Plymouth Twp. parents defend daughter in plot to kill them
Roksana Sikorski, charged with plotting with her boyfriend to kill her family pled guilty to assault with intent to murder
Jeffrey and Laurene Sikorski are bracing for an unimaginably tough situation Monday: Watching their teen daughter, Roksana, head off to prison for trying to kill her family, but also planning to defend her.
They admit they never would have envisioned that the girl they adopted from Poland more than a decade ago would end up being convicted — along with her boyfriend — of trying to kill them and her two siblings.
Roksana pleaded guilty in February to assault with intent to murder as part of a deal her parents are now disputing. She is scheduled to be sentenced Monday in Wayne County Circuit Court and faces 10-20 years in prison.
The Sikorskis maintain they don’t believe their daughter, who turned 17 just last week, intended to hurt them during an early morning attack nearly two years ago in their Plymouth Township home as the family slept.
Roksana’s boyfriend, Michael Rivera, was found guilty of the crime last year. He is serving a life sentence at a Michigan prison.
“She was angry,” Laurene Sikorski said. “She was being instructed to do it. He was using her to get to us. She thought he cared about her.”
Laurene Sikorski, a nurse anesthetist, recalls the first time she saw Roksana, a slight child born to struggling teen alcoholic parents.
“She was bubbly,” Laurene Sikorski recalls of the 2005 meeting with her daughter at the Polish orphanage. She and her husband had flown 4,000 miles to adopt the three small malnourished siblings. “She gave me a big hug. She called me Momma. She was just happy she was going to have a mom.”
Roksana’s former attorney, Leslie Posner, said earlier Roksana suffered from reactive attachment disorder, a common malady affecting youngsters, mostly girls, who have been adopted before they formed healthy relationships with their parents.
Roksana was like a “little adult” in Poland who was a mother figure to her younger siblings, now 12 and 14.
Roksana initially struggled with English when she first got to Michigan, but the difficulties soon gave way to a typical life of an American adolescent.
Then, Laurene Sikorski said, the teenage angst and rebellion set in. But through it all, the Sikorskis maintained a positive attitude. They also got counseling for the girl, believing that some of the problem was rooted in her poverty-stricken early years in Poland.
But the discovery of an older boyfriend in March 2014 presented bigger challenges.
Roksana met Rivera on Facebook. It was a romance Roksana relished but the Sikorskis resented.
When Jeffrey Sikorski suspected Roksana was involved intimately with Riviera, he said he contacted the Plymouth Township police and made a report about it. He said nothing really came of it.
Jeffrey Sikorski, an automotive engineer, wanted criminal charges brought against Rivera since the Detroit man was 22 and his daughter was 15. The parents also felt the older Rivera had too much influence on their young daughter.
In the early morning hours of Oct. 17, 2014, their complaints about Rivera became even more fearsome. That’s when, authorities say, Roksana and Rivera plotted to kill the Sikorski family.
The girl, authorities say, was instructed by Rivera through detailed, step-by-step text messages on how to stab her family to death. At one point, he sent the teen a medical illustration of an artery so Roksana would make no mistakes.
In text messages provided to The Detroit News by Laurene Sikorski, Rivera allegedly encouraged and advised Roksana how to cut her family’s throats.
“Baby im (sic) here im (sic) here just cut the throat quickly on both of them ... Just stab there necks baby at the artery,” reads texts allegedly sent by Rivera. The girl allegedly replied: “I can’t. I’m not a psycho.”
Rivera allegedly later texted the girl: “ ... stab like slice but like ur (sic) cutting a tomato.” The girl allegedly tells him “Ok so one slice is all it takes?”
Roksana stabbed her brother in the neck with the 6-8 inch filet knife, police say. Her sister screamed when she realized what was happening, waking her parents. Roksana, according to reports, escaped out a window of the family home and fled to southwest Detroit with Rivera. She was found shortly afterward in a field near her boyfriend’s residence.
Her brother has recovered, but suffers physical and emotional scars, said Laurene, who added the boy and his younger sister only recently returned to sleep in their own beds after suffering nightmares and other trauma.
“They didn’t feel safe,” Laurene said. “They thought Michael Rivera would come back.”
The children are also continuing with counseling sessions, although less frequently now.
Roksana’s parents are not ready to give up on their child. They plan to seek out any legal avenue to try to get the plea deal and conviction overturned. They feel Roksana was railroaded into signing the deal, and they said they weren’t able to have any involvement in the decision-making. Although they are Roksana’s parents, the court views them as the victims since they are the ones authorities say Roksana and Rivera tried to kill.
The couple plan to address the court Monday when they give their victim impact statements before their daughter is sentenced. The Sikorskis say they plan on supporting Roksana. But they feel as strongly as the first day the teen was charged that she should not have been charged as an adult.
“I felt betrayed,” Laurene Sikorski said. “We cooperated with the police, and this is what happened.”
The Wayne County prosecutor sees it differently.
“It is rare for this office to charge a 15-year-old as an adult,” Kym Worthy said shortly after the charges were filed against Roksana in October 2014.
“However, the alleged facts in this case strongly warrant this decision. The alleged actions of this defendant and her co-defendant, to conspire to kill her entire family, are truly haunting.”
The Sikorskis say a police confession given by their daughter shouldn’t have been admissible in court because, according to a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling, the girl was not mature enough to understand the police questioning. So they wonder how could she have understood enough to sign a plea agreement.
“Why is she suddenly old enough?” Jeffrey Sikorski asked.
The Sikorskis filed a formal complaint against the girl’s defense attorney, Matthew Evans, saying he “talked Roksana into accepting” the guilty plea.
Evans declined comment on the case or the Sikorskis’ complaint, citing a gag order from Wayne County Circuit Judge James Callahan. Evans said he also had not received notification of the attorney grievance commission complaint.
But the Sikorskis efforts to reverse the plea agreement Roksana entered will be an uphill battle.
“It’s difficult but not impossible to withdraw a plea once accepted,” Wayne State University law professor Peter Henning said. “There is a high standard for withdrawing a plea.”
Henning said Roksana’s age and the “substantial” sentence she is facing might play a big part in getting the judge’s attention.
“That will work in her favor,” he said.
Right now Roksana spends her days in a Highland Park facility
“She’s a sweet girl,” Laurene Sikorski said. “Prison is not justice for her.”
Text messages police say Sikorski and Rivera sent to each other:
Rivera: I love u so much
Sikorski: I love u more than that.
Rivera: I am baby
Im at rest stop now baby
Sikorski: Okay babe
Rivera: Wat if ur parents wake wen im there baby
Sikorski: They won’t. I’ll hit them with pan
Rivera: Yes deeply baby
Sikorski: I feel like I might mess up
Rivera: U won’t as long as u focus baby want me to find instructions
Sikorski: On how to focus?
Rivera: On where the artery is babe
Sikorski: I can’t see a damn thing
It’s so dark in there
Rivera: Ok baby
Sikorski: Babe I can’t do it ... I need ur help
Rivera: Im still here baby
Sikorski: I feel like dad is waking
He’s moving but snoring
Rivera: Baby im here im here just cut the throat quickly on both of them
Sikorski: I can actually sleep with u and be urs
No more bullshit from anyone
Rivera: Exactly baby but please keep trying until I get there
Sikorski: Okay babe.
Txt me when ur here
5 mins away
Rivera: Ok baby im almost to rest stop to change
I know baby but its the first time doing this
Sikorski: I know I’ll help u
I’m not going to watch u
Rivera: Ok baby
Sikorski: He should drop u off in front of neiborhood
Rivera: This is truly life changing and he is baby
Sikorski: U said free way and ya I know. We r both lunatics
I’ll meet u at the place where we met last time
We have to do this fast
Sikorski: I know babe
R u scared to do this?
Rivera: Yes I am baby but I don’t wanna lose u either
Sikorski: Baby why would u be scared? There the ones that r trying to put u in jail.
It scares the s--- out of me
Rivera: Just watch them for a few min
Sikorski: I do.
Rivera: Just stab there necks baby at the artery.
Sikorski: I can’t I’m not a psycho
I’m not that crazy babe
Plz just help me
Rivera: Ok baby ok
Sikorski: I’m so sorry for dragging u into this
Rivera: Its gotta be done baby but keep trying
Sikorski: I am baby I keep failing
Do u know how to do this?
Rivera: Stop thinking and juss do baby it will b easier n no I have never done this before
Sikorski: Babe I’m not thinking, it’s the fact that there moving around
Okay babe that’s good Bc he can leave and the. We can both take truck
Get ur clothes now on
Rivera: Ima change at the rest stop baby
Sikorski: Okay so ur on ur way?
Sikorski: Ok and that sounds like a better plan
Rivera: I kno babu
Im try too baby u gotta meet me tho so. I can get i house and is it baby
Sikorski: Okay. I’ll be outside. Is Felix coming?
And it didn’t make a mark babe
I don’t want him too
Rivera: Ima walk to ut house baby n we might need sharper
Felix is gonna drop me. off by freeway baby
Ok baby let me get into. dark clothes n get the gloves
Sikorski: How far r u
U can’t tell Felix ... he will flip
Rivera: About 45 min
Sikorski:Okay I’ll wait here
I tries the knife on myself to see it it was
Babe isn’t it a pulse
Rivera: Yes it pulses babe u have to cut it deep tho
Sikorski: Like stab?
Rivera: Not stab like slice but like ur cutting a tomato
Sikorski: Ok so one slice is all it takes?
Rivera: Yes as long as its deep enough
Sikorski: Ok sooo out as much pressure on there neck
Rivera: I know babe ima send u the info on where artery is located
Rivera: Ima.try n. see if there is a.pic
(sends picture of a neck and artery)
Yes baby and make sure they stop breathing
Sikorski: Ok I hope I don’t get attacked
Rivera: I know baby me to if it comes down to it stab the side of . their neck
Sikorski: Okay babe. I’ll try again
Rivera: Ok baby im praying
Im still here baby
Im getting worried baby I hope it all goes as planned
Sikorski: Babe I can’t (expletive) do it. I’m too scared. I want u to do it ... Plzzz baby plzz
He kept waking up
Rivera: If he sees. me tho babe there will be a struggle n cops will.come
Sikorski: Babe no cops will come. I busted the phone lines
Rivera: Babe the next think will be to just stab them. fast in the throat where the arteries are
Sikorski: Babe ... It’s too hard
Wny can’t u help pme
Rivera: I gotta change into dark clothes babe
Sikorski: I’m literally begging u for help ... I want u to do it on my dad and I’ll do it on my mom
At the same time.
Rivera: Ok baby im just nervous is all about killing someone
Sikorski: What is scary to u about it
Rivera: Yes baby
Sikorski: Babe get that our of ur head. We can do this. I’ll get more than one knife
How far away r u
Rivera: I know baby n like 6 min away
Sikorski: im come out now
Rivera: Not yet
Rivera: Ill txt u wen to cone meet me
Sikorski: Okay babe
Sikorski: Be in the shadows
Rivera: I’ll try babe
Rivera: Towards u
Sikorski: Okay u see me
Rivera: I don’t see u
Sikorski: Still walking
Rivera: Yes im almost to ur house
Rivera: Im walking
Sikorski: Okay u see me
Rivera: I don’t see u
Sikorski: Still walking
Kay I’ll be on the lil island when u turn around hiding
Rivera: Ur going now?
Sikorski: No tell me when
Rivera: Ur gonna go by entrance right baby
Sikorski: Yeah that lil island and where u went last time
Rivera: Ok baby start now keep phone with u
Source: Sikorski family