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.

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