Andrew Menken
Andrew Menken
January 31, 2014

I would first like to thank God for standing beside me throughout this grueling, gut wrenching 10 months of a personal hell I have endured.

I also need to send a heartfelt thank you to Ryan Gallegos and the congregation of the Central Church of Carroll, without Ryan's undeniable friendship and guide to my faith, I wouldn't of been able to make it though this process without him.

Also, a big thank you to Chuck Schulte for believing in me and doing a tremendous job throughout the trial.

People tend to judge others based on past experiences, sometimes judging others because they are insecure about themselves. Through this entire process, when it felt like my world was collapsing, I forgave those who were trying to take away the freedoms I value the most.

I personally shook the hand of Jason Hefflemeier, (Sac County Attorney) Ben Smith, and Sheriff (Ken) McClure before the verdict was read. I told each of them that they were my friends, that there was no ill will wished toward them, and I forgave them.

You find out who your friends are in your times in need. I found out a lot of my friends even within my former employment chose not to stand by me even when I pleaded my innocence.

I also found out who the special people in my world were and have held them close. Never will I forget those who never gave up on me.

The judge in the case (District Judge William Ostlund) told me to "go get my job back and continue to help kids" after the verdict was read.

Wherever my life takes me, my life has been forever changed. I can't take my life back or the 10 months of anxiety, sadness and betrayal I've experienced, but I've learned a lot of lifelong lessons I will forever hold with me.

No matter where I end up, my goal will always be the same: to help others, to try and lead, to use this situation as a platform for my deep spirituality and my belief that no matter how far in a hole you feel that you are, no matter what life has against you, you fight, you dig in deep, never losing sight of what you feel is right.

You never give up. You just keep believing.

- Andrew Menken