Brigitte Harris never knew love.
Her mother abandoned her in a New York apartment at age two. She went to live with her father who began sexually abusing her by age 3. Eric sent Brigitte to live with family members as he traveled back and forth between the US and Liberia. Those family members knew Eric ab*used Brigitte but did not help, but instead inflicting their own a*buse on the girl. Her grandmother often beat her with sticks and a cousin sexually abus*ed her.
Brigitte Escapes the Ab*use
Brigitte ran away when she was 17 years old because she could no longer take the abu*se. She did well for herself after that. Carleen, her sister, called her when she was 26 to say that her dad wanted to talk. It was Eric who sexually abus*ed Carleen as well, but she had forgiven him and started dating him again.
Carleen had two little girls and was a single mum. Brigitte thought Eric had started to ab*use the girls, but she wasn’t sure.
Brigitte agreed to meet with her dad because she thought it would help her feel better about things that had been bothering her for a long time.
When Brigitte walked into Carleen’s flat, she saw her dad sitting on the couch with her niece on his lap. This made Brigitte mad, but she kept her temper in check. He then told Carleen and Brigitte that he was going to take the girls back to Liberia with him.
Brigitte was very angry. Eric had told her, “In Africa, fathers sleep with their daughters to show that they love them.” This made her angry that the girl was going back to Liberia. She thought Eric would hurt the African girls. Carleen didn’t care what Brigitte said; the decision was set in stone. Brigitte chose to tell her father about the abu*se and try to stop him from sending her nieces back to Africa.
Brigitte Plans to Meet Her Father
So she could try to talk her dad out of taking the girls back to Liberia, she chose to meet with him alone.
Brigitte met her dad at her Queens, NY, flat on June 28, 2007. When she told him to get help, he said he wasn’t sick, which made things worse. While Brigitte was talking, Eric asked her how she could remember the abu*se since “it happened so long ago.” Eric put the gang rape of Brigitte’s sister on her and said he did those things to her to teach her how to be a woman. This made Brigitte very angry.
There was a fight between them, but Brigitte, who was much stronger, beat her father.
Brigitte Hacks Off Her Father’s Pe*nis
Brigitte put Eric in a chair and handcuffed him. She then used a scalpel to cut off his p*enis and gagged him with a towel that she taped to his head. To get help, she called 911 and told them what she had done. She told the police she was going to the station, but with the scalpel still in her hand, she drove to her sister’s house instead. She threw her dad’s pe*nis off a boardwalk in Far Rockaway.
Carleen called an ambulance, and Brigitte was taken to the psychiatric ward at Richmond University Medical Centre.
Harris Charged With Mur*der
Brigitte was eventually charged with second-degree mu*rder by the police. At her trial in September 2009, she said that she had learned about the Lorena Bobbitt case and that the real reason she k*illed him wasn’t for revenge but to stop him from taking her nieces to Liberia to molest them too.
“I don’t think ki*lling him was the answer,” Brigitte said. I still can’t believe I did it. I only thought about stopping him.
She was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter on September 30, 2009. They were moved by her story, though, and begged the judge to let the case go. Even better, seven of the jurors wrote letters to the judge asking that her prison sentence be put on hold.
Judge Hands Down Maximum Sentence
Even though Brigitte was abu*sed horribly for a long time and the public and jurors spoke out against it, Queens Supreme Court Judge Artur Cooperman gave her the maximum sentence possible: 5 to 15 years in prison.
Brigitte finished her 5-year sentence and was freed on parole on August 13, 2012.