Montana wasn't very different from California in the summer, it was just as warm and the skies were just as blue. Helena was a fairly small city and the drive from the airport to the hotel was fairly short, for that matter, so was the drive to the courthouse.
They met with lawyer, Thomas Slone again, going over everything that would happen during the lawsuit, everything they had to say and how they hoped it would end. According to Thomas they had a very good chance of winning this trial, he was sure Jonathan was going to jail even though he couldn't say so explicitely.
The next morning they sat outside the courtroom, waiting for it to start. Sarah and Richie sat on a long wooden bench, the corridor almost empty. Sarah held Richie's hand tight, she was nervous and scared but she wasn't going to hide it from him. Richie would know anyway, all he could do was hold her hand and be supportive. He was hopeful about this lawsuit too.
Thomas met up with them a few minutes later.
"Everyone ready? We should go inside, they're about to start." He said and went to hold open the door for them.
This was the first time Sarah had been inside a courtroom, it looked very much like the ones she had seen on television. Thomas lead them to their seats.
"You can watch here and we'll call you when we need you to do your testimony. It'll be just like I told you, the other lawyer and I will ask you question and you answer them, simple as that." Thomas said and walked over to a table where he sat down and unpacked his briefcase, placing a lot of papers on the table.
Sarah looked around, Jonathan wasn't there yet. There was a table next Thomas', another man was preparing himself there but Jonathen wasn't sitting behind him, like she was sitting behind Thomas.
"Maybe he gets here later." Richie suggested, knowing that pensive look on Sarah's face, she was looking for something.
"Yeah, I guess." She sighed. She wasn't looking forward to this, she was scared and wondered what Jonathan would be like.
The question didn't have to linger long, only a minute later Jonathan was being lead into the room, wearing a blue prison outfit and his hands cuffed together, two officers guiding him to his seat. He walked past Sarah and looked at her. Sarah's grip on Richie hand became tighter as she saw Jonathan's eyes. His eyes carried so much hate.
"Are you alright?" Richie asked, making Sarah look away.
She slowly nodded.
"It'll be over soon." Richie tried to sound hopeful.
Sarah nodded again, the sooner the better.
She tried to keep her eyes away from Jonathan and watched her family as the trial started. Even though she didn't understand all the legal terms the lawyers were using it was important for her to understand everything that was going on.
So far everything had gone as Mr. Slone had told them it would be. Everyone, including the case itself had been explained. Before starting the judge had said he hoped everything could be settled quickly and hoped justice would be served.
With her trust in Mr. Slone and the state, she knew justice would be served and Jonathan would be locked up in a prison cell for the rest of his life. Where he rightfully belonged for everything he had done.
"My first withness Noah Gibson, the defendant's youngest son."
Her heart almost skipped a beat when she heard Mr. Slone. She then turned to Noah and gave him a tight hug before letting him get up.
She watched Noah, his head bowed down as he walked by the tables and past Jonathan and the lawyers.
"How do I know that's my son! She's pregnant right now, I know that one isn't my kid," Jonathan had a horribly mean look in his eyes as he looked over at Sarah, "but how do I know this one is even my son?"
The judge had to call for order and Jonathan's yelling had gone ignored by laywers and judge. Beside her, Sarah could feel Caleb shrink in his seat and she could see the fear on Noah's face as Mr. Slone started asking questions.
Noah's testimony didn't take long, he said the same things he had told Richie a few months ago. He was asked more questions but simply couldn't remember any more than what he had already said and was dismissed.
Caleb had to go next and wasn't sure anymore if he had made the right decision but Noah had gone through it too and it wouldn't be fair if he chickened out now. He didn't care if Jonathan didn't think he was his son, he was happier to think that Jonathan wasn't his father at all. Soon to be eighteen, he was sure to change his name as soon as he could.
Although she was scared for both her sons and hope they didn't hold too much memories to a bad day like this, Sarah was also immensely proud of them for doing it. They were standing up for their mother but for themselves too, proving that mental abuse was abuse too.
Her oldest son talked a little longer than Noah had. He remembered more but didn't remember things as vivid as Noah did. Mr. Slone continued asking him questions and when he finished, just as with Noah, Jonathan's lawyer asked a few questions too. Afterwards Caleb was allowed to sit with his family again.
Sarah knew she was next, it had been Mr. Slone's idea to testify in this order, starting with Noah who remembered the least and ending with Nicole, Jonathan's current wife.
Mr. Slone kept to his promise and asked everything they had gone through during their meetings, Sarah answered each questioned to truth. Her testimony took a lot longer than the boys' had. Half of the time Sarah felt ashamed of what she had to say, admitting to the sexual abuse was the worse of all.
In the end, it had gone better than she thought, Jonathan didn't speak again and she avoided eye contact with him at all time, she didn't need to see him, she would feel better if she didn't.
Mr. Slone admitted to the judge, after Sarah had gone back to her seat and embraced Richie tightly, that they had hoped Nicole would be able to come to the courthouse to testify but she had was emotionally unable to and therefor Mr. Slone showed a video.
The same had been suggested for Sarah too so she wouldn't have had to come to court and see Jonathan but she had come for her own good, if Jonathan was going to be sentenced to jail, she wanted to see it happen.
After Nicole's video the testimonies were over and the judge scheduled the verdict to be heard in two days.
Relieved, Sarah got up from the bench in the courtroom and walked out with her family. The hardest part was behind them, now they only had to wait for the sentence.
Out in the corridor they spend a few more minutes talking to Mr. Slone, he was a friendly man and Sarah knew he had done everything he could. The boys sat on a bench, opposite of the courtroom doors as Sarah and Richie talked about the case.
"You're no sons of mine! My sons wouldn't do that!"
The voice made Sarah look over but it also made her freeze where she stood.
"Shut up and keep walking." One of the officers said roughly and gave Jonathan an extra push.
Forgetting her conversation with the lawyer, Sarah walked over to her sons and hugged them both. She felt horrible for putting them through this. She shouldn't have suggested it at all.
"I'm so sorry." She said, not loosening her grip on either of them.
"It's alright." Noah said, half-hugging her back. "He's not our father anyway."
Caleb agreed. "We aren't his sons, we're your sons."
Hearing her son's words, Sarah couldn't hold the tears back any longer.