‘Thinking at 9 years old that I was pregnant’: Akron sexual assault survivor shares her story for the 1st time

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 10:30 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - A Summit County sexual assault survivor is sharing her story publicly for the very first time.

Krista Shoemaker’s rapist is now behind bars, but she said she spent the last 30 years suffering in silence.

On Thursday, she broke that silence and sat down with 19′s Kelly Kennedy.

Shoemaker is now 39 years old, but she was only five when her step-grandfather began sexually abusing her inside her grandma’s house on East Market Street in Akron.

She said she spent most of her life feeling like she was living in a prison of depression and despair but now her rapist is finally the one locked up.

“I feel like he was out there living his life and I was stuck in this prison is how I felt anyway, and I didn’t feel it was fair that after all he put me through that I was the one suffering and doing all the suffering while he was living his life,” Shoemaker explained.

Shoemaker was five years old when her grandmother married Edward Plotz.

“At their reception was the first time anything had happened, and it carried on throughout the years till I was about 17,” Shoemaker said.

Shoemaker said the abuse started out as kissing when she was five.

It quickly escalated to touching and culminated in a full-blown rape when she was nine years old.

“After it happened, he came out of the bathroom and told me that we were bad and if I told anybody that we would get in trouble. So, I kind of think that that was one of the things that kept me from ever saying anything until my parents found out when I was 18,” she said.

She told 19 News her step-grandfather began grooming her at a very young age, always giving her special attention and buying her presents.

“It started out as a game like playing princess or whatever and I didn’t really know what was going on,” explained Shoemaker.

She said her grandmother had no idea, at least at first.

“She did not have any idea until I was about 16 or 17 in the basement at my parents,” recalled Shoemaker. “He had his hands down my pants and my grandma walked down and she asked me what was going on, he took off and went for the bathroom and I told her nothing and I knew that she had seen something. And then, when my parents found out when I was 18, we confronted her at lunch one day. She decided that she was gonna stay with him, so during all this, I obviously lost a grandmother.”

When Shoemaker was 18, her younger sister read her diary.

That’s when her parents finally found out what had been going on all these years.

But still, she didn’t report it until much later.

She said in 2019, detectives came to her house after a suicide attempt.

“At that point, I felt that I was ready, and I decided to go ahead and make a police report with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office,” Shoemaker said.

Police arrested and charged 70-year-old Edward Plotz in November of 2019.

Shoemaker wasn’t sure if she could testify at trial.

She ended up accepting a plea deal and in September of 2021, Plotz was sentenced to two years in prison.

He was sentenced to six counts of gross sexual imposition.

Multiple charges of rape and felonious sexual penetration were dropped.

“I feel like it’s a sense of relief and like I said a step in the right direction,” Shoemaker said. “I don’t think there’s anything that’s ever going to make it go away. I’m gonna have to live with it.”

Plotz is currently serving his sentence at Grafton Correctional Institute.

He was sentenced to two years behind bars.

Once released, he’ll be required to register with the sheriff as a sex offender for the next 10 years.

Shoemaker is hoping sharing her story will encourage other possible victims of Plotz’s to come forward.

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