Spousal abuse victim Crystal Harris in custody battle with ex-husband

Shawn Harris convicted of sexually assaulting ex

SAN DIEGO - A Carlsbad woman went back to court Wednesday to fight another battle against her ex-husband, who was convicted of sexually assaulting her in 2008. 

In a downtown San Diego courtroom, Crystal Harris appealed a judge's order to reunite her two young sons with their father, Shawn Harris, when he gets out of prison in 2014.  

"I filed this appeal regarding the Superior Court's order to immediately reunite my ex-husband, Shawn, with my two boys upon release from his six-year prison sentence without any safeguards or consideration of the well-being of my boys," said Harris.  

Once released, Shawn Harris will be allowed to see his children while under the supervision of a therapist, 10News learned.

However, Crystal Harris said, "My husband is a dangerous person. He's already demonstrated that … the children do not want to see him; we want peace."

"I just feel very emotional after what I just went through in that courtroom … I just want to keep them safe," she added.

The children, now 8 and 10 years old, have not seen their father in five years. According to Harris, the only contact they've had are through bizarre letters.

Harris said she's terrified of her ex-husband and what he's capable of.

The recording of her then-husband sexually assaulting her in 2008 helped convict him, but it didn't stop a judge from ordering her, the breadwinner, to pay spousal support to her attacker.

This prompted Harris to fight for a new state law that prevents a judge from ordering a spousal abuse victim to pay support to his or her attacker after divorce.  

The law was enacted after Harris' settlement, and Harris agreed to pay $47,000 in legal fees for her ex-husband's divorce attorney.  

A subsequent request from her ex-husband for an additional $25,000 was later rejected in court, citing the new law.

Shawn Harris' attorney, Pierre Domercq, said his client has been attending anger management classes while incarcerated and has never hurt the children.

"He was a stay-at-home dad, took primary care of the kids that mom left him alone with while she went to become a stockbroker. Is that appropriate if dad's never hurt the kids? The court thought so," said Domercq.


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