Also his name did NOT appear in the registry
by name prior to the murders. Trust me I checked it.
My child is a brave young woman and was brave
since day one. She and I went to every interview
after WE took her to the hospital and REPORTED her
rape. Quite frankly I have no idea why I am wasting moments of my life reacting to you. To everyone else other than the ignorant man who made the racial comment, thank you for your kind words. Deertracker I have wanted to thank you all year but would not log in because of our gag order. You really stuck it to a few of them that were down right vicious and nasty.

Nemesis

moochmcbetto,

The police department was quoted in prior articles saying that they delayed acting because of her unwillingness to be a witness against him. Now, I'm certainly willing to entertain the possibility that they were lying - I'm the last person to take the government's version of anything at face value, and you clearly are privy to more information than I am. My responses regarding the police department's handling of her case are not about her willingness to cooperate - they are about the ability of the police to take action under the circumstances they claimed existed, i.e., IF, as they claimed in their responses, she was unwilling to testify, THEN their hands were tied by our constitutional system. The point is that people have this hindsight expectation that the police start kicking in doors on the slightest hint of a problem, when that's not how our system works. If, as you now say, what they said was inaccurate, then what I said does not apply.

Every reasonable person protects their children as best they know how, as I'm sure you have done. My point is about ways to protect them that seem to have become taboo in our society of late, and that this case reinforces the value of those ways.

Clinton didn't jump out of the bushes and grab any of his victims by surprise. They all knew him, and as far as I know (please correct me if I'm wrong) were willingly in his presence. There's a lesson in that.

We live in a world where a distorted concept of "tolerance" is in vogue, where we are condemned if we make reasonable judgments about people based on their speech, attire, and other cultural cues. We are told that all subcultures are equally valid, and the worst thing we can do is judge anyone. I'm sure you've felt this pressure, and if your daughter went through the public schools, then she received indoctrination in this politically correct thinking. I doubt this friend, if she was traveling in the sort of circles where her own friends would stand by and let her date a monster, wasn't giving off clues that she had immersed herself in a problematic subculture. I'm speculating, of course, but I doubt this girl's speech would have even approached the level of English displayed in your own written comment, which alone would probably be a strong sign that she had adopted a culture and values alien to yours. Of course, modern sensibilities say it's wrong for you to listen to that little voice in your head that says the way this girl talks means she's trouble, but my point is it's not only right, but necessary.

Now maybe I'm all wrong here, and this old friend showed up speaking like an English professor and looking like an intern at an investment bank, and started discussing the personality clash of Agamemnon and Achilles in the Iliad. Pardon me, though, if I have my doubts that Clinton's romantic partner didn't display some signs that she was trouble with a capital T, and without in any way blaming you or your daughter for what happened, think there may be a useful object lesson for young women everywhere in that.

red white and blue

Mcbetto^^^ you are a great mother and I know how much you keep tract of yoir kids god bless the fact your daughter got out alive and it no way is it any fault of her own!!! As far as some of the commenters on here^^^^ they just like to hear themselfs talk I hope someday they won't have something happen to them or one of there loved ones.as for you and yours I wish u all the luck and love in the world and never think you have done nothing but be a GREAT MOTHER!!!

moochmcbetto

Thank you! I am not sure if I have met you through this or prior but I appreciate your words and support. ♥

red white and blue

We know each other very well I stay in cognetto never know if one of these commenters are the next crazy loon lol