{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff August 2, 2008 at 6:54 am

Thank you Ms. Diamond. Finally, registered sex offenders have had a fair shake in the press. I can tell you from experience that there are thousands just like David.

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Ralph Logan August 2, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Diane
There is nothing wrong with your mantra, I can appreciate Alice and Pastor Don with their work with the inmates. But one can’t lose sight about the victim , especially when it’s the innocent of youth . Yesterday a choir Director of one of the largest churches in Baltimore was sentence to 7 yrs in prison for having a sexually relationship with a 12yrs choir member,not once but 3 times,. He wasn’t charged with Satutory Rape because the the young lady was unwilling to talk with the detective’s because of her love for the Director. According to the mother this relationship was discovered after the young lady’s friend came forward with the information. This victim is hurt for life and the inmate population have their own moral standards which is protecting the image of those who don’t have the ablility to protect themselves. Those wolves who pray on the Lambs will at some point have to deal with the pack. Your Mantra gives you that balance to reason and understand the David’s and Robert’s of the world.

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RealSexOffenderIssues August 7, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Ralph, you missed the focus of the article. The purpose was not to suggest that people should care more about the accused than the alleged victim. First and foremost, it seems that David’s situation may have been more of a snafu than anything. The fact that there was no physical evidence of abuse, and stories changed, makes me wonder if anything happened at all. Apparently, most people have forgotten that nn the 80’s, the McMartin Trials were the longest and most expensive criminal trials in American history. When it was all over, the government had spent seven years and $15 million dollars investigating and prosecuting a case that led to no convictions. Believe it or not, many people are convicted and even compelled to plead guilty to crimes they never committed.

I also don’t understand why it is you think that every child who may have been a victim of a sex crime is forever traumatized. you must not have heard about Shawn Hornbeck.

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Tim Russo August 2, 2008 at 6:29 pm

you may want to check out my blog. i’m a sex felon and fighting back.

http://bloggerinterrupted.com/about

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Diane August 3, 2008 at 10:40 am

I read your article highlighting “Alice”…. what a wonderful woman! It’s obvious she is one of the very few people in this world that can think clearly.

I am sending you this email under the name of a group called SOFT. (Sex Offenders and Family Treatment). We are located in Lebanon Pennsylvania. At this point in time we are only a small group that talks on line however we are trying very hard to get an actual support group started at a local counseling facility.

At this point in time, I have not seen ANY support groups designed for the family, friends or loved ones of those accused of sex crimes. Society does not seem to realize the impact all these sex laws cause on those of us who are closest to an accused offender. How could they? They haven’t even figured out how the laws are having an impact on the offenders!

If you are interested in talking and hearing more about our group and our belief of the negative impact these laws have and will cause please feel free to contact me. It is my hope that Someone who knows how to make a difference will learn about the views of this group as well as thousands of others who are trying to get our voices heard and will make a change.

I am a SURVIVOR of child sex molestation. I will NOT say I am a victim. There is a BIG difference! I was molested by 5 different family members from the age of 6-16. I do NOT cry about what happened to me anymore. I do NOT allow those people to ruin my life. I am an adult now and I’m very happily married with two grown children of my own. This is my second marriage and I am very happily married to a wonderful man who treats me and my sons with more love and respect then any man ever has and yes, he’s a registered sex offender.
Thank you
Donna Kistler

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Kim February 8, 2009 at 10:26 pm

Can you please have the group called SOFT get a hold of me at kimnewville@midco.net

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suetiggers May 2, 2009 at 5:57 am

Please send me information on SOFT and also more specific info. on Alice …where she is. I'm interested for my son who lost his job and on the registry and living in fear. He had sex with a 15 yr. old prostitute who lied to him AND the police about her age but he is STILL on the registry.

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suetiggers May 5, 2009 at 4:42 am

There are far too many men on the registry falsely accused or who are not dangerous.
My son was falsely accused of sexual abuse yrs ago by an 8yr.old.She lived with 3 criminal uncles,prostituts drug addict mother/sister Ken was an easy scapegoat.The girl finaly told the truth, gave a deposition,writes letters begging forgivenss.She looked the victim my son looked guilty He was a lamb among wolves.He's still on the registry,His appeal denied. Most won't believe finally tells the truth. Too many Innocent men are scapegoats in these cases.

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Mammasmad4 March 14, 2010 at 10:13 am

My son,a 16 year old senior in highschool was accused of exposing him self to his 2 nephews 4 and 7 while he was in the bathroom urinating.They came in and seen him peeing.So the drug addicted father called police.He did not even live with his own children or,support them.I did.I had a confrontation with him about one week prior to this as my son told me he had came over to my daughter and was smoking pot and blew it in his face.I told him if i ever heard of something like that again,i would turn him in.Since he was already on probation again,that was his motive to call on my son.Out of this,they came up with 7 charges.Bonds of 250000. and a possible life sent.

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Ellyn August 19, 2009 at 12:59 am

Hi Diane,

I have been devestated by false accusations against our son. He has to register as a sex offender and wear a monitor. There is no one to turn to for help. By the time you have regrouped enough to think straight the States Attorney has done her worst and there is no stopping her. We were lucky to Keep our son out of Jail. He is 22 years old and was a week away from going into the army. Now his life will be very hard.

Did you ever get your group going?

Ellyn

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Lisa May 23, 2010 at 2:21 am

I would like to know more about how to contact SOFT . I could use some support please. Thanks

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Diane May 24, 2010 at 11:42 am

I’m going to send your e-mail address on to Alice. She’ll be in touch. God bless. ~ DD

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Susan Sade October 18, 2010 at 10:12 pm

do you know of any websites that can tell me if a sex offender on parole in arkansas can get married. can you have the support group called SOFT get in touch with me @ susanmariemilholland@yahoo.com thank you

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Diane August 3, 2008 at 10:45 am

FROM JEROME HOWELL

Hi Lady Di.
Comments on child preditors. I live in small town of 2,000 people with (13) registered offenders. Does this seem to be a large percentage to you? Preditors are evil people, but why do all of them show up in my world? I am really beginning to get paranoid being around children, even at church. Concerning prostitutes and pimps. I am totally convinced these people are useless. The problem is, can we legislate morality? Why don’t we insist on these people to get a room and take care of their business in private and stop wasting the tax payers money for prosecution. Your Friend Jerome.

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Mammasmad4 March 14, 2010 at 10:21 am

I live in a town of 10000 people.Of all the registered sex offenders,the majority of them are very young teenage boys still in highschool.Usually,the probation period is at least 10 years and fines classes,probation cosat,court cost etc. is 20000.Isnt it a little odd they are thinking teens can pay this.I dont think they do.They know the parents will.And we are really starting to shape up around our town.We have lots of new road work,upgraded town square,flowers,etc.

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Diane August 3, 2008 at 10:46 am

Hi Diane.
My name is Thom Allena and I’m writing from Taos. Thanks for your column today. Insightful and compassionate. If you are not already aware I want to let you know about a reentry pilot project using restorative justice approaches that I and other are developing for the NM Corrections Department. It’s a project called restorative reentry panels and we have sites in ABQ and Taos and soon in Santa Fe. The project uses restorative justice principles and links citizens with offenders to assist in their reentry, restores victims, protect the community and assist in changing community attitudes toward returning men and women who have been incarcerated. The program is modeled along the lines of the Vermont DOC who have one of the most successful parole strategies nationally. I’ll attach a one page graphic of the process here in NM.

Should you have any questions, feel free to call or email me. Again, thanks for today’s thoughtful piece.

Best regards,

Thom Allena
Innovations in Justice
Taos, NM
(575) 758-7950

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Mary Jo March 13, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Hi Thom,

I m happy to hear about your program, Im a registered sex offender and thought of starting something like this. I dont live far from Taos, you dont happen to have any job openings do you? I have my BSW and have lots of experience working with non-profits, disabled population, corrections, human resources, etc. I have so much to offer but haven’t been able to find a place to apply my skills.

Thank you.

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Diane August 3, 2008 at 10:47 am

I started reading you when you began writing for the Albuquerque Journal. I am writing to let you know I enjoy your columns and think they are very thought provoking. Perhaps your mantra should be changed to: “Lock him up and throw away the key as long as they are truly sex offenders!” Many are real perverts, but I would agree that our justice system sometimes sucks and many are put in prison for having consensual sex with a younger woman (read teenager out of control).

Keep up the good writing.
Beth Donahue

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Diane August 3, 2008 at 10:47 am

Dear Diane,

Thanks for your nice article today. I know David and Alice. I think it’s important to tell the “other side of the story” as people are having to live with the label of “sex offender” for the rest of their lives.
Thanks for writing your articles!
Ann

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Diane August 3, 2008 at 10:48 am

Dear Ms. Dimond, Thankyou so much for your article on Convicted Sex Offenders. I am co-founder of a recently organized Texas organization working for reform of laws which group all labeled “sex offender” under the same umbrella. Please read some of our stories at http://www.txvoices.com. Current laws have devastated many no-risk individuals and their families. Unfortunately, the general public believes that all “sex offenders” are dangerous criminals. The opposite, in fact, is true. We are so grateful for reporters/journalists like you who get involved and show the injustice of these laws for what they really are. Most of our members have young sons (under the age of 25) who had consensual sexual activity with teen girls. Many of them are incarcerated at this time, others are on probation which is so strict- almost impossible to complete. These young men are now labeled for life. This issue is far-reaching. Young men who have committed minor offenses are placed into the same “treatment” classes as dangerous pedophiles. Also, many cannot return home because they have younger brothers and sisters living in the home. These same young men cannot find jobs due to their sex offender status yet they are required to pay for treatment, probation fees, polygraph fees, etc. When will this ever end? God help us all and God bless you for doing your part to help. I will be posting on the comment section as soon as I am activated. Sincerely, Mary Sue Molnar, Texas Voices,
P.S. I wish you would come to Texas. We could sure use the help!
http://www.txvoices.com
Reform Sex Offender Laws

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Diane August 3, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Dear Diane,
I just finished reading your subject article in the ABQ Journal.
My esteem of you keeps growing and growing. Keep em coming.
Your flexibility indicates to me what an open person you are.
Unlike some in your profession and all other professions, you
are willing to analyze an issue and if the argument is convincing,
you can change your mind. Bravo !
Anyone who uses reason, is educated, or not fossilized in their
thinking, and follows current events, knows that the Criminal
Justice System is broken. You have shone the light on one
small aspect of the injustice many suffer because of ignorance.
I have asked many of my friends and acquaintances if they can
name one system in the USA that is not broken. They can’t,
nor can I. Can you? Of course, some systems are worse off than
others, but they are still broken.
There are good Police Officers, Judges, Doctors, Lawyers, Contractors, Members of the Media, etc… They are in the minority. We meet them every day and sometimes we read their column on Saturday morning.

Joseph I. Salinas
Albuquerque

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Diane August 3, 2008 at 12:41 pm

My name is Daryl E. Harris, and I am a felony prosecutor in San Antonio, Texas. Until this past July, I prosecuted sex crimes and in general agree with the thrust of your article. There is a difference between consensual sex with a partner too young to legally consent – and a true pedophile; but our societal hysteria makes no such distinction. I’m not alone in these thoughts, but Grand Juries indict, jury’s convict & sentence and legislatures establish policy and laws. Only efforts and and writing such as yours can lead to just and appropriate reform.

Mind you, I love my job; and do truly believe that a 21-yr old adult that knowingly has sex with a child 16 or younger should be punished and ostracized; I’m just not sure it should result in lifetime sex offender registration. While I can segregate my personal feelings from my official position – my ultimate job is to do justice. On this topic, I don’t know if we can consistently find it.

Thank you for your article.
Daryl E. Harris

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Diane August 3, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Dear Diane Dimond.
I want to thank you for your article about convicted sex offenders-The other side,in the Albuquerque Journal on Aug 2nd. My son is now serving time for exactly the same thing as the David you wrote about. It seems that all sex offenders are lumped into one category.I would like to know if there is some sort of support group that I could contact with regards as how to deal with this when he gets out. My son would not never do what he was charged with. Thank you once again for you artical.It made me feel better knowing I was not going through this alone and I am sure many of your readers are in the same situation.
Sincerely
Dorothy.

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Jackie Chesnutt August 3, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Great article, Diane. Thanks for reminding us that life-changes do take place; also, thanks for reminding us of the power of forgiveness.

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Diane August 3, 2008 at 7:39 pm

Thanks for your column on sex offenders. As a person who spent two years in prison for a non-contact, internet “chat” charges, I can relate to alot of the madness. I too, have lost my children, can’t keep work, even though I am highly educated and a college graduate.

My best friend, a college professor, and I wrote a book together about our friendship through the whole ordeal. I was definitely guilty of being internet addicted and making totally wrong choices, but was it in societies best interest to ruin my life add me to the list of sex offenders? I really wish I had the answer. Like so many other things in our “major on the minor” society it is all madness.

Thanks again
Billy M.

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Diane August 3, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Hi Diane!
I enjoyed your recent story regarding Alice and David tremendously and thought I would give you a thumbs up.
We all need a different slant on life now and then— and I’ve often hurt for those who have made a mistake and find themselves caught up in an endless maze that goes in circles for the simple reason that society needs to be protected and our laws do not have gray hues. It is either black or white.
I ask myself what chance do they have to be rehabilitated if the eye of judgement is forever on them.
I also try to walk in the shoes of the homeless… and how they got there.
I have a son in law (redneck I would say) who says they are homeless because they choose to be. I have tried to paint him the scenario of the man who looses his job, cannot find another, looses his home and has to live in his car. And then there is no money for gas or for maintenance. Not all homeless people are “ner-do-wells”, some just need a chance and a reason to keep going.
We live in different times, however, from the days of my childhood when my mother (dad was working in CA) sent my young brother out front where a lone hitchhiker stood in the rain. My brother invited him to the house and my mom fixed a plate, sharing what little we had on the table with him. Afterward the man insisted on doing some work to earn his meal and my mom, who believed in the goodness and the dignity of all humanity, handed him the axe and let him chop wood for our stove. I get chills thinking of the possibilities and of the danger that never manifested.
I have followed your career for many, many years and wish you well in your newest endeavor. Bless you.
kindest regards,
Margie

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Tim Russo August 3, 2008 at 8:52 pm

I emailed this link to Chris Hansen, of NBC To Catch A Predator fame, after he responded to my friend request on Facebook.

http://bloggerinterrupted.com/2008/06/nbc-settles-to-catch-a-predator-lawsuit

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Diane August 4, 2008 at 3:52 am

FROM AARON:
I’m in agreement with “Alice’s” outlooks. I do believe there are, past and present, convictions of some sex-offenders which are the result of DA’s offices seeking slam-dunk convictions. Seemingly, what is prosecuted can be just simple human behavior viewed with a witch-hunter’s kaleidoscope. Half of what’s seen is a reflection; not a total view. Common sense died some years ago.

I teach math. The Consumer’s Price Index (shows the true costs of items thru the years) amazes them. I sometimes comment to my students about how they have no idea of the amount of personal freedom that has disappeared since I was their age. Legislators astonish me at the breadth and depths of enacted laws – astonishing in the thoroughness of minuteness – the intrusiveness they authorize. I thank you for that comment you wrote about the redefining of the word rape; what the present definition of rape is; you’ve given me knowledge – I’ve often wondered why someone was being prosecuted when I read of the reported charge in the newspaper. I’ve disagreed with the hysteria that has sent many people to jail for seemingly, ridiculous (reported) reasons! Perhaps some clear thinkers, with truthful journalists reporting, can reverse this mistake in our society. The persecution of teenagers for simple human behavior is an atrocity. I hope Alice’s children come to see she’s not only right, she’s a role-model for them and others. Please convey to her that I admire her.

I’ve wondered why the ACLU has never interposed their efforts into this facet of legislated idiocies – I dropped my membership in the ACLU because they seem unable to do anything except sue cities over displays of the 10 Commandments being in parks, or the word “God” being in a courthouse (they do occasionally get something right but it is such an effort to get their attn focused on true injustices – again – that desire of “slam-dunk” success).

I wonder at the toleration of law enforcement’s arrogance. The intrusiveness and ability of the “LAW” – those who wield it – to coerce citizens (particularly convicted felons) is disturbing to me. Your reporting of David’s arrest despite the differences in spelled name, SS# and DOB – coupled with a report by Hailey Heinz about John Mathias being arrested for not wearing a seat belt should give citizens cold chills! I believe some of this nation’s restrictions upon it’s convicted felons are abusive – the recidivistic rate might drop given more post incarceration opportunities.

I’m not a sobbing, teary-eyed, hand-wringer. I own shotguns. I hunt birds (I eat them) and I target shoot. I believe in the Bill of Rights – I do support the 2nd and 10th amendments. I won’t be voting for Obama and I’m not bitter or clutching a Bible; the Republic will survive him if he wins the election – I have 3 college degrees and 17 hours post Masters. I am a citizen seeing things I don’t like in my country.

Thank you for your information – that’s why I love newspapers – and have since the 2nd grade – thank you for your uncomplicated reporting here.

nomadpi1

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Diane August 4, 2008 at 3:57 am

Hello Miss Dimond,
My name is Wayne … I just wanted to thank you for doing that story. It is true not everyone thinks all sex offenders are monsters. The people who know me would concur.

I am a registered sex offender in New Mexico. I spent a couple months shy of 4 years in the Oklahoma prison system and am currently doing my probation here for that offense.

i think i will finish my probation in the year 2013 unless i obtain an early release form probation.

i am 45 years old. my crime occurred in march of 1997. i was arrested in November of 1999. i was sentenced to prison in December of 2000. released from prison august 2004 with my probation transfer ed to new Mexico to be with my family.

i am a recovering alcoholic and a drug addict. 11 years clean and sober. i have been employed at the same job full-time since April of 2005. i am attending school full-time also.

i have a relationship with a lovely woman for close to 4 years. she has over 5 years of recovery herself and is also a felon for drug convictions.

my crimes involved a 15 year old minor female. i will not attempt to minimize what occur ed. i was guilty. no, i didn’t know her true age. i was into a “swinging” lifestyle, self-medicating myself on a regular basis, and quite morally bankrupt. no excuses here.

i loathe being considered a predator. i have never groomed anyone for my sexual gratification. i have never forced myself on another. i don’t like the idea that the general consensus is that i will re offend again.

I’ve searched for statistics on recidivism of sex offenders and it appears out of all major crimes it has a low rate. justice department studies give me a 3.3% chance ore offending considering my age and the fact that i never had previous convictions for anything and nothing since.

i have had moral recognation therapy in prison. and 2 more times while on probation here. i have been on a home monitor with curfew, then taken off the home monitor. sometime later i was put on a GPS monitor with curfew and a “community corrections” program, where i had counseling again (i had 1 year of counseling after my release from prison) and i had to do community service to boot. this last march of 2008, after being off the GPS monitor for well over a year, i was once again put on the GPS, all of us were. it wasn’t a state requirement, just our region decided everyone will be on it. How long? i was told indefinitelyly. perhaps until 2013.

i have jumped through every hoop probation has placed in front of me. On Halloween we have to report to a building in the evening or we will be arrested. the years prior we had to stay in our homes, lights out, and no passing out candy.

our front lights were out. and i told my folks about the no passing out candy, but apparently it is illegal for us to have any candy in the house. i didn’t know that and really have never found anything in writing. so anyhow, I was arrested and spent the night in jail, charges were not filed in the end, but our home was on tv news that night. and now i really have a fear of halloween.

when i committed my crime the deal was i had to register once a year for 10 years following my relaese. well after i get out in 2005 new mexico changes things so now i must register every 90 days for the rest of my natural life.

registration, GPS monitoring, halloween ( i would like to see if there are any statistics on halloween sex offenses), they do field visits to my work. they are suppose to be discreet but they are not. look, i committed crimes. but i would like to know how much i will be punished before i die, they say all this are tools for law enforcement based on sex offenders reoffending all the time.

when i got out of prison i figured i’d have no problem with my probation. but 4 years into my probation i have got to say i am scared. too many hoops to jump through. the stress i am feeling is crazy. i keep wondering what is next. how can they keep adding requirements? what about violent felons?

well, thanks for letting me vent. I could go on but whats the point. thanks for getting another veiw out there.

Wayne

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Nancy Jo August 24, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Wayne – there are reform movements afoot to investigate the expofacto processes that add additional punishments to sex offenders – the supreme court actually ruled this to be cruel and unusual punishment but yet states just keep on changing the rules. don’t give up – surround yourself with true friends and family . Sex offenses for the most part actually can be expunged and you will eventually come off the registry… the exception to this would be those who have been convicted of “life” sentences.

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RealSexOffenderIssues September 22, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Nancy Jo, the Supreme Court has not ruled the laws to be cruel and unusual punishment last I checked. SCOTUS has ruled that, if the laws are intended to be applied civilly as opposed to being criminal in nature, then the laws don’t violate the ex post facto clause. Which is why the sex offender laws keep piling up and are beginning to affect more and more kids.

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Tim Russo August 4, 2008 at 8:18 am

wayne…..fight back. this sounds like a nightmare. challenge the law.

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Diane August 4, 2008 at 11:06 am

Thank you for exposing ‘the other side’ of the story regarding America’s Registered Sex Offenders. The media has almost always been on the hype and hysteria side of the equation before you came along. Great article.

Tom Madison
Registered Sex Offender
Executive Director for
SO Clear Media Productions, Inc.
Clackamas, Oregon
503-841-6833

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Diane August 4, 2008 at 11:11 am

Dear Ms. Dimond,
You will never know the relief I felt yesterday when I saw your column, “Convicted Sex Offenders – The Other Side”. Thank you for having the courage to share with your readers the other side of the story. You could not have timed it any better as a young family friend of mine received the letter she has been waiting for since December after her mother called CYFD and accused her husband of sexual contact with her 10 year daughter. CYFD is closing the case and a second case where the grandmother accused her daughter and husband of mental abuse after the courts did not rule in the grandparents favor to gain custody of the 10 year old and her two other sisters. To make a 10 year old story short the grandparents will only be able to have supervised visitation with the 10 year old and will only be able to see the other two girls along with a new baby if the parents choose. If the grandparents ever see their daughter and son-in-law again is highly doubtful but if they do it is going to take a lot of counseling before that happens.
Thank you for allowing me to share another heartbreaking story with you.
My regards, Charlene S.

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justadadathome August 4, 2008 at 12:26 pm

27 years ago, my husband, in his youth committed a crime. He had sex with his girlfriend who was 14 years old, and he was just barely 18 years old.
He plead guilty, was sentenced and served his time.

He got out of prison, a much better person. He found God while in prison, and while locked up, worked on himself.
He went on to meet a me, get married and we had children.

In 2006 our 2 children were 12, and 13 years old and in the public schools. We had a flourishing business and everyone in our and he was providing a great living for our family.

We lived in a small town and everyone knew him and our children. We were active in church, sports and the community at large.

It was then that they passed a new law, the Adam Walsh Act. It made my husband a NEW sex offender. Two sheriffs showed up and arrested him for failing to register as a sex offender.
He called my cell phone and told me I had to come home right away as he was going to jail. This would leave my two young children at home alone, watching their Daddy be taken away in handcuffs. You cannot know how embarrassing this was for me to have to leave my job.

Emotional, yes, to say the least. After his arrest, his photo, name and address were plastered all over the television, radio and newspaper for days. After he was bonded out of jail we had to
leave town for a few weeks as the news people wanted to interview me.

My once totally popular children were now subjects of cruel jokes and ridicule at school.

We had to shut down our business.
We quit church.
We became recluse.

I gave birth to our new baby, and after a year in court, the charges against him were thrown out.

But my husband has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life as a sex offender for his 1 crime I committed 22 years ago.

Collateral Damage? Devastating. The lives of our children have been forever ruined. We cannot even go to a public park now together.. Before that Adam Walsh Act, we went

camping, fishing, swimming all summer long…. Thank you George Bush, and Mark Foley for hurting My Children for ever.

These laws are just wrong. It is like he was sentenced to Lifetime Banishment from the world, for a crime 22 years old that he already paid for. We did not get to go to court again and plead his case. If he did, he could have proven that he is NO threat to society.

How can our government just re-sentence a person to all this punishment, and harm our children so badly without even allowing him to have a day in court to plead his case?

How can he be re-sentenced for a crime that he already went to court for over 20 years ago?
How can this be legal in America? I thought we had laws to protect us.

If you are related to a sex offender, and your life has been harmed by these laws, come tell your story, please http://collateralvictims.com

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justadadathome August 4, 2008 at 12:35 pm

Thank you for exposing the Other side of the story.
Many people who are currently labeled Sex Offender have been done so by enactment of the Adam Walsh Act.
This act, perpetrated by George Bush, takes away the power of the states to work out their own sex offender laws by extortion. If the state does not enact the Adam Walsh Act, under threat of the United States Federal Government, that state will have money withheld from their law enforcement budget. Many states have laws in place which actually work, assigning different classes of sex offenders to differing threat levels. A person who committed a crime 30 years ago, and has never re offended, would NEVER be placed in the current Tier 3 level. Only those who are a threat to society are put in the public eye.
As a result of these laws, thousands of children, wives, family members and relatives are subjects of ridicule, harassment, and effectively being banished by these ill thought out laws.

The Human Rights Watch has even done a professional study on this matter:
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2007/09/06/usdom16819.htm
http://hrw.org/reports/2007/us0907/8.htm#_Toc176672592
http://hrw.org/reports/2007/us0907/

Thank you for your article.
Just a Dad at Home
http://www.cfcamerica.org
Citizens for Legislative Change, America

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Diane August 4, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Your discussion of the other side of a crime that usually creates thoughts of revulsion was interesting. In most cases, there are two sides to the story.

Our society has some real gender issues that it doesn’t deal with very effectively. In the distant past, women in marital issues that involved the legal system, didn’t in my understanding, get treated fairly. Things changed and now in child custody issues/child support, men are usually considered guilty until proven innocent. We now have states making men pay child support for kids that DNA has proven are not even his, something that is rather criminal in my opinion.

I really detest men who force themselves on women. On the other hand, sexual assault, particularly if some time elapsed between the “event” and the charge, is easy for a woman to assert and hard for the man to defend against. What to do? I wish I were smart enough to provide a completely fair and just solution to these issues.
Don D.

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Diane August 4, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Well done. It is a very difficult issue, one which legislators don’t seem to know how to address. Convictions of adults, for acts against children, need to be treated differently than those involving kids misbehaving. And, ex-wives are notorious for bringing false charges against their husbands, accusing them of abusing kids. I saw this as a law student intern in the Los Angeles Dependency Courts… judges, fearing for the safety of the child, and fearing making a mistake.. often removed the kids on wholly unsupported statements of bitter wives….
Laura S.

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Lisa August 4, 2008 at 2:19 pm

Thank you thank you thank you for reporting the truth! I have been immersed in this “mess” since my son was arrested 2 years ago for online chat (in Louisiana they call it solicitation of a minor – computer aided) with a friend that he’d known online only for about 3 years. I’m not approving chat but when the chat can be blocked in a matter of about 3 seconds, and the girl was just as involved if not more, by golly get them both treatment for addiction to the internet (because that is what it is) – these kids don’t have “real life” social skills, they chat online because of that! It’s “fantasy land” yet they don’t realize how stupid they are becoming. My son does not deserve 3 years hard labor and 25 (at least) years of registration as a sex offender and we will continue to fight for ALL people caught up in this mess – the non-violent, consensual behavior where only the older one gets into trouble and never the teen. Did chat destroy this girls life? Of course not, yet she is now a “victim” of sexual abuse and can continue to chat with the other boys she was chatting with – and never get into trouble until she hits that “age of consent” – the miracle age where one day she is ignorant and the next day she’s smart. As a woman, I personally feel the Age of Consent is an insult. I have a right to consent at any age – some girls are MUCH more mature than others and certainly boys. I know I’ll catch flack for that but believe me, when I can not give my permission to my own daughter to have a relationship at age 16 yet the government would give a felony to the boy and probably me as a parent (as we’ve seen on t.v., it happens) – something is wrong with the judicial system and our laws. Yes, they are broken yet the legislators don’t want to “appear” “soft on crime”. They need a darn backbone–the truth is the truth, what are they afraid of, the stats back it all up! Ask your grandparents at what age did they marry, it’s NOT unusual to have sex as a teen! I was the only one who “hadn’t” in high school – I was a rare human being back then (in 1980).

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Walter Howard August 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm

Over the last 16 years, our government has worked furiously to pass new laws that are designed to prevent the horrific crimes committed against Megan Kanka and Jessica Lunsford. These crimes, both committed by RSO’s, were awful but we really need to question whether laws like Megan’s Law, Jessica’s Law, and the Adam Walsh Act could have prevented those crimes. Please let me explain further.

Megan’s Law and the Wetterling Act were created on the assumption that recidivism is high for Sex Offenders. However, the recidivism for sex offenders is reported to be lower than that of any other class of offenders. For example, the United States Department of Justice indicated that the recidivism rate for Sex Offenders is 3.5% meaning that 96.5% of those who are on the registry are not likely to re-offend. Furthermore, in New York and California, the recidivism rate is only 2%. There are too many lies being fed to the public to pass these new laws and the media exploits each and every story that comes to light. This is destroying the social fabric of America for our kids as evidenced by the declining numbers of those that would coach or volunteer their time to work with children, lest they be accused. This is also destroying lives. Even youngsters are being placed on the registry, and even more disturbing is that non violent sex is included. That means public urination, consensual sex among teens, and even spousal sex in some states.

The list creates the myth of “stranger danger” but most sex crimes are committed by someone known or related to the victim (93%) of sex offenses. Residency restrictions simply do not work. In Minnesota, the Department of Corrections found that between 1990 and 2002, of the 3,166 sex offenders released from state prisons, only 224 of these were returned to prison for a new sex crime through 2006. The report contains the statement, “Not one of the 224 sex offenses would have been deterred by a residency restrictions law.” Additionally, our State is doing very little to provide proper treatment for sex offenders while they’re incarcerated, which some say, may increase the risk.

While the Supreme Court has deemed these new laws regulatory, they do seem to violate fundamental principles of our Constitution. This should be alarming. For example, ever-changing registration requirements and residency restrictions lead to ex post facto application of new laws. Furthermore, while it’s not the explicit intent of these “regulatory” laws to punish, the consequences of these laws are a form of double jeopardy, as former Sex Offenders who served their time and paid their dues continue to be punished when they are denied employment and housing; are segregated from their communities; forced to leave their families; hunted down and arrested for failing to register in accordance with new registration requirements; and, by having to wear a Scarlet Letter. These realities make up a dangerous formula. This is the type of activity that transpired during the birth of the Nazis.

Finally, these laws may in fact make you LESS SAFE. People with criminal histories, including RSO’s, are at a higher risk for committing new crimes when, as RSO laws do, their freedoms and liberties are disproportionate, they have difficulty accessing housing and employment, and are denied community support. This is likely why there is not one empirical study suggesting the effectiveness of these laws. In fact, most peer reviewed studies examining the effectiveness of Megan’s Law conclude they have no impact on the recidivism rates, and are therefore ineffective at preventing new sexually-based crimes, and in fact, may make communities less safe.

We urge you to contact your State and Federal Representatives and demand public safety laws that work, instead of “feel good” laws that place your children at a greater risk and are destroying innocent lives of RSO family members. We would also urge you to become active regarding this issue, because the storm of fascism is coming to all Americans. To learn more about this issue go to: http://www.rightsandlaw.net, http://www.soclear.net, http://www.rickyslife.com, http://www.sosen.us, and http://www.reformsexoffenderlaws.org, http://www.cfcamerica.org

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RealSexoffenderIssues September 22, 2010 at 11:20 pm

HEAR HEAR!

In order to effect changes to the laws we first need to rid ourselves of ignorance.

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cfc August 4, 2008 at 7:31 pm

Mr. Harris, My husband is 6 years older than I am. I am so thankful that the laws were not the same 32 years ago. My grandfather was 10 years older than my grandmother, she was 14 when they got married. They were married for 65 years. I guess my family is full of sex offenders because some of us married young.
There is a good reason why we females will date older guys. It is quite normal for a 15 or 16 year old girl to date an early 20 young man. Males our age are not
very mature.
I guess Elvis Presley would have been a sex offender as well according to the law. So Mr. Harris, with much respect to you, would you please think about your comment pertaining to young men (early 20’s) and teenage girls.
Thank you Mr. Harris for your comments.

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Mary August 6, 2008 at 12:55 pm

to nomadpi1
… I’ve wondered why the ACLU has never interposed their efforts into this facet of legislated idiocies – I dropped my membership in the ACLU …

Just to let you know the ACLU in Central FL (of all the draconian places on this continent) has stepped in for our behalf. There have been no laws they could go after. We (and many names I recognize on this site) have been working long and hard with the ACLU to find a law they could sink their teeth into. I personally went to their monthly meetings for 3 years bringing them factual information on not only SOs/SPs, but the unintended consequences faced by family members of FORMER SOs/SPs. Space here is limited to go into to much detail, but for one thing, people who are labeled SO/SPs are not considered a class, and there is nothing to protect them.

So many people, including my family member was PROSECUTED even be they went to trial. The media raked them over the coals, making statements such as predator, pedophile, child mol. etc. My family member had a snow balls’ chance in h*ll to win or even have anyone believe he was innocent.

The state had ZERO evidence against my family member yet ALL your rights are taken away once you have been accused of this crime.

We, the family members, have been fighting to educate the public by use of the media.
Please check out John Stossel’s Age of Consent segment (it is on youtube AND 20/20 site) that segment came directly from us sending factual information.
Check out YouTube for the people who are also putting up their own videos (some better than others) about the facts. There are now hundreds if not thousands of web sites for Former offenders and their family members.

The sad problem is there are over 600,000 people on the registry, my family member is LABELED a Predator. They had NO victim, just a he said she said with a crazed women who accused him of molesting her daughter. It does not matter what you did, ONLY what the climate of society is at the moment. ANY ONE can be accused and convicted of a sex crime, EVEN if NO sex is involved and ANY ONE can be LABELED a predator.

My family member had NEVER been alone with this kid. The ONLY time we ever saw them was casually in a family setting. This little girl had a Crush on my family member.

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RealSexOffenderIssues September 22, 2010 at 11:23 pm

I actually contacted the ACLU regarding the laws years ago and was told that they oppose only those laws that they feel they can change with litigation. Therefore I too stopped supporting the ACLU.

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Mary August 6, 2008 at 1:02 pm

I think this was fine …a 21-yr old adult that knowingly has sex with a child 16 or younger should be punished and ostracized…

When the lines of the law were CLEAR, as in ’15 will get you 20′
But do I think a 21 year old (whose mind by the way does NOT develop into an adult until you reach 25) should go to JAIL! and have a lifetime registration! NO way.

Look at your grandparents and their parents, how old where they when they married???

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Dave August 17, 2008 at 8:25 am

Great article, it really makes you think about our way of life. It’s a hard concept for society to handle, forgiveness? However, I commend Alice for her good works and try to remember its not our job to judge, It’s Gods sole right. I truly don’t want us to forget the young victims as all to often we do. Alice you will be blessed by God for your good works.

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John L. Shelton August 17, 2008 at 11:15 pm

Diane, in my opinion where the crime is in this country any more, is that people are running for the highest office in the land who couldn’t get a job at Mc Donald’s. – Looks to me like that there ought to be a form these candidiates would have fill out with their personal history shown in every detail. They would have to say what they thought was wrong with the country, and a solid solution in their minds as how to solve it. Then every new paper in the nation would have to publish it word for word by law. Any deviation from them during their campaign, and they would be automatically eliminated. Peroid.
This would put some work into these nuts well in advance by their thinking, and it would show the American voters what they would be
getting, without the lies they spread though out the nation for a year prior to the election.
Now it’s like shooting craps for electing a president.

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John Williams August 20, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Pretty nice site, wants to see much more on it! 🙂

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Ray September 10, 2008 at 1:39 pm

The only employment I could find in my Texas city (est. pop. 90,000) was working for my uncle. He will be retiring soon and I will be out of a job. If I can’t work, pay bills, survive, then how am I expected to register my address if I living literally in the street? The laws in this state prohibit my employment in many fields of employment. I’ve been seeking employment but to no avail. Yes I committed a felony but I did my time. In prison I had the chance (7 years) to evaluate my situation and the path I took to get there. I DO NOT want to go back, but if I can not find a means to provide shelter and food for myself, and others who are dependent on my pay check (mom, sisters, nieces, nephew) then what am I supposed to do? I will not by any means allow them to go hungry. (While I was in prison I requested the sex offender treatment program, but never heard from anyone. I was left to treat myself, I guess.) I have since my release spoken to and hung out with my one time accuser. There is no bitterness from either part. Really, it is her forgiveness that means most to me. However, it is the lack of forgiveness from the public, media, and lawmakers that continues to make this second half of my life a living h*ll. What am I supposed to do? What help is there for me?

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Nick September 13, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Keep in mind that most sexual offenders have NOT raped anyone before. You can be convicted for urinating in public, sunbathing nude, window peeping, picture peeping, prank phone calls, and even having consensual sex with someone two or three years younger than you. Plus, there are now even young children listed on registries!
These broad-reaching laws need reform so they only focus on true predators.
These abusive laws cost states millions and do nothing to keep kids safe, especially when the children of sex offenders suffer collateral damage from them.
Legislators need to examine the facts before they pass any more unconstitutional laws.

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ken September 29, 2008 at 7:39 pm

In the early years of the AIDS virus, many people thought that homosexuals were being punished either by God’s will,or through great fortune for the rest of us. Only when the deadly virus started affecting “good” people , like heterosexuals and children and unfortunate drug users, did we realize that we had our facts wrong. There are still a few people who are afraid that they will get AIDS through casual contact with these “evil, ungodly” people. But there is hope. It took a long time, but people finally learned one worldly fact. The world is round and not flat. People with AIDS were lepers, needing isolation from society to protect us from them. Jesus embraced lepers at a time when most people didn’t know the real facts. Somehow he knew that these people were not the threat that most people thought they were. Obviously, Jesus and people like Him can approach certain groups of people, without hate or fear. Fear and hatred can destroy all of us . Hitler and his regime were destroyed because of things that they did that were based on fear and hatred of an evil group of people ( Jews were all alike and the world would be better without them). History is full of great civilizations that crumbled because of hatred, fear or paranoia. If you feel that you are a member of a group that has suffered because of misinformaton, then you may know how it feels when people are wrong about who you are. The media doesn’t talk about it much, but most children are molested by relatives and friends and others close to them. We focus so much on strangers, and we forget about our own families. Some of us will never take the time to study and learn the facts until someone in our own family becomes a member of this new “leper colony”. If we are lucky, we will have more people like 79 year old Alice, and Jesus Christ, come forward and clear the clouded skies of the fear, hate and ignorance, so that we can see the planets and the stars and realize that each planet and each star has it’s own right to exist and that the universe does not revolve around us with our own little world at the center. When we embrace the despised, are we not doing the work of God? Who would be willing to stand and criticize Jesus if he were to embrace and show love and compassion for a person who is a registered sex offender? Let the first person to stand be a person who is without sin.

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Momof3 October 23, 2008 at 7:43 am

Reports, Stories, and Actual Accounts of children, as young as 4 years old being arrested for Sex Crimes in America.

Little girl, 10 years old arrested and charged with a sex crime.

Children are being abused by the American Government.

http://www.crimesagainstchildren.com

and affilliate of Citizens for Change, America.. http://www.cfcamerica.org

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suetiggers May 5, 2009 at 12:49 am

WHY MEN WHO ARE NOT DANGEROUS DO NOT BELONG ON THE SEX-OFFENDER REGISTRY
When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." – Thomas Jefferson
People on the registry(far too many innocent or not dangerous) have been murdered, committed suicide, had their homes set on fire, been evicted, lost their jobs,etc.etc. Stephen Marshall killed two men who were on the sex-offender registry in Maine. Immediately after, he took his own life. One of the men Marshall killed, Joseph Gray, was on the registry for raping a child. The other, William Elliott, was listed because he'd slept with his girlfriend before she turned 16.
Eighty-seven percent of people who were arrested for sex crimes had not previously been convicted of such an offense, according to a 1997 study. Just 14 percent of all sexual assault cases involved strangers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
These are examples of who is on the dreaded registry:
1. Romeo and Juliet liasons, false accusations of vindictive teens against an older teen (18 or 19)
2.False accusation by vindictive parents in child custody cases and/or family feuds- There are more of these than most people would believe. There are many reports of people who admit to having lied about being molested when they were younger. Now they would like to have the person wrongly convicted on their testimony set free.
3.mutual consensual sex- but being 3 yrs. and 1 day older than the willing teen (can bring and has brought multiple felony indictments)
4. Sex between consenting teen prostitute (who looks older and even may have lied about her age) with an adult male
5. Criminal charges that later are dropped for insufficient proof but not appealed in time, so still on registry
From all I have read, the number of true pedaphiles who are actually dangerous is relatively small. But check out the registry. You're liable to see people who look like your mailman, grocery clerk,etc.etc. And ones who look like they fit the profile could be the least guilty and vice verse. But the numbers are growing exponentially. And as long as politicians and the media can make hay (or reputations) out of this issue, it will breed fear and hysteria and ruin men (mostly) and their families lives who do not deserve to have this happen ! Where are the churches on this issue? Where are people who say they care about justice? Watch MSNBC’s Witch Hunt brought to anyone who wants to learn by Sean Penn and two courageous filmmakers.

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rose October 25, 2010 at 11:08 pm

i strongly agree we have to do something about this because some of these men if not most of them are actually good human beings and not sex offenders at all they did their time and they deserve a chance i have a family member who is doing really well and is in church and loves being there and and he is a sex offender but he made a mistake by having consensual sex with a girl that was 27 now 28 years old and she lied on him just to get the money and i think its sick my family member is mentally ill and is looking for a chance to prove to the community that he is not a child molester or a rapist of any kind at all but we keep getting turned down and nobody wants to help us get his name removed off of the list thank you rose

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No where to turn in Ohio November 16, 2010 at 11:00 am

My son was convicted in latter part of 2009 of having sex with a 17 year old at the time he was 22, As I gathered evidence (police report, hospital records as well as the statements she had made, non of them had the same story. I spoke to my son he stated nothing ever happened between them, After 10,000 dollars to the atty and now having to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, it’s not fair that she could lie and continue to lie and no one ever confronted her about this. I swear I am doing everything I can to help my son when he comes home in 2011, God help us if this continues

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Traci December 4, 2010 at 12:01 am

Thank you for this story. Can we get a follow up on where these folks can live in Albuquerque? How and where they can work? What can you do if your NOT rich and had to take the plea? can your life ever be close to normal? More stories like this will help the familys that are trying to deal with this in their family.

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Traci December 4, 2010 at 12:20 am

Please forward my contact info to SOFT. Our family and many others NEED it. tjwis@live.com Thank you. Traci

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Mikala S May 24, 2011 at 1:15 pm

My husband has to register for a *misdemeanor sexual misconduct* case that was a farce, they wanted him to plead guilty to sodomy and child molestation when he refused, they dropped the sodomy and changed it to sexual misconduct, witnesses that were supposed to have been supeoned (sp) never were, we asked to have a new court appointed attorney (ours never asked us anything about the case at all) and smelled of alcohol on the day of court, we asked for change of venue, it was denied, the judge found him guilty (there was no jury) based on the victims *demeanor* on the stand. It was classified as a misdemeanor and he was sentenced to 90 days in jail (which he served in solitary). We couldn’t afford an attorney, (still can’t) so we couldn’t even appeal the sentence, since court appointed attorneys will only file appeals for felonys and this was not. I don’t know where to turn to for help this happened in 07 and since then the victim has recanted, then changed her story back several times. We now live in Ohio, this all happened in Missouri, if anyone knows who we can turn too it would be much appreciated!

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JOHN H. January 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Is there anyone out there? !!!!! I’m a convicted sex offender, have not been into any trouble for a long time . is there any help out there for people like us /me that has provein not only to self but also to society that there are some that won’t re-offend. Is there any that practic law that has the guts to try to help an ex- offender get off the registration law act in this country. I have alot more input on this subject from dealing with this . I agree that society needs protected from people like this /me . However, after 5 – 10 years from getting off probation not re-offending shouldn’t it be permitted to live a noraml life agian. Help!!!!!!!!!!! Jonh H.

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Esmeralda a. May 2, 2012 at 2:58 am

It all depends okay a 18yr old + has no business with a 17yd or younger. I mean of course no 39 yr old has business with 17yd old that has no justices bt come on a 17 yd with A 15 yr old is that a sex offender they are both in the same high school I’ve seen thousands of movies with a freshmen going out with a senior and never called a sex offender . Sometimes I think some of those guys are innocent just from life experiance when I was in middle schools lots of girls loved to dress a age they weren’t and Some happen to be very developed and tall and also liked to dress revealing and lied about thier age saying thier 19 and I swear to god they could have foold anyone and felt sorry for the guys. When I got to high school even worst. Sometimes these guys seriously don’t even have a clue about the girls real age and it’s sad. For the parents to call them sex offenders when thier daughter is the one that practically walk out with no clothes and continuously saught after older men. But I’m not saying it jusfies every single sex offender because there is no excuse for 36 or 28 yr old with a 12 yr old that’s disgusting and can’t even fool a blind person. Not the story of 17 year old with a 15 yr old is ridiculous. I mean come on if it a crime why the fuck do they put 15 yr olds with 18 or even 19 yr olds Come on its more 90% chance that a freshmen girl is going to have a crush on her senior homecoming king. It’s the government that needs to restrict 17 years olds with 15 yr old in the same school if it’s a crime .

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virginia February 8, 2017 at 6:39 pm

A family member of mine is in trouble for molesting a minor, a charge he did not commit. The newspapers print the arrest in the newspaper. making it almost impossible for those not proven guilty to get a job. It is damned wrong. Innocent until proven guilty? What a joke. My family members life has been ruined because the media printed this story when he has not been proven guilty. I find it unthinkable that the poor truck driver mentioned in this article got 10 years for consentual sex with a 16 year old which is child bearing age. Most European countries list the age of consent as 15 or 16 in regard to a female. Though I am certainly not one to excuse a sex offender, Europe offers psychiatric help to offenders instead of just trowing them in jail. The USA needs to change some of its unrealistic laws that belong in a backward middle eastern society.

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