After her husband beat her and slashed her throat eight years ago, Tracey Motuzick fought back, winning new legal protection for battered women and a landmark lawsuit against the police who failed to protect her.
But when she limped into Superior Court on Wednesday, she was powerless to stop her attacker's release from prison. Charles Thurman will be released from Somers State Prison on April 12 after serving just over half a 14-year sentence."As long as he's out I'm going to be scared for the rest of my life," said Motuzick, whose story was told in a 1989 TV movie, "A Cry For Help: The Tracey Thurman Story."
Judge Wendy Susco ordered Thurman, 29, to have no contact with his ex-wife or the couple's 9-year-old son and to submit to a psychiatric examination and accept any recommended treatment.
Tracey Motuzick, then Tracey Thurman, was seeking a divorce when Thurman nearly killed her in 1983. He stabbed her 13 times in the face, throat and body and kicked her in the head. The assault continued even after police arrived.
Motuzick turned around and sued Torrington police, claiming they failed to protect her from her husband. A federal jury awarded her $2.3 million in 1985. She eventually settled for $1.9 million.
The case established the constitutional right to police protection of victims of domestic disputes.