NPR StoryCorps

Laura Lane met Paquita Williams, a New York City subway conductor, when their train was stopped underground for two hours. Generally, Paquita says, most passengers are nice, but "there's times if the train breaks down, people think that's my fault."

In June 2008, Marine Cpl. Anthony Villarreal was driving back from a mission in Afghanistan when his truck was hit by a roadside bomb. He was 22 at the time and recently married to Jessica, who was just 21.

Villarreal suffered third-degree burns over most of his face and body and was very severely disfigured. His right arm and the fingers on his left hand eventually had to be amputated.

Ten days after a court verdict found a man guilty of sexual assault, two of his victims — his 14- and 15-year-old nieces — stepped into a StoryCorps booth.

"He was a police officer," the older sister said. "This big SWAT man with all the badges and the uniforms, and he couldn't keep his hands to himself. He sexually assaulted me when no one was around. I felt like I was on pause my whole childhood. A prisoner — dead. And I didn't say a word to anybody for seven years."

Audio produced for Morning Edition by Katie Simon with Jud Esty-Kendall.

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