The Sex Offender Down the Street (Is My Son)

Hi Readers — This is a candid letter from the mom of a sex offender who is on the registry for life. Read it and see if our sex offender laws are doing the job they were intended to do: keep our kids safe from predators. — Lenore

Dear Free-Range Kids: My son was recently subjected to a death threat when a neighbor discovered that he was listed on the sex offender registry. What heinous crime had my son committed that our neighbor deemed worthy of death? “Falling in love.”

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He was 17, she told him she was 16. At the time he had no reason to doubt her. A short time later he learned a harsh life lesson. They never got beyond kissing or hand holding, but she wrote in her diary that they had made love. When her mother read the entry in her 14-year-old daughter’s diary she quite justifiably became angry. Without talking with either one of them, she called the police and had my son arrested. He spent 45 days in jail awaiting trial.

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Had the mother taken her daughter to the doctor, she would have found out that her daughter was simply voicing a private fantasy. The girl begged her mother to stop the proceedings, but the wheels of “justice” were already in motion.

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The girl was so distraught about the situation that she constantly sought to contact my son to apologize and beg him not to hate her. She finally convinced her older sister to help her get in touch with him. One day shortly after sentencing and being put on a strict 3-year probation mandating no contact with his “victim,” my son was walking home from the store a block from our house. A car pulled up behind him and he heard a familiar voice beg, “Please stop and talk to me for a minute, we won’t tell anyone, please!”

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His only reaction was to break into a full run. He burst through the front door of our home and collapsed into a pale, quivering heap of fear in the middle of the floor.  He managed to shakily mumble enough for me to realize what had just happened.  I immediately took him to the police station and had them document exactly what had happened. Only with their assurance that he had done the right thing and that everything would be OK, could he finally calm down enough to breathe.
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My son was quite shy around girls to begin with and she was his first love. As things stand right now, he may very well never have another. He never finished high school due to his probation rules, and will be required to register twice a year for the rest of his life. He has lost every job he has been able to find, due to his listing on the registry.  He can never join the military, or even follow his lifelong dream of a career in music, even though he is a talented singer/songwriter and drummer.
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Why not? The laws work this way: His sentence was 3 years’ probation and 25 years on the registry in his state of conviction, Michigan. He couldn’t keep a job in Michigan, he kept losing them because of the registry, resulting in homelessness. Homelessness and joblessness are parole violations, so he was sent to jail for six months. After two more trips to jail for failure to register — resulting in three more months in jail —  he came here to South Carolina to live with us.  As long as he can keep a roof over his head and registers when required, he will be safe. A third failure to register could send him  to prison for a mandatory 5 year sentence. Unfortunately, in our state, sex offender registration is lifetime for everyone.

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He cannot pursue his musical career because it costs money (which neither he nor we have), for his instruments and upkeep, advertising, etc. Plus, if you are on the registry you have to  go in and report everywhere you are employed. Which means if he had a gig in, say, Seattle, he would have to report the address of his performance, the length of time he will be there, where he would be staying for the duration, etc. This is required for each and every change, notwithstanding the fact that anytime he leaves his home address for more than 3 days, it has to be approved with both the sheriff’s department here and the sheriff’s department at his destination, and either of them are at liberty to deny his request at any time.
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I also wanted to mention, that although he does not have a driver’s license, he is required to register OUR car on his registry listing, which makes public, the make, model, color and plates of our car. This may seem trivial to some, but to a vigilante our car becomes a target, regardless of who is driving it.
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The whole thing makes for a very complicated and many times hopeless existence. — Lila Folster

Beware of young love.

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310 Responses to The Sex Offender Down the Street (Is My Son)

  1. bigreddress September 30, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    I absolutely agree that the Sex Offender registry need reform but something seems very off about this story. A 17 year old was convicted of statutory rape when both he and his victim stated that nothing sexual occurred and a medical examination could have established that? Not to mention two trips to jail for failing to register? Hardly the law abiding and compliant picture she creates in her anecdote about the contact from his victim.

    I’m all for reform and I think we’re really going to have problems in a hew years judging by the images that my students are willing to send each other!

  2. daynart September 30, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    It’s 2011, don’t we know by now that a medical examination cannot determine virginity, or lack thereof?

  3. ripepapaya September 30, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    I could see how there may be some holes to the story, but it seems that when this issue comes to play the accused is always on the defense. Regardless of virginity or failure to register, the problem is putting the child molester and the teenage lover in the same judicial playing field, where they do not belong.

  4. Maya September 30, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    I’m sorry, I’m having a really hard time accepting this story. It’s way too vague on the details leading to the arrest of the boy, and overly-detailed with the events that follow.

    First it’s staggering that the mother would be so over-the-top reactionary and idiotic to call the police after finding the diary entry about having sex. The police. Get the police involved in a teenage romance. OK, fine, some people are lunatics when it comes to sex, I will stretch my perception. But then, an arrest?! I can’t fathom that the police would actually respond to such a ludicrous allegation based on a diary entry of making love. Not something like “he pushed me up against the wall, held a gun to my head and raped me,” but the words making love (and the narrative leads us to believe that’s the way it was phrased). And then the police actually made an ARREST – based solely on the mother’s accusation! Not the daughter. The mother. They take the written word of the daughter’s diary entry as sworn testimony to arrest the boy, and not the verbally spoken word of her insistence that he’s innocent of any wrongdoing.

    I’m sorry, something about this just does not add up for me. Either our justice system is FUBAR or some details about the events leading to the arrest are being left out….

  5. Peter Brülls September 30, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    @Maya From my point of view, your justice system is FUBAR, at least in some regards. However, the greatest problem is that it is revenge-based and that most Americans seems to be okay with that.

    That doesn’t rule out that we didn’t get the whole picture in the story above, of course.

    Personally, I’d look into emigrating to another country with a saner policy, if I were affected in the same way. And if it’s possible, of course.

  6. Soapbox0916 September 30, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    I work with the homeless and this story rings true for me. Without knowing the people first hand, I can’t check it out, and there may be something more in this case, but I wish more people realized that it takes so little to get on the registry.

    It is often case by case, there is no consistency, and each state has widely different standards, even though there is an underlying federal standard. Depending on the judge and the circumstances, it can be only a technicality for one person to be put on the registry, whereas another person will get nothing for the exact same circumstances.

    This is key distinction; just because most people would not be put on the registry for a particular “crime”, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t quite a few unfortunate people on there for the exact same “crime”. It is not consistent.

    Some people opt to be on a registry in lieu of jai time, not understanding the significance of being on the registry is far worse than if they would have tried to fight the charges and risk jail. There are supposed to be tiers and some states and some judges do the lighter tiers like for this person’s son, but many judges are so scared to be considered light on a sex offender, that some give everyone the max no matter what. That only makes it worse, because rational people assume that there must be something more to it, but the system is not rational.

    It reminds me of the zero tolerance stuff that happened in the schools where a kid with a plastic knife would be treated the same way as a terrorist with a real weapon.

    There are so many people on the registry that are on there for stupid reasons and unrelated stuff, it makes the whole thing a joke.

  7. MikeS September 30, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    The problem with the registries is that they have given prosecutors a cheap way to pad their conviction stats. They come at a kid like this and threaten him with years in prison and huge charges — charges no jury would convict on. And then they offer what seems like a good deal — probation and registration. And the kids takes it, not realizing that he’s ruining his life.

    Keep on this subject, Lenore. No politicians is going to risk being branded as weak on crime. Only a grassroots push is going to change things.

  8. Cedric September 30, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Maya, no, not really. The reaction of the mother is typical of those mothers that seek publicity, have an ax to grind, are controlling, or relish drama. Heck, in HS my GF was barely 18 and had a car, and every time I (at 16) absconded with her my mother would call the police and report her for “contributing to the delinquency of a minor”.
    I’ve seen similar personalities at work during custody battles where weapon 1 is to leave the house with the child, and weapon to is to accuse the husband of abuse-regardless of if it is true or not.

  9. LLJ September 30, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Our justice system is definitely FUBAR. I have a cousin in a similar situation (the difference being that they actually did have sex). His life has been sh!t because of it. Just as mentioned above, he’s had problems with jobs, homes, etc. Young love – too young according to her parents. I think he was 17 and she was 15 (or something like that – same high school, only a couple of years apart). Yes, a few parents with teenage daughters will take these exact steps and their older boyfriends end up on the registry.

    So, so sad.

  10. Cedric September 30, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    As for the reaction of the police, their job is to arrest-not validate or ruminate on the evidence or the possibility of the boys innocence. They had, in writing, what looked to be a valid assault (because of age) and a complaining parent, and a political field day of good publicity for the department for ‘cleaning up the streets’. They did exactly what I would expect them to do.

  11. Donna September 30, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    @ Maya – No, that scenario is VERY common and seen every day in the criminal justice system.

    First, Stat rape is by definition CONSENSUAL sex with a person under the age of consent. No gun toting rape necessary. In fact, a gun means that it is absolutely not stat rape.

    Second, Stat rape charges are NEVER pursued by the “victim;” they are ALWAYS pursued by either the “victim’s” parents or the police themselves (after catching the kids or getting a report from another agency). After all, the “victim” willingly engaged in the sex and probably has some affection, if not love, for her “abuser.” She usually wants to continue sleeping with him not have him locked away in jail. And, yes, many parents would freak out and call the police if they believed that their 14 year old daughter was having sex with a 17 year old boy.

    The part that makes me pause is that they actually didn’t have sex. I’m guessing they did, indeed, have sex because, while calling the police and getting arrested is one thing, there is no way to get a conviction if the “victim” says that no sex occurred and that the diary entry was her fantasy. Either they had sex or they didn’t but the victim said they did.

    “Not to mention two trips to jail for failing to register? Hardly the law abiding and compliant picture she creates in her anecdote about the contact from his victim.”

    That depends on the state law. The writer said that her son was homeless. For many years, my state refused to allow people to register as homeless. You had to have a street address to register. If you didn’t have a street address, you were not allowed to register and you were eventually arrested for failing to register. The state Supreme Court has now struck down that part of the registry law as unconstitutional but for many years people were arrested for failing to register for being homeless and not allowed to register. Sex offenders in my state can now register as homeless but it requires near daily registration (unless they sleep in a tent city or under the same bridge every night) so many homeless people still run afoul of the law for no reason other than they’re homeless and can’t get to the sheriff department to register every day.

    Further, it is VERY easy to get failure to register charges. The registry laws are highly technical and change constantly through both legislative action and court rulings. It is impossible for me as a criminal defense lawyer to fully keep up with everything that must be done under the registry. I have to research the state of the law at the time the failure to register occurred and currently every time I get one of these cases. It is not uncommon for me and the DA to spend weeks arguing interpretation of the language of some of the provisions of this law (in the rush to protect everyone from these horrible sex offenders, these laws are almost always very poorly written). If two attorneys with years of education and experience can’t readily understand the law, how is a teenager who doesn’t even have a high school education supposed to do so?

  12. Cedric September 30, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    I don’t know about where they are from, but in NE carnal knowledge of a minor is just as convictable as statutory rape, and in many cases carries the same penalties. No sex required. The absurdity of it all is that in NE and much of the Midwest people that are my parent’s age (late 50s) or my grandparent’s age got married pretty routinely at 16, 17, 19 years old, and there was usually a pretty good span of age between the guy and the girl. In my graduating class of 1995 was a Freshman/Senior couple that have now been married for 15 years, yet if they were together today at that age he would be in prison. It happens all over the state, every weekend when Johnny college comes home to see Janie High School girlfriend.

  13. Cedric September 30, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    In NE, a child is a minor child until the age of 19, which complicates things even more.

  14. coffeegod September 30, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    I wish this story surprised me. It does, however, disgust me. I don’t worry about much about my son’s future but this kind of medieval law enforcement keeps me awake at night.

  15. NEWifeOfSexOffender September 30, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    One of my friends sent me this post. My husband was engaged to his “victim”. Fifteen years ago they were dating which was encouraged by her parents. She found out she was pregnant one month prior to the “legal age”. Her parents urged her to abort but she and my husband did not want to. They were still engaged. They went to Lamaze together. He was the one who took her to the hospital. When he was born their son was given my husband’s last name. She had their son with my husband at his mother’s house. But then when my husband wanted to make it official that he was in his custody her parents decided to report that they had had sex and said their reasons were because he wasn’t taking care of their daughter and grandson.

    They did this after the baby was 2 months old. It went into court. They saw that, even though it was a consensual relationship, there is no such thing as using that as a defense. They gave him 3 years probation and he was convicted of Attempted Sexual Assault in the first degree. The judge knew they were still engaged and they were supposed to still be able to be with each other due to the joint interest of their child.

    Her father told a friend of the family that it “shouldn’t have gotten this far”, but it was too late. Once you are in the system it is too late. Once you are accused you are doomed. All the stress eventually broke them apart. He was deemed a low level sex offender. He was not to be on the website because it was reserved for high level offenders that were dangerous. He was only supposed to be registering his address with the State Patrol for 10 years. He hasn’t had to register since 2007.

    But then in 2009 we receive a letter that he, and thousands of other low level sex offenders, will now not only be added to the sex offender website, but also they are increasing his length from 10 years to 25. They placed this upon people RETROACTIVELY.

    We have been fighting this for nearly 2 years now. How can diluting the registry that once only had high risk offenders with all the low level offenders make the public safer? My husband cannot go to our daughter’s school or school events unless he petitions in writing for permission to the Director of Security of Schools. In the first two years of her attending school there he had NEVER given them reason to believe he was a danger. He had NEVER done anything to hurt anyone.

    And the rub of it all….we have been having hearing with Senators and they ADMIT they did not read the law they passed. They DID NOT KNOW that it was going to be retroactive and that it affects low level people. THEY DID NOT KNOW.

    More children and adults are hurt or killed EVERY year due to DUI’s than a sex offender. The recidivism rate for sex offenders is less than 5%. I believe it is 3.5% to be the truth. And of that, any offense is counted. This includes being arrested for writing a bad check. How is writing a bad check proof that you are “re-sex offending”?

    My step-son has wanted to live with us since he was 3 or 4 years old. He has asked several times when he can tell a judge he wants to live with us. We have found that recently he has been secretly making plans with his girlfriend to run away from his mother’s house. He does not want to be with her that bad.

    So we are trying for custody finally because he is now old enough to talk to a judge and maybe sway him to our favor. But we find out, sex offenders cannot get custody of their children without proof they are not a risk. Well, our state has taken away the risk levels. There is no “low level” now. They are all just “sex offenders” even if all you did was streak or grab some girls butt when you were drunk or have consensual sex with your girlfriend. So we have an uphill battle. A battle that we only have about a 10% chance of winning. A battle that we cannot afford to fight because of all the money we have been putting into fighting to try to repair this broken law.

    Now you tell me that that seems “fishy” or that “not all the details are given”. It is a very scary situation. I know exactly what this mother and son are going through. The laws are vague. They do not write them well. They are taken into interpretation by law enforcement. They can seemingly change them at will and not even read what they change it to and have it apply retroactively and apparently that is not against the Constitution because it is in the name of “public safety.”

    What child has ever been saved due to the registry? None! Nearly all offenses are committed the first time by someone who isn’t on the registry. The majority are by family members.

    So before you cast stones. Remember, there are a LOT of laws out there that can get you on the registry now a days. It is a scary world we live in now. They make feel good laws to make it seem like they are tough on crime but its not stopping the problem.

    If they spent more time on the streets instead of being concerned with a low level person who committed their crime almost 2 decades ago maybe more things would be prevented. It dilutes the system and is a waste of resources.

    You may think I am lying. You may think there is “more to the story”. But you can find several more stories at http://constitutionaldefense.org/ .

  16. Katie September 30, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    In a word, no, it’s not doing what it’s supposed to. It’s supposed to warn people of animals like TJ Mullis who’ve molested their younger cousins and such like. It’s not there to ruin the lives of young people who have done inadvisable, perhaps immoral, but not dangerous, things like this.

  17. Charli September 30, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    This honestly just makes me sick. As someone who was abused multiple times as a child, to think that there are kids out there thrown in with actual pedophiles is slightly terrifying.
    A similar situation happened to a neighbor of mine. He was 17, his girlfriend was 15. Her parents freaked out and called the police. This man is now in his late 30s and still has to register. I remember before he moved in (his girlfriend was our neighbor for years and he moved in with her), he came to our house and said, “look – I’m on a sex offender registry here’s why, here’s the link where you can look at my charges. Thing is, I have to put a sign in the yard for 90 days when I officially move in.”
    The worst part about it was, we looked him up on 2 sex offender registries and the second one had his at time of imprisonment as 25 while his victim was 15 because at 25 he went to prison for a probation violation of having a paint ball gun at his house during a random search. Which meant that if someone happened to only look at the one registry, they would think that he was a 25 yr old man attacking a 15 year old.
    The system is beyond f*cked.

  18. Steven Barnes September 30, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    Horrible. So sorry for your son. May I suggest that he could still have a career making music and selling on-line? If the terms of his probation forbid him having internet access, someone else could handle that for him. The ability to create and share our creativity can be a wonderfully healing thing.

    http://www.diamondhour.com

  19. robynheud September 30, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    I just want to point out that in a court of law (as far as I understand – please correct me if I’m wrong) a journal or diary entry is admissible as sworn testimony. I’ve heard of entries being used to prove date of employment (not for the one who wrote it, but for someone else at his company) and as eveidence in murder trials. So in a sense, having that entry was akin to the girl going herself and saying they had sex and then recanting it later. But, as so many people have pointed out, once these wheels start turning, it’s nearly impossible to get them stopped.

  20. Nicole Krieger September 30, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    A Romeo and Juliet clause would solve a lot of these problem

  21. Cedric September 30, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    Yeah, ask Genarlowe Wilson about that.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilson_v._State_of_Georgia

    Georgia passed an amended law, and then made sure to make it non-retroactive, even though it was his case and conviction that brought out the inequities in the law in the first place.

  22. Lois Paul September 30, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

    @Bigreddress: Failure to Register (FTR) is not as difficult as it sounds. You can go into the police station every day for a week and ask to register each time you are in there, but it is up to the officer in charge of registration whether you get registered. If he isn’t in, he may not make the effort to get back in touch with you. If you come in to register, the person at the desk informs you that “that officer is not available” and you don’t have the ability to make an appointment, because no one at the desk will do that, then you must continue to come back until you either catch the registration officer or get arrested for failure to register.
    Also, the laws concerning when and where you must register change without warning and without notification of the registrant. It is up to each registrant to keep up to date concerning registration requirements. It always amazes me that more men don’t get nailed with FTR charges.
    Also, statutory rape charges don’t necessarily mean sex. Just being in an isolated area and kissing can bring on charges like this. And what 17 year old has not been alone with someone he figures is just 16, but finds out later she/he was younger? I did…and I’m female! I could just as easily been arrested (if the police officer had not thought it so cute that a 15 year old could get a 17 year old girlfriend) as told to move along…
    signed…a mother who knows

  23. Alexicographer September 30, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

    If you search the internet, there is a Lila Folster listed as having a street address in Chester, SC. There is no sex offender registered as living at that address; a 47-year old with a conviction in 2000 (so, when he was ~35), a 57-year old with a conviction in 2006 (so when he was ~52) and a 70-year old with a conviction in 1992 (so, when he was ~51) live within a one-mile radius.

    While I realize Ms. Folster’s son may not have the same last name as she does, there is one person with the last name Folster registered as a sex offender in SC (Chester, SC, specifically); he is 46 years old and was convicted in 1991, so at about age 26. The conviction was in Michigan. Even allowing for time lapse between the alleged act and the conviction, I have a hard time believing that the charge for which this Mr. Folster was later convicted (rightly or wrongly) occurred when he was 17 years old, i.e. in ~1982.

    I suppose it’s possible that Lenore changed the name of the letter sender to protect her privacy yet managed, presumably unintentionally, to pick the real name of someone who lives in SC and who happens to share a last name with a registered sex offender who lives in the same town and was convicted of his crime in the same state where the offender described in Lenore’s post was convicted, but I’m skeptical. Lenore?

  24. Mike September 30, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    No politician will attempt to fix the registries, the attack ads write themselves. “My evil opponent wants to release violent horrible child molesters in your neighborhood! So vote for me instead.”

    I’ve heard calls for a “serious” sex offender registry, for the cases of actual sex offense, such as forcible rape. That won’t really help, as DA’s and politicians will push down what “serious” means.

    Then there will be a “really bad” registry.

    Then a “horrible, just horrible” registry.

    Then a “omg we mean it this time, they are really, really bad” registry.

    Solutions, other than the obvious of getting rid of the registries altogether (which won’t happen)? I don’t know. Sure, there could be tweaks, such as allowing a 2-year gap. But then 2 years and 1 day gets registered and jailed. On and on it goes, grinding lives to no purpose.

  25. Cedric September 30, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    And, if you scroll a little further down, you find that Ms. Folster is identified with reformsexoffenderlaws.org and has been for several months, and possibly longer. She’s commented on news articles RE: the inequity of sex offender laws in 2009, so I have little reason to doubt here story.

    http://news.change.org/stories/sex-offenders-not-even-welcome-at-church

    What you illustrate is more indicative of the ease with which unverifiable and most likely inaccurate information i is available freely on the internet.

  26. NEWifeOfSexOffender September 30, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    @Alexicographer: Really none of that is the point. There are tons of instances where this same type of thing happens all over the nation. First off, we do not know when this mother sent the letter to Lenore. We only know that Lenore just posted it. It doesn’t specifically say that he still lives with them. It said he came to live with them and if he has a roof over his head…plus, and this would be yet another thing to add to his problems if this is the case…he could be registering their car even though he doesn’t have it. He POSSIBLY could be living in another house by now. You did already mention he might have a different name. it is also possible that she changed names and towns/states to protect this persons identity.

    There are several possible reasons you do not find the person that we think might “fit the bill”. Plus as one person put it, if you commit a 2nd crime (in his case failure to register) it now changes his age on the registry of when the crime was committed. (See Charli post).

    Plus we do not know the mother’s age…and this is being slightly “age-ist” but I would doubt that the mother is in her late 60-80’s writing Lenore. Its obvious non of these people you listed as examples are her son. Maybe one is. Who knows. But it kinda seems unlikely.

    I’m not chiding you for your trying to validate the story. I’m just reminding all people who read this that these are REAL people. There are REAL stories out there. And to not dismiss this one because we can’t seem to finger the guy it is in particular.

    And at any rate….does it really matter who it is? Just reading my post above and the stories at the link I provided is enough proof it happens. You can find several scary stories out there about how easy it is to get accused and put on the registry with little to no proof that you even did the crime.

  27. Tommy September 30, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    Like others, I am skeptical. Too much of this story rings false.

    That said, I think our statutory rape laws are ridiculous. If two consenting teenagers have sex, as long as they are within a few years of each other it is not “rape”. Call it what you will. Just don’t call it rape. 26 and 14? Yes, that is rape.

    I know the middle ground might seem gray (19 and 15 – rape or not?), and there’s no easy answer to two relatively young kids getting it on, but surely we can come up with a better system than what we have.

  28. Will Bassler September 30, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    the reason for the registry is to protect our selfs and out children form dangers persons In the recent months there have been a number of articles and news sources about politicians and other prominent people involved in sex crimes there also been a few involving police officers

    This got some of us thinking and wondering what the sexual offense rate for police officers is? We were able to find this documentation:

    http://www.ucimc.org/content/national-police-misconduct-statistics-released

    Working with those numbers, according to the referenced link:

    0.08% (1 in 116) officers are cited for misconduct
    13% of those are sex offenses/ sex related.
    800,000 estimated police officers in the US (that’s one per RSO!)
    Now let’s crunch some numbers…
    that makes ~ 6,873 instances of officer misconduct in a 6 month period of which 13% are sex related offenses giving us a grand total of….893 sex offenses committed by police officers during a six month period from April to Sept 2009 or nearly 18 per state! Estimating for the year that would be 1786 sex related offenses for police officers of the 63,000 reported new sex offenses.

    That would make about 3% of all new sex offenses are committed by police (1786/63000).
    Police officers make up 0.3% of the population in the US (800,000/311,745,000).
    Police commit one sex offense per 1,000 officers according to the numbers.
    strangers commit less than 1% of all sex offenses. Police officers commit ~3%!
    I say forget stranger danger, we have a new worry … blue danger or pervs in a uniforms.

    We’re still trying to crunch realistic numbers for sex offenses by profession. Now, according to the AP, only 500 teachers were arrested as sex offenders out of 3.5 million teachers, which makes 0.014% of teachers committed sex offenses or 0.7% of all new sex offenses were committed by teachers. The latest search was for clergy sex offenders since such a big deal is made about that. The only number we have found that’s recent (2009) is 215 victims of sex offenses by clergy.

    Oh yes WE must not forget to add in the re-offense rate for people on the registry for new sex crimes The June 2002: Department of Justice: Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994 (DOJ-2002) crime from 1994-1997. (DOJ-2002 page 5) we do know this, that during that time period (1994-1997): Of the released sex offenders 3.5% (339) Were reconvicted for a sex crime over a Three year period So for one year average there was 113 RECONVICTED for a new sex offense. (DOJ-2003[p2]). Now for the (reality) plug-in (113/63000) We get 0.17% Or basically less then 2/10 of 1%. According to the Department of Justice, most child sexual abuse victims are molested by family members (34%) or close acquaintances (59%) (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000).

    Here’s the breakdown thus far, in the Percentage of new sex crimes
    Close acquaintances (59%)
    Family members (34%)
    Police officers 3.0%
    Teachers 00.7%
    Clergy 00.3%
    strangers 02.8% those who have not been convicted of a sex crime (note: this could include somebody that was met at a party or a street dance and does not necessarily mean an adult)
    People on the registry/previously convicted 00.17%. that is 17/100s of 1%.
    Now remember police officers teachers and clergy can also fall under family members and close acquaintances and we don’t have a breakdown for every type of professional that is out there there are many more professions that have these types of crimes doctors and therapists just to mention a couple.  people on the registry are a locked out group and it makes no difference what profession they fall under quite obviously if a person is convicted of a sex-related crime than they are not going to be a police officer a teacher and probably not a clergy

    Teachers, Clergy and people on the registry commit fewer New sex offenses than the protectors of society, our diligent law enforcement officers. From this information it would seem that one of the most single trusted segments of our society, police officers: are over 14 times more likely to be involved in a new sex crime than people on the registry and teachers are over 3 times likely followed by clergy which are twice as likely. Maybe before a police officer applies for a position he/she should be required to go through a sexual Predator evaluation?

    Before we go any further we should also talk about the overall recidivism rates for convicted offenders. The Bureau of Justice Statistics conducted the largest
    recidivism study ever conducted in the United States, tracking prisoners from 15 states. This
    report examined inmates released from state prisons in 1994 found that 67% of them were
    arrested for at least one serious new crime within the first 3 years after release, and fifty-two percent of them were re-convicted of a new crime. The highest rates of recidivism (re-arrest) were for crimes involving stealing: larceny (75%), burglary (74%), robbery (70%), possessing of selling stolen property (77%) and stealing motor vehicles (79%). Trafficking in illegal weapons was also high at 70%. Recidivism for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs was 51% and homicide was 41%. In this study, the recidivism rate for rape was 46% and for sexual assault was 41%. Apparently these sex crimes were committed by ex-convicts who had not formerly been convicted of a sex crime, because the same report goes on to say that “within 3 years following their release, 5.3% of sex offenders were re-arrested for another sex crime of that only 3.5% were reconvicted for another sex crime“ and only 2% of the rapists were arrested for another rape within the 3-year study period. Therefore of the 46% of ex-convicts who were re-arrested for rape, 44% must not have been previously convicted of a sex crime, but of another type of crime.

    The study involved 272,111 inmates .In this study, there were 27 times more non-sex offender ex-convicts than there were released sex-offenders. The ex-convicts who were not sex offenders actually committed six times more new sex crimes than did the released sex offenders. This study showed that 87% of new sex crimes in this study were committed by ex-convicts, not by registered sex offenders (USDOJ 2003.)
    This study looked at only individuals who have a prior criminal record. When one considers
    that most sex offenses are committed by those who have no prior criminal record, it is easy to see that the vast majority of new sex crimes are committed by someone other than a registered sex offender. (USDOJ 1994)

    All these numbers and statistics tend to confuse folks and we recognize there are folks who will refuse to believe them at all. So, lets bring this into perspective. The June 2002: Department of Justice: Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994 (DOJ-2002) mentioned something most folks have overlooked, and we quote:

    The fraction of all crimes that released prisoners accounted for:
    The study (DOJ-2002) cannot measure precisely what fraction of all crimes the former prisoners were responsible for during the 3 years following their release. The closest measure is the fraction of all arrests for the seven serious crimes (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft). The number of “arrests” is not the number of “arrest charges (meaning a person can be charged with multiple crimes)” but the number of different days on which a person was arrested.

    In 13 states (because of missing data Florida and Illinois could not be in this analysis) from 1994 to 1997, 234,358 released prisoners accounted for 140,534 arrests (table 5).During the period in the 13 states, 2,994,868 adults were arrested for the 7 serious crimes according to the FBI.

    Therefore, REARRESTS of the released prisoners were 4.7% of all arrests for serious crime from 1994-1997.” (DOJ-2002 page 5)

    Let us try to understand what this is saying, 95.3% of all serious crime was committed by who? New Criminals, not recidivists! Yes, we must acknowledge that, it is possible that some of those “new criminals” had records which go back many years. Like the study said, we cannot be precise!

    However we do know this, that during that time period (1994-1997): OF THE RELEASED SEX OFFENDER 24% (2,326) were RECONVICTED for non-sex offenses, and, 3.5% (339) were RECONVICTED for a sex offense. (DOJ-2003[p2]).

    Finally, remember that 04.7% above, well what percentage of those folks are actually RECONVICTED sex offenders? 2,326 + 339 = 2,665 or .08898%. Therefore, RECONVICTION of the released sex offender prisoners was .08898% of all arrests for serious crime and 00.0001% for a new sex crime from 1994-1997. By the Department of Justice: Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994(DOJ-2002)REPORT. HIGH RECIDIVISM?????

    From the data so far another way to look at it is if a child is molested the chance that is done by a previous convicted sex offender is around one-ten thousandths (1/10,000) of 1% and the possible that it is done a friend, family member, or a person in a trust position (teacher, principle, coach, police, therapists, etc.) or a person that has not been caught and is not on the registry is 99.9998%

    we have come up with a couple of different recidivism rates for people on the registry both very very small but the most important one is yet to be looked at and that is how many people on the registry are reconvicted of a new sex crime per year And as far as the recidivism rate for sex offenders are concerned there are around 800,000 people on the registry at the present time. According to the Department of Justice: Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994(DOJ-2002)for the 15 reporting states there were 339 new convictions for people on the registry over a three year period and that averages out to 113 per year and that figures out to an average of 7.5 per state or 377repeat sex offenses for the entire United States doing the numbers 800,000/377= 00.00047% that is to say of people on the registrys re-offenses rate is 4/10,000 of one percent per year or another way to put it is the percentage of people on the registry who do not reoffend is 99.9995%

    Where is the high recidivism rate that everyone talks about, there is no empirical data to justify the registration and notification laws. With this information I think that we have made our point!!

  29. Cedric September 30, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    Two people, thus, have commented on the ‘false nature’ of this story, yet some very minor digging provides example after example of just this situation occurring all over the country. What do you want? A name? An address? How about the kid’s shoe size and blood type?

    Repetitive denial of the obvious when a change is necessary is a pretty common tactic used by those that like the status quo.

  30. helenquine September 30, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    I’m totally against the registry laws as they currently stand. I think the dilution of the register with non-predatory sexual offenders is tragic and dangerous – making worthless a tool that could actually help keep people safer.

    But, like this one, so many of the stories I read that try to highlight that tragedy really lack credibility. I don’t think the campaign to change the laws is helped that much by protestations of innocence that seem to have little behind them. That’s more of an issue about statutory rape laws and how well our criminal justice system deals with rape (which, let’s remember, does not have a great conviction rate when compared with other incidences of crime) Better to say –
    Look when a 17 year old has sex with a willing 15 year old girlfriend this is currently what our society says *should* happen to him. We think that’s wrong.

    ^”And what 17 year old has not been alone with someone he figures is just 16, but finds out later she/he was younger?”^ Honestly I don’t think that’s a very healthy attitude and if it’s prevalent then statutory rape laws are perhaps more reasonable than I had always thought. Young girls may want to grow up fast and may want to pursue sex, but the risk of harm is not trivial, and a 17 year old ought to be a bit more savvy about ensuring the well being of their partner than figuring it’s OK because she seems to be “just 16″.

  31. Maya September 30, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    This is disgusting, depressing and terrifying. If you’re not happy that your precious little unsullied baby princess is having sex, fine, be unhappy, but don’t call the goddamn police, are you out of your freakin’ Puritanical mind?!

    So now what are we supposed to do with our sons? Scare them from having sex not only from threat of pregnancy or STD’s but that any girlfriend’s crazy parent can have him arrested if they find out and because it is SEX, he will be guilty until presumed innocent? Along with a condom in his wallet does he need a release form for the girl to sign? “I heretofore acknowledge I enter into a sexual relationship freely of my own consent with full responsibility of my actions during said act and immediately thereafter….etc etc etc”? Of course, the contract, being signed by a minor, will probably be inadmissible in court but her diary (which can be written in code, pig-latin, French, or completely fabricated for fantasy’s sake) will be held as sacrosanct evidence, even over her own spoken testimony.

    Spoken tongue-in-cheek but I’m really not kidding here – I’m scared for my son!

  32. Noël H. September 30, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

    There are so many things about the current hysteria over sexual offenses and the draconian punishments that I find appalling and immoral, but one issue that I rarely see mentioned is how unilaterally the legal system is applied. So often you hear of a young girl lying about her age yet the boy’s life can be literally ruined as a result. Young girls want sex every bit as much as boys (and lie in hopes of making themselves more attractive to older boys) and it sickens me that if we are going to have these crazy laws the girls aren’t paying as heavy a price for entrapment.

  33. Lori Merriam September 30, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    This happens all too often and know too many people on for similar situations, false allocations, and once the police are involved it doesn’t matter if it’s not true. Once someone accuses someone of a “sex crime” against a child, even if the other person being accused is also a child, it’s over and done with for the one being brought up on the charges.

    We have to change our way of thinking and not allow laws to be passed based on fear and rhetoric but on facts and truth. Blanket laws do no good for anyone and the youngest person on the registry is 4 years old. He hugged his preschool teacher goodbye at the end of the day, his head was in her boosom when they hugged. She reported it to the principle that it made her feel uncomfortable and they prosecuted the little boy.

    @ Tommy this story is VERY TRUE as well as over 75% of the people required to register have NEVER committed a “sex crime”. They are on it because someone cried foul. I myself am a victim of a “sex crime” and over 90% of the “sex crimes” are committed by family members and will NEVER be reported and thus will NOT be required to be on the registry. All you have to do in this country is cry wolf and you’ve ended someone’s life and put them on the registry.

    Not only have I been a victim of a “sex crime” by my husband is also been falsely accused by a young lady back in 1992. She’s come forward, now as an adult, and proclaimed my husbands innocence, which he’s always maintained, but the damage has been done and no one(lawyers, legislators, police, congress, etc) that they create victims and earn millions of dollars from criminals. If they did, then they would have to admit they are wrong, they wouldn’t earn money, and with the punitive damages they’ve caused people and their families they would be paying our millions upon millions of restitution to those families.

    It’s all about money, power, and pride. It’s unconsititional and it’s wrong! Salem Witch Hunts again!!

  34. Lori Merriam September 30, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    This happens all too often and know too many people on for similar situations, false allocations, and once the police are involved it doesn’t matter if it’s not true. Once someone accuses someone of a “sex crime” against a child, even if the other person being accused is also a child, it’s over and done with for the one being brought up on the charges.

    We have to change our way of thinking and not allow laws to be passed based on fear and rhetoric but on facts and truth. Blanket laws do no good for anyone and the youngest person on the registry is 4 years old. He hugged his preschool teacher goodbye at the end of the day, his head was in her boosom when they hugged. She reported it to the principle that it made her feel uncomfortable and they prosecuted the little boy.

    @ Tommy this story is VERY TRUE as well as over 75% of the people required to register have NEVER committed a “sex crime”. They are on it because someone cried foul. I myself am a victim of a “sex crime” and over 90% of the “sex crimes” are committed by family members and will NEVER be reported and thus will NOT be required to be on the registry. All you have to do in this country is cry wolf and you’ve ended someone’s life and put them on the registry.

    Not only have I been a victim of a “sex crime” but my husband is also been falsely accused by a young lady back in 1992. She’s come forward, now as an adult, and proclaimed my husbands innocence, which he’s always maintained, but the damage has been done and no one(lawyers, legislators, police, congress, etc) that they create victims and earn millions of dollars from criminals. If they did, then they would have to admit they are wrong, they wouldn’t earn money, and with the punitive damages they’ve caused people and their families they would be paying our millions upon millions of restitution to those families.

    It’s all about money, power, and pride. It’s unconsititional and it’s wrong! Salem Witch Hunts again!!

  35. Jynet September 30, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

    My parents did this… before there was a registry, thankfully. I was 15 and there was a really great guy – who happened to be 21 – working at my church. This is important. MY church. Not “our” church – so my parents didn’t know him.

    I KNEW that he would have never done anything inappropriate. But he was hot. And nice. And perfect fantasy matterial, really, for the geeky little girl I was then.

    So I wrote a poem about having sex for the first time, and somehow my parents figured out that it was about the guy from church.

    But they never talked to me about it. Ever. Still to this day. NO ONE ever asked me if anything had ever happened.

    They reported him to the church. Thankfully not to the police. But there were certainly consequences to his life. He ended up transfered to a different country. I met him years later and apologied and he was really sweet about it, but I can’t imagine what would have happened to him if it had happened this year in this political climate.

  36. Donna October 1, 2011 at 12:10 am #

    “But, like this one, so many of the stories I read that try to highlight that tragedy really lack credibility.”

    If these stories lack credibility to you, you need to reevaluate what is credible. This story, and most others, ring 100% true to me. I’m not saying that it is true as I was not involved, but it is very consistent with MANY cases I have been involved with as an attorney.

  37. B October 1, 2011 at 12:12 am #

    The laws as they are written are ridiculous. And harmful, and have been shown to do nothing good whatsoever. There are so many stories about people ending up on these lists, and having it ruin their lives, and it accomplishes nothing. One person I know well was on the list because as a teenager, she showed her 13 year old sister how to use a tampon. The younger sister mentioned it, and the school guidance counselor found out about it, and poof, she’s now a sex offender and required to register. After a decade of appeals and tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees she’s no longer on the list, but tell me, what good did that accomplish? Was she a threat to anyone? My next door neighbor was on the list. Why? As an 18 year old he got into a fist fight with a 17 year old. “Crime against a child” and poof, sex offender. It was a @#)($* fist fight!! Nothing sexual about it. Didn’t protect a single soul and ruined his life. These laws, to me, qualify as cruel and unusual punishment.

  38. Cedric October 1, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    Maya-a lot of college campuses tried that in the 90s, the contracts for dating and sex. It got really ridiculous for awhile.

  39. Coccinelle October 1, 2011 at 12:20 am #

    “I know the middle ground might seem gray (19 and 15 – rape or not?), and there’s no easy answer to two relatively young kids getting it on, but surely we can come up with a better system than what we have.”

    ANYTHING would be better than what you have! It breaks lives! It’s completely insane!

    “Personally, I’d look into emigrating to another country with a saner policy, if I were affected in the same way. And if it’s possible, of course”

    And I would also do that, I can even tell you about a country that is really close to yours and speak the same language, isn’t it cool? In Canada, the law is way better with NO stupid registry. Here is the law: “A youth of twelve or thirteen can consent to sexual activity with an individual less than two years older than them. A fourteen- or fifteen-year-old can consent to sexual activity with a partner who is less than five years older than them” (sexual consent is 16).

    “And, yes, many parents would freak out and call the police if they believed that their 14 year old daughter was having sex with a 17 year old boy”

    I think that is another side of the problem, adding to the registry problem… Judging with what I read on internet, it really is “many” parents in US who would do that whereas it’s only a “few” here. Maybe you will say that’s because our laws are different but what I think is that even if our laws would be the same, still fewer parents would call the police for such a “crime”. Few parents are ready to break their daughter’s live for a normal thing like having sex. Because the accusation of her boyfriend could, at worst, break her life, rub her of peaceful loving life with that boy as a husband, or, at best, messed up her sexuality. Like “I decided to have sex with my loving boyfriend but it was wrong and I’m wrong for having such desire.” It could be really ugly if you ask me.

    All these stories completely break my heart.

  40. Lila Folster October 1, 2011 at 12:24 am #

    Yes, B, and can you imagine society’s response to the young offender (fighter) when they read on his registry listing about his “crime against a child” and the “victim” is listed as a 17 year-old MALE. As he gets older his “crime” will be deemed worse and worse.

  41. Lila Folster October 1, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    @Alexicographer, BTW, my son’s last name is different than mine, something which is totally irrelevant to the issue at hand. Also irrelevant is whether people “believe” there was or was not sex involved, the point is why should he be punished either way, regarding the fact that it was a consensual relationship.

  42. enyawface October 1, 2011 at 12:47 am #

    For those of you who doubt this story, 1. A diary is admissible as evidence in a court of law, she is a minor who stats they had sex in her diary, end of story. 2. She is a minor who stated in her diary she had sex, children never lie about things like sex, but they always lie to protect their abuser. 4. I the state of Michigan Statutory rape includes simply touching a child, so all those father’s in Michigan who have changed their little girl’s diaper… 5. He did not fail to register, he failed to keep a job and a place to live,with the many restrictions placed on sex offenders as to were they can live or work it is nearly impossible to keep either a job or a home and the consequence of not having one or the other is yes, jail. He was 17, she was 14, today that is a crime, when my parents married, my father was 22, my mother was 16, no crime.
    I do not condone sexual predators or what they do, but I absolutely do not condone making normal behavior and the normal actions of children a crime.We have a state, Florida, were a curious 5 year old while napping, looked up the dress of a classmate. When the teacher saw, it was reported as mandatory, the 5 year old boy was labeled a sex offender, put on the sex offender registry, and get this, because of the laws in Florida, not allowed to go to school, a playground, or even McDonald, and to top it, could never be left alone, until he was 18 as be definition of the law, he would then be a sex offender left alone with a minor child if left alone with himself. That is where our nation was 5 years ago, were it is today makes it a very scary thing to simply be a young male or a single adult male, for fear of what all males are doomed to become, and fear of the accusations towards single men.
    I am still a young man myself, but in my family I have already lived well past the middle of our average life span. Unfortunately, I have not yet found the right lady to settle down with, and I have a desire to have children of my own, That simple desire makes my a pervert in many eyes. I have thought about adoption, but again, I’m a single male, I would be more than willing to go through all of them, but immediately as a single male, I am subject to extra background checks to be certain I am not a child molester, and very personal questions about my sexual orientation since I am single.
    The life of being a male in america these days can be pretty dismal, we are not allowed to look at, talk to, touch, talk about, or have any contact with children without some sort of suspicion. They talk so much today about children feeling unloved or unwanted, tell me Dad’s when is the last time you comfortably hugged your son or daughter in a public place, such as the mall or shopping center? And I am talking more than just a quick hello, or arm around the shoulder.
    The boy in the article above was condemned before he ever met the girl that claimed she was 16, he committed the crime of being born male.

  43. Cedric October 1, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    Laura Ingalls Wilder was teaching a full school house as an adult at 15, and was married not long after to a 23 year old. My grandparents (1930s) married with 5 years between them as well. Just because society thinks it is okay that an adult still lives at home with them because they ‘just aren’t ready’ doesn’t mean that it’s right, and it certainly isn’t doing them any favors.

  44. Lee October 1, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    The registry, as it now stands with 3/4 of a million on it (and growing) and the some 3.5 million affected family members, would fill up 35 sold out Rose Bowls. The country got sold a bill of goods based on 4 high profile cases. Attach a child’s name to a law and woe to those who stand opposed. Political radio-activity.

    This is bankrupting states, stripping people of their constitutional rights, and ruining the lives of millions of people.

    Anderson Cooper makes a huge deal of the bullying of gay teens and the resulting suicides. And as well he should. That type of behaviour is horrible. What then the trials of the children with family members on the registry? The hell they must go through: Vigilantes, signs in their yards, bullying beyond belief, forced to move and change schools (or settle on home schooling for their own safety), losing all their friends, and yes suicides. Do they not count? Is our hysteria that out of hand?

    I suspect the story above can be multiplied by millions. Doesn’t ring true, huh?

  45. Sean October 1, 2011 at 1:27 am #

    That is frightening, tragic, saddening, horrible, scary. Wow. As anyone who has been a teenager can attest…..or you would think so.

  46. Tommy October 1, 2011 at 1:38 am #

    “1. A diary is admissible as evidence in a court of law, she is a minor who stats they had sex in her diary, end of story. ”

    That’s not the “end” of the story. A diary entry that is not only NOT corroborated by the author, but is also contradicted by the author would be thrown out by any reasonable jury. I’m not saying idiocies like this have never occurred. I’m saying this is not standard.

    As for those that state a kid can get statutory rape for holding hands or being alone with a minor – I call a fat load of BS. Or can someone show me an example of this? More likely we’ll see examples like: http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2011/01/16-year-old_gir

    All I’m saying is that while there are rare examples of a kangaroo court throwing the book at a kid who did nothing and it all rests on a parent’s testimony, in MOST cases the kids actually had sex or the girl at least testifies that they did. Cases where the girl testifies that there was no sex and the boy still goes to jail? This is the only one I’ve ever heard of.

    If the mother wants to give us the name of her son so that we can look up the case details – all of us would be happy to admit we’re wrong. In fact, I would personally volunteer to help in any way I can, if this story is exactly what it purports to be. I think everyone here would.

  47. N October 1, 2011 at 2:00 am #

    Even if it isn’t entirely true, the sex registry list as it is is not useful to me as a parent. I don’t want to wonder if someone on the list is a risk to my kids or not. I want to know that only people who are a risk to my kids are on that list. Someone who was an older teenager than his girlfriend is not a risk to my children. I like the idea of a registry, where there’s a list of people who have preyed on children so I can be aware, but that’s not what this list is. It’s nothing more than a political tool politicians use to try to make themselves look tough on crime.

  48. K October 1, 2011 at 2:05 am #

    I don’t know why anyone is hung up on the specifics here. Even if this were a gross misrepresentation – it is tragic.

    So-called “Romeo and Juliet” exceptions (for young people with modest age differences) do not exist in most states. Even if these youngsters were having wild animal sex in the front lawn – there is no need to criminalize this young man for life.

    This registry is unconstitutional. There is no means by which anyone can “do their time and move on”. There is not proper due process in placement on the list.

    Most importantly – the list is not informative to anyone. Most serious predators of youngsters are probably too cautious to get listed. So, it is overpopulated with hapless young men, often from consensual relationships with (slightly) younger women (often dishonest about their age).

    We are tying their hands – can’t get jobs, homes, or an education. What else is left but learning to be the criminal that they are already listed as?

    Tragic.

  49. Tommy October 1, 2011 at 2:10 am #

    I also just read that Michigan has a “4 year clause” for anyone between the ages of 13 and 18. Meaning they typically won’t go after consenting parties between those ages that are 4 or less years apart. They would need reason to believe it was NOT consensual to prosecute.

    Michigan code Section 750.520d explains this in more detail.

  50. Coccinelle October 1, 2011 at 2:16 am #

    @ Tommy

    “In fact, I would personally volunteer to help in any way I can, if this story is exactly what it purports to be. I think everyone here would.”

    So you wouldn’t help him if they indeed had consensual sex but you are willing to help him if they didn’t? Sorry, but don’t put all of us here together with you… I don’t agree with you at all.

    What about the thousands or teenaged boys whose life were ruined because they had sex with their girlfriend? You don’t care that they are in the registry at all?

  51. Tommy October 1, 2011 at 2:22 am #

    @coccinelle I can’t imagine where you got that from.

    I’m suggesting that if the mother’s story is exactly as stated – her son did not have any form of sexual contact with the girl and was convicted for such – that any reasonable adult would feel for this guy and want to help him.

    As stated earlier, I think the existing laws are idiotic. What I’m challenging is the veracity of the story. As another in this discussion indicated, it HURTS the cause of this issue when 1/2 truths are spread as fact. If this story it true, it’s a tragic tale and most here, I believe, would want to help this guy. If the story is NOT true, it would turn off many who might otherwise be sympathetic to those hurt by these laws. A single 1/2 truth in a story like this will give those who disagree that laws should be changed all the ammo they need to toss the whole example out.

  52. Alexicographer October 1, 2011 at 2:43 am #

    @Lila, thank you for your reply.

    For the record, I oppose the existence of the sex offender registry.

    What appears to be your Facebook page lists one son, and a person with the same name as on that Facebook page appears in the SC sex offender registry, age 26, crime committed in 2004. That’s consistent with the details provided in what Lenore posted from your letter. The “details” (the site’s phrase) that appear on the official SC sex offender page are, “OFFENSE IS ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON, THE SUBJECT WAS REQUIRED TO REGISTER AT THE TIME OF CONVICTION PER MICHIGAN.”

    I don’t believe everything I read on the internet (as should be obvious by now), but either what you sent Lenore or what she posted leaves out some details or the information on that site is wrong, or both. It appears I could for a modest fee look up the criminal record of the person who appears in the SC sex offender registry and, presumably, get more information about the conviction, but I’m not going to do so.

    I do oppose the sex offender registry, period — I completely agree that your son shouldn’t be on it because I believe it shouldn’t exist. As to whether your son did or didn’t commit the sort of offense that gets people on the sex offender list (which shouldn’t exist), I don’t feel I have enough information to judge that. I know that in saying that I’m basically saying I can’t tell whether you’re lying or not, and I apologize for impugning your character. But without doing more research, I don’t know whether I should trust (a) a mother I’ve never met whose claim is that her son has done nothing wrong or (b) a website used by the State of South Carolina’s law enforcement that says that a person who appears to me to be your son (based on what little information I have) committed assault with a deadly weapon in an act that — as it happens — also led him to be put on the sex offender list. I just can’t envision a scenario in which both the story that appears in Lenore’s post *and* the SC website are both telling the truth — the whole truth.

    I do care, because I think that the sex offender list should be abolished and I believe that inaccurate stories about how people got on the list (claiming non-consensual forced sex between teen partners was “just” statutory rape, for example) makes that less likely to happen.

  53. Claire53 October 1, 2011 at 2:43 am #

    Good god those of you who doubt this story. Haven’t you heard the Rodriguez story that was on the Today Show and written about in Marie Claire? (Married now, 4 kids, still on registry. Can’t attend his kids ballgames, etc.) In that case the young couple had sex. But it certainly demonstrates how overwrought and unthinking a mother can be. When she sets the wheels in motion, it cannot be stopped. And as far as the “author” of the diary goes, since a person under 18 cannot give consent, what makes you think that the court will believe anything that appears to be recantation by a minor?

    The registry is NOT doing its intended job because A) it is diluted by a host of people, mostly men, who pose no danger to society, hence there are just too damn many people to keep track of (750k registered nationwide and counting as of today) B) there is a 5.3% recidivism rate by sex offenders so the people committing the crimes against women and children are not on the registry – they are “out there” and haven’t been caught. Furthermore, they are usually not strangers – the stranger danger hysteria is a myth. Most contact based sex offenses happen in the family.

    And most importantly C) The registry is a travesty that creates an untouchable underclass that separates a group of people who are members AND citizens of this society, this culture…A culture we are all a part of and we have all collectively created. You wanna know why there is sexual crime? Let’s look at ourselves, how we deal with sex, how we expect others to deal with sex, how we sexualize children and teenagers (WHICH ARE NOT THE SAME THING, btw) how we deal with teenage sexuality/hormones and how the culture utterly and completely caters to the male visual nature and then simultaneously punishes him for being that way. Let’s look to the culture and ask ourselves where these men come from and what we can do about better sexual teaching to begin with.

  54. enyawface October 1, 2011 at 3:05 am #

    Michigan code Section 750.520d, no “4 year clause” mentioned within this code, and the letter above describes 3 of the chargeable offenses within the code, any one of which can result in charges and conviction. Last year in Utah, 2 14 year olds were put on the state sex offender registry for having otherwise consensual sex, both offenders and both victims because in Utah no one can consent to sex until they are 18.
    Why do I know so much about this? I used to be involved in the business that puts these kids on the list or in jail, after the 3rd case, I refused to support such a system that would twist my attempts to help these kids into words to convict them.
    The last facility I worked in, I treated a 14yo boy, he was convicted of sexual assault. What was his actual crime? A girl who w
    eighed nearly 70 lbs more than him, who was in the grade above him, who had been reported several times of bullying him, hit him in the family jewels, his immediate reaction was to punch her, unfortunately his punch landed on her breast. She, was charged with nothing, he was charged with sexual assault and was “sentenced” to 2 years in a sex offender treatment program. During which time he was raped twice by older offenders. That was my 3rd and final case, I had full access to the reports by police and the school so I was able to confirm this version of the story. This is what we do to our young males in America.

  55. Pamela October 1, 2011 at 3:06 am #

    Sorry but there is more to this story!!!!

  56. Lila Folster October 1, 2011 at 3:12 am #

    @tommy, yes, Michigan does have a 4 year clause, as of July 1, 2011. My son’s conviction was in 2004. With the passing of the Adam Walsh Act, of which the 4 year clause is a part, they now allow you to petition to get off of the registry in the state of Michigan. There has been a news story published recently where the very FIRST such petition was passed. This is great, if you have the money to do it. It is a one shot deal in which fees and legal representation are required. As I stated, quite clearly, he has no money and we have none to help him. The only thing we could offer him was a roof over his head.

    “If the mother wants to give us the name of her son so that we can look up the case details – all of us would be happy to admit we’re wrong. In fact, I would personally volunteer to help in any way I can, if this story is exactly what it purports to be. I think everyone here would.”

    Tommy, do you have children? If you do I would ask you this question, since we have already had a death threat, a very recent one, under the circumstances, would you be willing to post YOUR son’s name to a bunch of strangers on a forum? Would you not be skeptical of some one who presses for names and details when your son has spent the past 7 years being harassed, threatened, made homeless, jobless and ostracized from society?

    I post his story because it is true, I have NO reason to lie. I post it, because there are far, far too many young men being destroyed by similar circumstances. I post it because our children are OUR future and the registry is seriously undermining everything our country stands for.

  57. Sarah October 1, 2011 at 3:15 am #

    Through Lila’s comment (w/ link to her Facebook page), it was quite easy to find the information about her son online. The details seem to line up, assuming that it took two years before he was convicted in 2004 (at age 19). The one thing I’m confused about is the mention of a deadly weapon from the web site:

    • Details: OFFENSE IS ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON, THE SUBJECT WAS REQUIRED TO REGISTER AT THE TIME OF CONVICTION PER MICHIGAN.

    If there was indeed a weapon involved in the statutory rape case, then I’d say we didn’t get the full story.

  58. Lee October 1, 2011 at 3:19 am #

    Attention all Baby Boomers: The odds are pretty good of having done something that would find many of you on this registry now. What used to get you a (deserved) slap in the face now gets you a life of shame and hardship. Doctor/Nurse?…innocent, you say? First kiss? Puppy love? Think again as there are now kids a young as 9 on the registry and being called child-molesters. The term sex-offender is the most over – hyped and vial term as it applies to only one thing but encompasses many. We just conveniently forget as we sharpen out fingers and fashion our nooses. And our Grandparents???? Don’t even wanna go there now do we? They’d all be on it. You don’t think politicos would stoop to such retro-activity for elections sake? Just try them…but don’t expect them to open THEIR closets.

    We would have ’bout 40 million on the registry if Unke Sam looked into all citizens born born before 1975. Bet there wouldn’t be so many stone throwers then.

  59. helenquine October 1, 2011 at 3:37 am #

    Donna – You see a lot of cases where the only evidence is a diary entry; the victim and the offender both consistently deny that they have ever had sex with each other; and the jury returns a guilty verdict?

    Any links to reports of cases you’ve been involved where that’s the case?

  60. Soapbox0916 October 1, 2011 at 3:37 am #

    Even though many states have Romeo and Juliet exceptions on the books in theory, the exceptions are more helpful with keeping them out of jail, but still often they are put on a registry as a precaution.

    Plus, judges basically have the right to ignore those exceptions, and give a harsher sentence, and with so many judges afraid to appear too light on a potential “sex offender”, these exceptions are often not given, so harsher sentences are still the norm. Judges therefore can override the intent of the law on the books. (I hate to say it, but kids with the right connections are most likely to get the exceptions instead of it being the normal course of action.)

    And for anyone that thinks this story seems unbelievable, I don’t know the specifics of this case, but I know too many similar cases that this story rings100% true. So even if some specifics were found out not to be true in this particular case that does not discount all of the similar cases that are true. Sadly, this should not be possible, but it is reality.

    Working with the homeless, I see this first hand. Working for local government, I have direct access to people that work in law enforcement and the courts, and I get to see in writing the specifics of the charges of my clients.

    Seriously, it can take so little to be put on a registry.

  61. Tommy October 1, 2011 at 3:37 am #

    Changes to MI law: “2. Romeo & Juliet are safe: Youthful offenders no longer will be listed on the registry for having consensual sex with partners between the ages of 13 and 16, provided the offender was not more than four years older than the victim. Although teens who follow these guidelines are safe from the sex registry, it’s still illegal for anyone under 16 years old to have sex in Michigan. Romeo’s redemption: Under the new system, so-called Romeo & Juliet offenders that are currently registered publicly could petition a judge and potentially be removed from the list”

    @ Lila – Sounds as if the worst parts of the laws have already been changed in MI and your son would be a prime candidate to petition for a removal from the registry – if the original case is exactly as you state.

    What several here are curious about – why does the charge include “assault with a deadly weapon”? That would dramatically change the story.

    And no, I would want want to release the names of my kids to strangers without strong cause. However, it seems that your son’s name is already out of the bag. It’s on a registry. It’s apparently on Facebook. ?

  62. Lila Folster October 1, 2011 at 3:38 am #

    @Sarah, that was his court appointed attorney’s attempt at a plea bargain to keep him off the registry. The judge altered it to include being on the registry, because of the “sexual nature” of the crime. On his plea bargain it was stipulated assault with a dangerous, (not deadly) weapon. It took me 9 months of phone calls and emails after his arrival here in South Carolina for them to even correct his date of conviction, to the proper date.

  63. Tommy October 1, 2011 at 3:44 am #

    Wait…his attorney thought adding “assault with dangerous weapon” would somehow keep him OFF the registry??

    A plea deal is exactly that – you make a deal with the prosecutor. Now, I know the judge doesn’t always accept that deal. But, for the life of me, can’t understand why anyone would think that adding a weapons charge to the case would in some way lesson the impact of the crime in the judge’s eyes! ???

  64. Alexicographer October 1, 2011 at 3:46 am #

    @Lila to avoid further publicizing your son’s name, you need to change the settings on your Facebook page. Right now it appears to be set so anyone can see it.

  65. Donna October 1, 2011 at 3:48 am #

    Before anyone asks, yes it is very common to plea cases like this to aggravated assault (my state’s version of assault with dangerous weapon) to try to get around the sex registry or, more commonly, minimum sentence requirements.

  66. Lila Folster October 1, 2011 at 3:48 am #

    @tommy, “@ Lila – Sounds as if the worst parts of the laws have already been changed in MI and your son would be a prime candidate to petition for a removal from the registry – if the original case is exactly as you state.”

    Yes, he is a prime candidate with one major exception.

    “@tommy, yes, Michigan does have a 4 year clause, as of July 1, 2011. My son’s conviction was in 2004. With the passing of the Adam Walsh Act, of which the 4 year clause is a part, they now allow you to petition to get off of the registry in the state of Michigan. There has been a news story published recently where the very FIRST such petition was passed. This is great, if you have the money to do it. It is a one shot deal in which fees and legal representation are required. As I stated, quite clearly, he has no money and we have none to help him. The only thing we could offer him was a roof over his head.

  67. oncefallendotcom October 1, 2011 at 3:48 am #

    There are plenty of things about the so-called “justice system” that people don’t understand. For example, any “crime” that involves a minor is technically considered “violent.” Second, we value girls more than boys, and not every sexually precocious girl behaves like those wild teen girls you see on Maury. That means they can and will lie to save face. Many studies have found that false allegations are more common than people realize.

    The registry needs to be abolished. Those rare high profile rape-murder cases cannot be stopped by filling public pillories with consensual teens or public urinators, or one time offenders. If you support the public registry, you seriously need your head examined. It destroys lives and saves no one.

  68. RWsMom October 1, 2011 at 3:49 am #

    I really can relate to this story. My son is in the same position as this young man. Except, my son is still incarcerated. He received a 10 year sentence and a life time on the registry. His crime, he believed her age. He was 17 and she was 14. She lied to he and I about her age. Prosecutors DO NOT care what the truth is! There was NEVER a police investigation to prove his innocence.
    I have read some of the skeptical posts on here, I’m here to say that these types of stories are TRUE!
    There is something called the Byrne Funding, that states and local prosecutors retain from the Federal Government (A grant) to help aid the costs of “cutting down crime”. With each conviction a prosecutor gets, the more funding they can request from the Federal Government. This is why the US is seeing the BIGGEST incarceration rate in the world! Not to mention, we are building more and more prisons. This is a money game and the ones that are winning is the state and local court system, the privatized prisons, GPS monitoring companies and the vendors. Citizens of our great country are the losers! It’s our tax dollars that are padding these pockets. Until we stop this insanity, none of us are safe from prosecution.
    To the poster that wrote the registry is causing more harm than good, you are correct. Not only are people on the registry for teen age romances, but there are people who have been falsely accused by ex’s wanting custody of the children, people urinating in the woods while camping, people taking pictures of their own children in the bath tub or teachers being accused of “touching” a child when not liked by the students. These people have been charged with horrible crimes, that none of us really know the whole story, when we see their charges listed on the registry it looks as if they are the worst people in the world! But with almost 800,000 people on the registry, one must question the validity!
    It could be you listed on the registry next! WE must all stop this hysteria and write to our legislatures and get these laws stopped!

  69. Lila Folster October 1, 2011 at 3:50 am #

    @Alexicographer, thank you, I will do that.

  70. Martha Knox October 1, 2011 at 3:52 am #

    Regardless of whether other details of this story are true or what details might be left out, if the ages are accurate, if all that happened between these two kids was consensual, and if he was indeed convicted of a sex crime, this is a tragedy and miscarriage of justice. I have a daughter, and if I found out she was sexually active with her 17 year old boyfriend, I would be concerned, but calling the cops would not be the first thing on my mind. The maturity of both of them, whether they are treating each other with respect, and of course whether they are using appropriate protection would be my concerns. The only way I’d be calling cops would be if I suspected force sex or physical abuse. I hate to think what harm has been done to the girl over this too. Not nearly as much as the boy, but I can’t imagine living with the guilt she must carry.

  71. Soapbox0916 October 1, 2011 at 3:56 am #

    @Tommy

    Those changes sound good in theory, but a judge still needs to agree with them, and the final decision still really comes down to a judge. Many judges are very terrified of appearing too light on a so-called “sex-offender”. Judges often go out of their way to make sure a harsher sentence is given, thereby overriding the intent of exemptions. Oddly enough, I think it is sometimes judges and the judicial system that are hardest to make comply with the intent of a change in a law.

    Based on my experience with trying to help homeless clients, petitioning a judge is not at all easy to do, especially with sex offender cases. Free legal services tend to shy away from these cases. It really takes money, and making the right connections, to even have a chance at getting a petition heard.

    While those changes are better than what they were, they sound a lot better on paper than in practice. Just because something is on the books written a certain way, does not mean that is what happens in reality.

  72. Donna October 1, 2011 at 3:58 am #

    “Wait…his attorney thought adding “assault with dangerous weapon” would somehow keep him OFF the registry??”

    The attorney didn’t ADD assault with a weapon; he changed the charge from stat rape to assault with a weapon. The registry laws list certain sex crimes that require registry simply by you being convicted of that crime (stat rape, rape, child molestation, etc.). An assault with a dangerous weapon is not defined as a sex crime (and in fact most have no sexual connotations at all) so it does not get you on the sex registry any more than a theft charge would. So a stat rape conviction requires mandatory registry but an assault with a deadly weapon does not.

    However, many registry laws allow the judge to look behind the charge at the facts of the case and determine that the case requires registry although the charge itself is not covered under the registry law. It sounds like that is what happened here.

  73. kcb October 1, 2011 at 4:03 am #

    @ Lila: I completely understand why you don’t want to put your son’s name forward. You don’t have to. Your message is understandable without including details that would allow some vigilante to track down your child.

    I agree with Clare53, who said: “The registry is a travesty that creates an untouchable underclass…” Yes. While including teenagers in consensual relationships on a list like that is so clearly ridiculous I’m surprised it generated as much comment as it did, I also think that the registry itself is a bad idea.

    Yes, sexually-based offenses are heinous. No doubt. But…so is, say, stabbing someone’s eye out. Murder. Torture. Lighting someone on fire. Abusing a child (in a non-sexual way). There is no registry for those things, as far as I know.

    Creating untouchable underclasses in our society, stopping people from being able to work and contribute, allowing them to be discriminated against…that’s not okay.

  74. Library Diva October 1, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    The age of consent should be dropped. This isn’t the 1950s anymore, where the facts of life remain murky until marriage, and marriage typically occurs before one’s 25th birthday. In NYS, sex ed is taught in 8th grade and again in high school. The average age at which one marries is rising every time there’s a news story about it. Just because people don’t like to admit that teens have sex, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen OR that it’s any sort of criminal matter.

    My boyfriend’s cousin had his own life ruined by his ex-girlfriend. They met in high school. She was two years younger than him. They dated throughout high school and for about a year after he graduated. And yes, that included sex. When he decided to break it off, she (or possibly her mother, not 100% sure) turned him in. He was convicted and has to register now. It’s ruined his life.

    Never mind all the evidence that they cared for one another once, in the eyes of the court, he’s a big bad sex offender and she’s just a weak helpless underage female who is powerless to make any sort of decision for herself. How insulting! We expect so much out of teens. We expect them not to drink and drive, not to use drugs, to maintain high grades, keep good companions, be involved in their communities, and be making good decisions about their future. But when it comes to sex, they’re incapable of knowing what they want? Please. Lower the age of consent to 16, let the laws reflect reality, ackmowlege that teens can make their own decisions, even about s-e-x.

  75. Karli October 1, 2011 at 4:05 am #

    The details may be sketchy, but the debilitating cycle is real. My brother’s girlfriend (with whom he lived) accused him of rape six years ago. I won’t get into the details, but with the use of a private investigator we were able to pretty much determine the accusations were unfounded. However, the DA was unwilling to drop the charges and my brother did not want to risk a trial. So instead of facing a list of like 13 felony charges, he ended up pleading to 2 misdemeanor charges. He was supposed to be required to register, but thanks to a paperwork mistake he (praise be to God) didn’t have to. Nevertheless, every time he applies for a job, ALL of the charges show up, even the ones that were dropped. He has not been able to get any meaningful work for the last 6 years because of it. He is depressed and broke and can’t get in to any programs that would help him pull himself out. It’s so sad…

  76. Soapbox0916 October 1, 2011 at 4:08 am #

    @Donna

    “However, many registry laws allow the judge to look behind the charge at the facts of the case and determine that the case requires registry although the charge itself is not covered under the registry law. It sounds like that is what happened here.”

    I just wanted to repeat what you said above because you said what I was trying to say in my posts better than me. Thank you!

  77. Claire53 October 1, 2011 at 4:14 am #

    What’s the matter with you all? Haven’t you figured out yet that at this moment in history, in this culture, a man’s penis IS the deadly weapon?

  78. Donna October 1, 2011 at 4:17 am #

    @ library diva – An age of consent of 16 no more represents reality than an age of consent of 30. The age of consent in my state is 16. Like it or not, 14 and 15 year olds knowingly engage in sex, occasionally with people 17 (age of criminal adulthood in my state) or over.

    The only way to properly reflect reality is to stop criminalizing consensual sex simply because we don’t want the participants to do it.

  79. Cedric October 1, 2011 at 4:18 am #

    Saliva, semen, fingernails, limbs–all can be classified as as deadly weapon (Ive seen personally this while working in corrections. Inmates get completely over the top charges for all kinds of things when they assault each other or an officer while inside) therefore ‘assault with a deadly weapon’ doesn’t sound out of line at all.

  80. Tommy October 1, 2011 at 4:24 am #

    @Donna – so who is it that made this horrendously idiotic decision to change charges? The prosecutor suggested it because he was sympathetic to the boy? “Let’s change it to a weapons assault to keep you off the registry”. Problem there, if the prosecutor was at all sympathetic to the boy he would have thrown this travesty of a case out before it ever went to trial.

    Or was it his attorney who suggested this? “Let’s offer a plea of assault with dangerous weapon to try and keep you off the registry” and the prosecutor went with it (why, unless he was sympathetic – see above) and took it to the judge. Problem here, why offer a plea at all, before you go to trial, against such a shoddy case? This is a boy and girl who both say there is no sex vs. a diary entry. Even at 17 I would be sensible enough to fight this and not take a plea of assault.

    And why would a judge allow the plea – which he did if this is the charge that sticks – if he knows that facts of the case are everything BUT what is being plead? If he knows the facts (you’re saying he did, because that’s why he went ahead and added the boy to the registry) why accept a bogus plea? If the judge did not know the facts, and that is why the plea was accepted, he would not have take the additional step to add his name to a sex offenders registry.

  81. Lila Folster October 1, 2011 at 4:25 am #

    @Clair53, that is EXACTLY, how my son’s court appointed attorney presented it! And being as naive about the law as I was, and as totally terrified as my son was, at that moment it seemed like our only salvation. And it was further confirmed by his attorney’s assurance that if it went before a jury, the judge would be at liberty to give my son the maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, based on the diary entry.

  82. Cedric October 1, 2011 at 4:29 am #

    That is what you are running with Tommy? A trope combination of “If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about” and “blame the victim”? You seem really naive if you think that is how this works, post Adam Walsh Act.

  83. Lee October 1, 2011 at 4:40 am #

    @kcb – “yes, sexual based offenses are heinous”

    This is where the hysteria is born. Careful on lumping everything in. Take a look see on what constitutes a “sexual based offense” before ya tell everyone on the list that they are heinous.
    It should have read ” yes some sexual offenses of a forced and physical nature are heinous and should be dealt with harshly.” The the problem is that one can be considered violent by looking at the wrong photo. And they will also punish based on what they believe someone MAY do in the future.

    So for those students of the Holocaust? Looking at those photos means you have a pre-disposition to becoming a murderous SS Nazi. Hey, a theory doesn’t stop at one variable or demo.

    @ Lila – you don’t owe anyone here anything. That sounds like a Nancy Grace line and I’m certain you and your family have been to hell and back already. Multiply your story by a couple hundred thousand all standing in one spot and maybe the entire point of this would hit home to the cynics, skeptics and Doubting Thomas-es.

  84. Tommy October 1, 2011 at 4:41 am #

    I’m not “going with” anything.

    Let’s ask the question at large: you have a son in the EXACT same position. Guilty of no crime. He went on a date with a 14 year old. Mother finds bogus diary entry. Mother calls cops. Cops arrest him. Both your son AND the girl deny it. Prosecution has basically nothing on your son outside of the diary entry. Prosecutor suggests plea of assault with deadly weapon (the registry does indeed say “deadly”).

    After blinking in utter disbelief – what do you do? As a parent do you take the plea or fight the hell out of this?

    Call me naive if you want. I would have done exactly NONE of what is purported to have happened once the boy was arrested.

  85. Donna October 1, 2011 at 4:41 am #

    @soapbox – keep in mind that currently a judge’s ability to look behind the charge to determine registration goes one way only – requiring more people to register. A judge cannot make it so someone convicted of a defined sex crine doesn’t have to register regardless of the facts of the case. Registry is mandatory.

    A judge can, however, chose to make someone convicted of a non-sex crime register as a sex offender based on the facts of the case. Take burglary (entering a building with the intent to commit a felony therein) . Obviously, this is not a sex crime and no registry is required. But if the facts are that you entered a house to have sex with your underage girlfriend (stat rape being the felony), you can be made to register for burglary whether you ultimately had sex or not.

  86. Cedric October 1, 2011 at 4:50 am #

    Do you have the means to fight it? If so, congratulations. Many don’t, and the OP has said as much. Public defenders aren’t interested or aren’t going to spend any more than they have to because of the potential cost drain of a lengthy trial to the county in question. What “I” would do is not the case. That you seem to believe everyone has the means to fight something like this, or that this type of set up in questionable, especially when suggested by the ‘legal expert’ (the attorney) is laudable, but, alas, naive. It is very easy to stand tall on the high road of hypotheticals and fight to the death, until it is you or someone that you are involved with-then it becomes a bit more real.

  87. Lila Folster October 1, 2011 at 4:55 am #

    @tommy, what part of NO MONEY do you not understand? Had I had ANY way, or any knowledge of what I could do to help my son, I would have. I had no assets to work with, we were living from paycheck to paycheck and no one to borrow from.

  88. Donna October 1, 2011 at 4:56 am #

    @ Tommy, I cannot answer any of your questions. The reasons for things done in plea negotiations are as varied as the cases. Maybe the ADA offered the deal because he felt sorry for the kid but his boss (the elected DA) wouldn’t let him dismiss the case completely. Maybe the defense offered it because the kid would do anything to definitely avoid prison. The judge took it because it was one less trial case on his docket.

    As for why someone would plea out in this situation, they offered him probation. If he goes to trial and loses, he goes to prison. Juries have a mind of their own and don’t always do what makes sense. There isn’t a trial lawyer alive who hasn’t won cases he should have lost and lost cases he should have won. It is a huge risk when you are facing definitely going home that day if you take the plea and possibly going to prison for 20 years if you don’t.

  89. Soapbox0916 October 1, 2011 at 4:58 am #

    @Donna

    Yeah! I knew it only went in the way of requiring more people to register. Thanks for making that clear.

    I have known quite a few cases of drugs convictions where it was added. One was a case of adults,all fully clothed adults that were passed out in a “bedroom” due completely to being high on drugs, but because a fully clothed minor (I think 17) was also found in the room with them when they were busted for drugs, all the adults had to register. They were not that much older. Not a single shred of evidence thay any of them did anything of a sexual nature with the minor. Really did not even know each other. They were hanging out together in the same place doing drugs. It somehow fit under endangering a minor to add them to the register.

  90. helenquine October 1, 2011 at 5:04 am #

    The problem I have with using cases like this as examples is that it confuses the issues.

    If you want to campaign against statutory rape laws that is one thing – I’d support campaigns to amend them, though not abolish personally, but others have different positions.

    If you want to argue that many defense lawyers are unprofessional and unethical, and frequently sell their clients out in plea deals that are against their best interests then that’s another matter that needs tackling.

    And if you want to argue some rape apologist (yes that’s what it sounds like to me – girls lie all the time; and the boys weren’t trying it on; and they were in love and knew each other well enough to sleep together, but he couldn’t possibly have known she was three years younger than him; and besides she wanted it, and you should have seen how much make up was she wearing…) angle then that’s something else.

    But the registry is a travesty whether the boy was guilty or not. So at least use a case where that issue is clear. Because I don’t think it helps make it clear that the registry is wrong. It makes it sound like this particular case is claiming to be a miscarriage of justice that the registry compounds which is fair enough for the guy (and his mother) to want to pursue, but that isn’t the problem with the registry. the registry is a travesty whether he’s guilty or not.

  91. Tommy October 1, 2011 at 5:07 am #

    It has nothing to do with means or money. It has to do with will. It costs nothing for a public defender to say, “at the very least we’re getting a statement from the girl, on record, and that statement will end this case before it starts”.

    And it costs nothing to stand before a judge and say, “I wanted testimony from the girl, but my public defender was incompetent and refused”.

    All I know is that if someone offered me (or son) a choice between statutory rape vs. assault with a deadly weapon, and the only evidence they had was a diary entry, no physical proof and the entry contradicted the alleged victim’s personal statement – no plea would take place. Period.

    Sure, there may be more to this story. But…that’s my concern.

  92. Lila Folster October 1, 2011 at 5:15 am #

    @tommy, if only life were that simple…too bad none of it seems to work the way you want to picture it.

  93. Cedric October 1, 2011 at 5:17 am #

    She incriminated them both, in writing, with (as much a teenage girl could expect) an expectation of privacy. Her DEAR DIARY. No girl lies in there, ever…..

    and that is what the prosecutor would expect a jury to believe, and probably successfully, at that. Will is fine, but when faced, as a teenager, with prison, what do you do? With what do the parents fire back with when they try to have public counsel thrown off the case, if they can’t afford another lawyer?

    Once again-I am the king of all I survey, I scored the winning touchdown in high school, and I have flowing golden locks….but they I have to wake up and face the reality of the world as it is.

  94. Soapbox0916 October 1, 2011 at 5:24 am #

    @Tommy

    Will is very highly influenced by money. Especially the will of those in the judical system. Prosecutors and the judical system are rewarded with money in terms of grants and salaries for being tough on crime, unfortunately they are not directly rewarded for doing the right thing, especially doing the right thing by a so-called criminal.

    Knowing what I know about how it works, knowing that I have some of the right connections, I think I would fight tooth and nail, but regular people are gulliable and overwhelmed, presured by people that want a conviction no matter what, stressed, sleep-deprived, worn out to the point that can no longer think clearly, want it to be “over”, they are very easily tricked.

    Many don’t realize what they really are agreeing to until much later.

  95. Donna October 1, 2011 at 5:27 am #

    Tommy – spoken like someone who knows nothing about the criminal justice system and has nothing to lose.

    A public defender cannot “get a statement from the girl on the record.” Witness statements are only “put on the record” at trial. No trial, no record. He can, and I’m sure did, get a statement from the girl that could be presented to the DA (not judge; he only gets statements at trial).

    Nor does a statement – on the record or otherwise – necessarily end this case. We have a conflicting statement in this case – the diary. The DA could whole-heartedly believe that the diary is true and her later statements are lies because she doesn’t want her boyfriend in trouble.

    Nor does the judge have much control over the choice to prosecute this kid. The DA, and the DA only, decides which cases to pursue and which to dismiss. The judge can refuse to take a plea but that doesn’t make the case disappear. If the DA feels strongly about the case, he’ll maneuver it in front of another judge who will take the plea.

    Not taking a plea sounds great when you don’t actually have 20 years in prison hanging over your head. Until you are in that position, you dont know what you would do. And you have no say over what your son does, even if your son is 10. His decision to pplea or go to trial is his and his alone.

  96. Donna October 1, 2011 at 5:32 am #

    I am the opposite of soapbox. I know the criminal justice system – see it every day. It would take a lot for me to risk my chances at trial instead of taking a straight probation plea.

  97. Soapbox0916 October 1, 2011 at 5:41 am #

    @Donna

    I don’t know if I am the opposite or not. I don’t really want to ever put it to the test.

    I think I would fight tooth and nail, but I mean more so with the Prosecutor’s office (it is a prosecutor where I live rather than DA) trying to avoid it going to trial. If it were to go to trial, it then would depend on the judge, what my options were, etc. I would try to pull every connection that I could.

  98. Soapbox0916 October 1, 2011 at 5:51 am #

    @Donna

    Forgot to say that I agree with you, and I don’t think any of us really know what we would do unless actually faced with the situation.

    I would like to think I would fight it, and I like to think I have some of the right connections that would help me out, but I agree it would be very difficult to pass up a pure probation plea.

  99. Laura Noble October 1, 2011 at 6:11 am #

    I’m so sorry, that’s a heartbreaking story

  100. edge of the sandbox October 1, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    What an awful story! Even if a 17 year-old boy knowingly has sex with a 14 year-old girl, it can make him a lot of things, but sex offender is not one of them.

  101. Tracy October 1, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    the world has gone mad. We’ve made life so complicated it’s just bizarre!

  102. RWsMom October 1, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    Just an FYI…….I stated my son’s story above. We did NOT take a plea. We did fight tooth and nail. At the cost of now over 90,000 dollars for attorney fees, my son is still in prison!
    Depositions, victims statements….. none of that is presented in court. What the judge see’s in trial is what he goes by in convicting and sentencing. Appeals, well the same goes for that. Appeals can only be on what was done wrong in trial. If evidence was not allowed by the judge or brought out by the defense attorney, then you can not appeal because of mis representation.Thus, my son went to prison because he had a cruddy defense attorney!
    I have worked with many offenders and families in the same boat as Lila’s son and mine. With 13,000 SO’s in my state, 1/3 are under the age of 25. That’s alarming to me! These are our children being prosecuted! It’s all because this country is stuck on being “tough on crime”! Quit giving prosecutors funding to “crack down on crime”! They will make up anything to charge someone with so that they can get more funding!

  103. Lokira October 1, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    It’s far too easy to accuse someone withut proof and ruin their lives. We really need to change the standards of evidence in this country.

  104. Tracy October 1, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    yes Lokira!!

  105. Lori Merriam October 1, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    Would love to share my husbands story and would love your stories to be shared on our site. We need to stand together!

    http://www.brandedforlife1992.webs.com

  106. Claire53 October 1, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    In case anyone thinks people are making these outlandish stories up, check this article out. Note: article does not mention what the other 3 charges were, or why he failed to register, like possibly being homeless. There no evidence in the story he was evading the rules with criminal intent or for subterfuge, or what his original crime was, which could have been something like possession of teen nudity or porn. An item of contraband all too easy to have thrown in your face in the pursuit of adult porn. 50 years???

    http://ccpdblotter.com/2011/09/29/sex-offender-sentenced-to-over-50-years-for-failure-to-register-as-a-sex-offender/

  107. Lori Merriam October 1, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    @RWsMom….Amen, Amen, Amen! It’s nothing about public interest and safety, it’s all about the money. And if you are accused you are automatically guilty and might as well plea because there is no hope. You are guilty until proven innocent when it comes to an alleged “sex crime”.

  108. Coccinelle October 1, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    @Lokira
    It’s exactly what I am thinking! It’s so unfair to those who don’t have the means to defend themselves! Where the statement “innocent until proven guilty” is gone? I can’t believe it’s only true for people with money, It’s so sad!

    What I really don’t like in this story, is that her son didn’t even had sex with her girlfriend (whether you believe it or not) and he still have to live this hell. I had already heard of stories of teenaged boys put on the registry only because they had consensual sex with their girlfriend but not one like that. My question is, if you are poor, how do you protect your sons against a fate like that? I was thinking that you should say to your sons something like “don’t have sex with anyone before you see their IDs” but now I don’t know… do you possibly could say to your sons “don’t have a girlfriend because you could be charge of statutory rape even if you don’t have sex with her”? I know that it’s like the fear of your kid getting kidnapped and it must be rare for that to happen but I think I’m being overly sensitive about that because I can’t imagine living in a place like that. It makes me shiver.

    I can’t stop to think that the mother or that girl was just not liking her new boyfriend and search in her diary something to charge against him. It’s scary!

  109. thinkbannedthoughts October 1, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    I know for a fact that these types of cases are real. It depresses me. I have two daughters. Someday they’ll have sex. I hope they wait until they are out of high school, but… It’s not actually my choice. What is my choice is NOT prosecuting a young man for sex, or sexual contact, that my daughters agree to.
    It is the responsibility of the parents of boys/young men to teach them that NO means NO. Always. End of story.
    Likewise it is the responsibility of parents of girls/young women to teach them that No means No AND yes means yes even if you regret it in the morning.
    Women have the right to change their mind half way through the act, and men have the difficult responsibility of respecting that. BUT women do not have the right to yell rape when they consent to something and then change their minds AFTER the fact.
    Parents of women should not have the right to yell rape for something their daughters consented to.
    Sadly because sex ed is verboten in this country no one is being educated on these lines. Many girls (and boys) are being taught that any sex before a certain age is rape. Our current sex laws seem to support this insanity.
    As a victim of actual rape I am sad to say that many girls are also being taught that they can accuse a man of rape, or sexual assault, just because they are mad, or don’t like him, or regretted it in the morning. Again, our current laws support this.
    Sadly that not only criminalizes the innocent, it also makes it harder to prosecute true rapes to the full extent of the law unless the victim is willing to be re-violated by the police.
    The sex-offender laws need to be re-written, or simply eliminated before all of the men in this country find themselves on the registry, and all of the women are brainwashed into believing that even pleasurable, consensual sex is a crime.

  110. Dolly October 1, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    I am all for making the sex offender registry only about dangerous sexual predators and not just Romeo and Juliet situations or guys who get caught peeing behind a building or a guy who mooned a cop, etc. Those people are not a harm to me or a concern for me.

    I support the registry for the actual predators 100%. I want to know where they are and who they are. To protect myself and my children.

    I do want to point out that as the parent of someone on the list whether they are dangerous or not, ALWAYS has the choice of not letting the person on the list live with them. That way you stay off the list as far as your address and car etc. That is something you CAN control.

    It is a good idea for all parents to teach their sons to ask for ID when they date at girl and get a picture on their phone of the girl holding up her valid ID that way he can protect himself. Also maybe make her sign a form saying she consents to sex. That way they can protect themselves from these kinds of situations. Or they could just keep it in their pants. Whatever. I just don’t want my boys going down for something like that.

  111. RWsMom October 1, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    Yes, Lori Merriam, you are correct! It only takes one lie! One young lady too afraid of daddy to tell the truth! And yes, it IS all about the money. Look at Mark Lunsford, John Walsh and now Mr. Smart…..they all are getting rich off our fear of the boogey men “s3x offenders”
    When, Mark Lunsford’s own son was accused of the same thing mine and Lila’s son was, yet he got misdemeanor charges because “His family has endured enough pain”. On the day that Jessica Lunsford went missing, police found child porn on Mark Lunsford’s computer! Let’s talk John Walsh, his son Adam (God rest his soul) was never found to have been molested. John himself has publicly admitted to being “addicted to women” and that the registry “was not intended to prosecute teens in consensual relationships”.
    Yet, neither one of them have done ANYTHING to stop this hysteria! Rather, they keep pushing for more and more punitive laws! Why? MONEY!!!!!!!
    And lawmakers, private prison’s, prosecutors, media, therapists, victim’s advocates and prison vendors stand up for them to further their own pocket books!
    It makes me sick!
    Yes, there is a grass roots organization trying to stop these laws….
    http://www.reformsexoffenderlaws.org
    I am a state leader and member! My son is worth my speaking out for!
    GOD bless us all!

  112. Claire53 October 1, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    @ Dolley (and really, everyone else too), listen to what you are saying. To “have the choice of not letting the offender live with you.” Really? What is a mother to do when her son can’t get or keep a job b/c he’s on the registry (in most states your workplace is listed on the reg too, and how many employers will accept that?); then you say it’s okay to leave the real predators on the registry. Well which ones are they? Which crime? Because you know what? A hell of a lot of crimes are designated violent and predatory when they are not. Take underage porn for example. Unless a man is on the computer trolling for hook ups and making contacts with minors, and he’s just looking at images, that’s not predatory. And if he is looking at images but has never touchd a soul, that’s not violent. Yet both words are assigned to cp cases. So who exactly is going to apply rational and relevant labeling? Not the lawmakers making the decisions now, b/c they listen to the hysteria, not the reams of research.

    And lastly you suggest we live in a world where young men ask for ID and take a photo of it or sign a consent form. No! What kind of world is that? We are pitting female against male in every way, polarizing th further apart. Is this what Women’s Lib has come to? Where the female is always in the right and always innocent and the permanent victim. It’s appalling.

  113. Claire53 October 1, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    @Lee. In total agreement. Right on. And I’ll add something to that. Yes forced unwanted sex is a heinous crime. So is engaging children in sexual activity for a camera. But I have to ask you, and ask our society, why do we think a sex crime is the worst type crime? We do you know. It’s evident b/c the harshest most insane laws are passed concerning it. Isn’t murder worse? Isn’t forcing a kid to work for 50cents a day to make your tennis shoes and still he cannot feed his family , isn’t that just as bad?

  114. Lee October 1, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    http://football.ballparks.com/NCAA/Pac10/UCLA/

    Just an idea, folks, just how many are on – or affected by – the registry. The Rose Bowl seats about 104,000 people. The photo you’re looking at represents 7% of those on the registry and 3% of those affected family members.
    Yes, this many people are deemed scum and not worthy of any rights, as are their own families and children. The term “sex-offender” sells papers and turns ordinary caring citizens into blood thirsty vigilantes, none caring that EVERY STAT AND STUDY (see Will Bassler earlier on this post) debunk the registry and “stranger danger” myth. Trouble is…no one wants to hear the facts.

    Facts like this don’t get one elected. Hate and fear do.

  115. sean October 1, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    “bigreddress, on September 30, 2011 at 20:31 said:

    I absolutely agree that the Sex Offender registry need reform but something seems very off about this story. A 17 year old was convicted of statutory rape when both he and his victim stated that nothing sexual occurred and a medical examination could have established that? Not to mention two trips to jail for failing to register? Hardly the law abiding and compliant picture she creates in her anecdote about the contact from his victim.

    I’m all for reform and I think we’re really going to have problems in a hew years judging by the images that my students are willing to send each other!”

    If the age of consent is 16 years old, as in many states, it doesn’t matter. He made out with her, despite her saying she was of age, and was open about that. In many states now, charges cannot be dropped once started, so regardless of what the parents wanted, it was entirely up to the State at that point.

  116. Vicki Henry October 1, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    If you doubt the fact that there are over 780,000 registered men, women and in some states children as young as 8, 10 and 12 on the registry, no problem, look it up yourself! If you doubt that there are folks on there for foolish indiscretions, that’s OK too! Look on any state sex offender registry and if you have problems interpreting the charges, call the sheriff’s office and have them decipher for you. While talking to them ask what they think about the registry and you, in most cases, will be enlightened. If you are skeptical of false accusations contact the male teacher who was charged a few months back and refused to take a plea deal, went to court and was acquitted. Now he has a $125,000 attorney bill, and as far as I know can’t get reinstated at the school. Oh, I forgot the funny part….the girl was mad because he would not play her favorite song in gym and said on her Facebook page it was all a JOKE! So, please feel free to stay in your own little world while we, the wives, mothers, children, grandmothers, nieces and other loved ones of those on the registry fight to bring awareness to the collateral damage suffered by the families. If you don’t think there is any damage…..you are sadly mistaken.

    Vicki Henry
    Women Against Registry

  117. Michelle October 1, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    When I first read this, Lila’s story wasn’t adding up for me either. While thinking about leaving a reply, it occurred to me that Tommy might attack me if I shared my story too! We don’t need to decide if Lila is telling the whole truth or not and it is not our place to agree or not agree with the choices that she and her son have made. Our opinions in that regard DO NOT matter! I would think that the only point that needed to made here on this “Free-Range Kids” website is that…

    Some parents want to keep their children at home because they saw on a registry that there is a sex offender down the street. But that registry gives some parents a false sense of security. We can’t think that if we keep our children away from one particular person or another, then we are keeping our children safe. We keep our children safe by teaching them to trust their instincts. We keep our children safe by not requiring that they be obedient little robots who will do whatever ANY adult tells them to do. As the parent of two young children, I come to this website to learn how to keep my children safe without keeping them confined. I didn’t come here to judge Lila or her son.

    For those of us who have free-range, teenage sons… well I don’t know what we can do for them! Tell them to ask their girlfriend for her official birth certificate? As the parent of two teenage boys (I have 4 kids), some real suggestions (not attacks) in this regard is what I would have liked to see more of in these replies.

  118. Shelomith Stow October 1, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    I know Lila. Every word she wrote is true. Those who think she is fabricating or exaggerating have no idea what you are talking about. Unless you have lived this nightmare of the sex offender registry, or have been close with someone who has, you have no idea what is involved. No one would make up such a story. Even the suggestion that someone would do such a thing is twisted. Rather than looking for reasons not to accept the truth of how horrible the registry is, you would do better to investigate for yourself every aspect of the sex offender industry, and then, believe me, you will be on your knees praying that your children don’t pick the wrong person to get involved with and that they have enough sense not to text inappropriate pictures or take a dare to moon someone or drink a few beers and think it’s funny to streak across campus.

    No one has to make up how horrible life on the registry is. Fiction wouldn’t hold a candle to the truth.

  119. Dolly October 1, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    Claire: I can tell you if my sons did something horrible and were guilty of a real crime, I would turn them out of my house in a second. A mother will love their son no matter what, but they don’t have to put up with them no matter what. I was expected to behave when I was young and I expect no less from my children. So yes, depending on the situation I would absolutely turn my children out of my house for good. Sometimes tough love is exactly what someone needs to get them right again.

    And you are WRONG that child porn is not hurting anyone. Someone has to create said porn for that person to look at it correct? Well there you go. I don’t care if 100 men look at one picture of a little girl being put in a sexual position but only 1 man actually did it to her. They are all guilty of it. Now if we are talking about a 14 year old sending naked pics to her boyfriend, that is a different story. But actual CHILD PORN, is wrong and the people that look at it belong behind bars and on the registry or really if I had my way with them strung up on a tree.

  120. Dolly October 1, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    and in the case of a 14 year old sending naked pics to her boyfriend, only her boyfriend has any right to view said pics. So if some random 40 year old man somehow gets the pics and is caught viewing them, he deserves whatever he gets. Those were not meant for him or sent to him by the girl and he had no right viewing them.

    I absolutely admit many people on the registry really should not be on there, but many many should be on there. My father in law is one of them and he deserves to be on there. He will never be living with us for damn sure. He is not a part of our lives period. You will not catch me defending him or feeling sorry for him.

  121. RWsMom October 1, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Michelle,
    To offer some suggestions……
    First we must stop the age of consent laws.
    Second, we must stop the government and city leaders from allowing 5th and 6th graders on up to High School to ride buses together and attend classes together.
    Third, we must as a country speak out to legislatures to protect ALL of our children, whether it be a teenager in a relationship or a child who was affected by these laws, where a parent is incarcerated and cannot be a part of their lives anymore.
    Forth, we must start teaching our children that playing grown up is not right. We must start teaching them morals and values. Make them dress appropriately and act with respect to elders.
    Fifth, give our citizens the right to defend themselves and only convict with the preponderance of the evidence.
    And Lastly, abide by our constitution. Make lawmakers stand by it! Because once it’s abolished and not adhered to (which it isn’t with SO laws), we are all in a world of problems!
    I hope this helps….. they are just my opinions.

  122. RWsMom October 1, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Dolly,
    The people who make the cp are to be at fault, If it wasn’t on the internet for all to view, then we wouldn’t have a problem, right? Do you realize that our own government own AT LEAST 1/3 of the cp sites? Why? To catch people viewing them!
    Do the research! You will see the truth!

  123. Donna October 1, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    @ Dolly, except this son did not do something horrible. He may or may not have had sex with his underage girlfriend. Still going to kick your son out? Or are you going to live with being on the registry? Is the mere fact that he did something that lead him to be on the sex registry alone something horrible to you, regardless of what the facts are?

    “It is a good idea for all parents to teach their sons to ask for ID when they date at girl and get a picture on their phone of the girl holding up her valid ID that way he can protect himself. Also maybe make her sign a form saying she consents to sex. That way they can protect themselves from these kinds of situations.”

    Wow. I feel terribly sorry for your boys if that is truly what you are going to teach them about relationships. And what if the girl has a fake ID? The fact that your son thought she was of age, and even saw an ID, is no defense to stat rape. Neither is consent.

    “I support the registry for the actual predators 100%. I want to know where they are and who they are. To protect myself and my children.”

    How exactly does knowing where predators are protect yourself and your children? Are you going to move if one moves into the neighborhood? What if you can’t? Are you going to refuse to leave your house? What if he breaks down the door and comes in?

    And how do you define predator? An actual predator, as defined by sex registry law, makes up about .00001% of the people on the registry. The Georgia sex registry has tens of thousands of names. Of them 24 have been determined to be actual predators under the legal definition.

    And why the focus on sex crimes? Don’t we need a murder registry? Or property crimes. If you want recidivists, thieves are one of the largest groups. Sex crime recidivism is very low. Thieves are more likely than not going to steal repeatedly. And very few of us here will be a victim of a sexual predator; almost all of us will be the victim of a theft at some point. It’d sure be nice to know where to go look for your stuff when it’s stolen. Let’s forget about registries all together. Let’s just put every person who commits a crime in prison for life without parole. That way we know where they all are. Who cares about potential for reformation. Who cares that it was a stupid, childish decision. Who cares about the facts of the case. Once you commit a single crime, you are out of society forever.

  124. healthy educator October 1, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    i think this story is biased. It’s told by the mother who of course thinks her son can do no wrong. Why in the world was he dating a 14 year old and why didn’t he make sure of her age before engaging in “dating” her. That was his responsibility.

  125. Lila Folster October 1, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    @dolly, “and in the case of a 14 year old sending naked pics to her boyfriend, only her boyfriend has any right to view said pics.”

    What? I can’t believe you said that! That is considered “possessing or downloading child porn” the law DOES NOT feel her boyfriend has a right to view “said pics” and many of these young men are also on the registry. In the eyes of the law, it is considered “ACTUAL” child porn and according to the age of consent laws that includes pics of “children” up to 18 years of age.

    BTW, my son fell in love, he did not do anything “horrible”. He did nothing to deserve to be on the registry or to be thrown out of our home. He struggled through 6 years of hell on his own and I am not going to let him down when he needs me the most.

  126. Donna October 1, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    “So if some random 40 year old man somehow gets the pics and is caught viewing them, he deserves whatever he gets.”

    So if a 14 year old girl tries to send pictures of herself to her boyfriend but texts it to the wrong number and a 40 year old man receives it, he should go to prison and be on the sex registry for life? Because a 14 year old can’t dial the damn phone correctly?

    I oppose child porn of young kids or kids who don’t willingly engage in the act. That is horrible for those children and we shouldn’t perpetuate an industry that exploits children by allowing anyone to view those images as long as they don’t make them. I’m completely opposed to criminalizing someone looking at pictures of a 14 year old that she willingly chose to put out there herself. We shouldn’t stigmatize someone else for life because a 14 year old, who frankly should know better, did something stupid.

  127. Flossy October 1, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    ripepapaya, on September 30, 2011 at 20:43 said:
    Regardless of virginity or failure to register, the problem is putting the child molester and the teenage lover in the same judicial playing field, where they do not belong.

    ^ Totally agree.

  128. Uly October 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Wildly offtopic, but this is an interesting article:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904106704576583203589408180.html

  129. Max October 1, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    I know a 14 yo male who sent sexually explicit video of himself to his 15 yo girlfriend. Under the child porn laws he is guilty of sexually abusing the victim (himself) on video. Further, he is guilty of distributing since he used the internet to send it. And because his computer shows that he tested the link to make sure it downloaded, he is also guilty of downloading child porn. And since she is a minor, contributing to the delinquency and promotion of obscenity to a minor also come into play. Inappropriate and foolish for him to do in the first place? Absolutely. But to put him on the registry for the rest of his life? That seems like too much.

  130. Hineata October 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    We are quite fortunate down here. As far as I know we don’t have a sex offenders’ registry – or maybe we do and I just haven’t bothered finding out about it! – but several years ago the Government made adjustments to the law regarding ‘crimes’ like that. The reason – one of our MPs (that’s Members of Parliament, not military police), as a 17 year-old kid fresh out of foster care and newly in the army, believed a 15 year old who told him she was 16 (our age of consent), and slept with her. He ended up in jail, and had a permanent criminal record. When he, as a middle-aged man, brough it before Parliament all those years later, they could see how ridiculous it was. It’s just unfortunate it was on his record for so long……Actually, I guess the fact that he could campaign for Parliament at all probably means that we have looser laws regarding past ‘criminal’ acivity. Are people with criminal records, or people on this silly registry, allowed to become congressmen?

  131. Hineata October 1, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    And Dolly, how old are your kids? It’s just that you seem to take a hard line on things, and I’m wondering if your kids are still quite young. I know I have relaxed a lot as my kids get older and I see how, while I can influence them, there would be little I could do were they truly to decide to go off the rails.
    In this young man’s case, he hasn’t done anything wrong anyway, not even in a moral sense, if he actually hasn’t had sex with this girl. I would certainly have my son living with me in a case like this- it doesn’t sound like he has anywhere else to go,….

  132. Michelle October 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    Thank you RWsMom for offering suggestions! I think we could make some real progress with this type of reply. I am teaching my children that playing grown up is not right. I have been teaching them morals and values since they were very young. My children dress appropriately and act with respect to everyone. There are parents (my in-laws) who did all of these things and they still ended up with a child on the sex offender registry as a teenager. This is why your other suggestions might be helpful. We have to do all that we can do as parents to protect our children from real predators and irresponsible lawmakers.

  133. Jynet October 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    Michelle, on October 1, 2011 at 10:41 said:
    I would think that the only point that needed to made here on this “Free-Range Kids” website is that…

    Some parents want to keep their children at home because they saw on a registry that there is a sex offender down the street. But that registry gives some parents a false sense of security.

    For those of us who have free-range, teenage sons… well I don’t know what we can do for them! Tell them to ask their girlfriend for her official birth certificate?

    __________________

    As my teenager would say: WORD.

    *WE* can’t even stop attacking each other and we wonder why our societies are in the mess they are in?

  134. Michelle October 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Lila:

    If I had been the one that had to have my story posted on this website, my story might not have added up for you too… I might have not explained myself in such a way that every single person reading my story would understand and believe me… or agree with my choices. So while you might be feeling like you have been attacked (you were), I appreciate that you shared your story because it IS an issue for parents like us… who want to give our children (teenagers) freedom AND want to be aware of things like this that are in the world in which we set our children free.

    Your son needs his heart picked up off the floor. He needs hope. He needs to be able look forward to his future. Even if he was guilty, he would still need all of these things. You probably need these things too. That might seem impossible but there are people who have found a way to do this under the most horrible conditions.

    The people who respond to your son (and you) with hate are probably people who are afraid (terrified) for one reason or another. Maybe they are a victim of sexual abuse or maybe they fear for their own children because our media has shoved this upon their brains. I know you understand fearing for your child. I hope you and your son do not internalize their hate and choose to not hate those who have wronged you or who might wrong you.

    I think by sharing your story, you are taking a step towards making the best out of a bad situation. People like you, that have their lives destroyed by careless laws… are people who won’t give up until changes are made. I hope that your heart can endure the road ahead.

    Sincerely,
    Michelle

  135. sean October 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    So to go over this:

    1) The girl is apparently provably a virgin (aka still has her hymen intact, and is medically verifiable)

    2) The parent in question was apparently reading her daughter’s diary, which is just SOOO much trust issue right there, but never followed up by talking to the boys parents, or even confirming the truth with her daughter

    3) He has pretty much been screwed for life because of this. 25 years, and any girlfriend he does manage to get will have to be told he is a sex offender, and when he explains what it’s for, he will most likely be out a girlfriend.

    He did absolutely nothing that is abnormal behavior, and there age difference was the same as a high school senior going out with a high school freshman. I mean, seriously? That required destroying his whole life?

  136. Cedric October 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    And what if her hymen was broken yet she has not been sexually active?

  137. Lee October 1, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    @Jynet,

    A cornered dog will bite his master. I believe those above are tired of having themselves and their loved ones attacked (physically, verbally, legally and emotionally) by ignorance and self-righteousness in addition to being paraded as social lepers. Our societies are in the mess they’re in due to greed, fear, intolerance, bigotry, and hate. Eliminate those regrettable – but staple – human elements and what do you think you’d have?

    What you can do for your teenage sons is tell your Congressmen and State legislators to stop the insanity before they haul your sons off to a place from which they they won’t return. You shouldn’t have to warn your kids about the dangers of poorly thought out laws that pander to the worst of our fears and bring out the worst in our persona’s… No one wants to address that. Seems they’d rather warn them of consequences rather than focus at all on why it is there ARE such consequences to begin with.

    Good night folks.

  138. Lee October 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    @ Michele… intelligent, pragmatic, objective and caring. Bravo.

    @ Dolly…take notes, babe. Your torch is goin’ out.

  139. baby-paramedic October 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    When I was 18 I went to visit a friend – also 18. He had a girl he had brought home the night before in his bed, I believe they met at a bar.
    I laughed, and went to make breakfast.

    In a bit, the girl in question comes out. I recognize her from church, and I blurt out, ‘I didnt think you were 18. Why arent you in the senior youth group??’
    Turns out she wasnt. Turns out that, like I thought, she was 15 (senior youth group was 16-18/19). Some words were spoken (me mentioning if she ever spoke about this I would tell her parents and her church), she left.
    My friend came out, asked why she had left so suddenly, and that she had left her waller behind. Her wallet that contained her fake ID.

    Now, nothing ever came of this incident (beyond this girl avoiding me whenever we were at events together for a few years!). But it would be unfair all round if it did.

  140. Dolly October 1, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    Reading into what I wrote again eh? Where did I say what exactly counted as something horrible? Nowhere. Okay let me clarify then if my sons actually did violently rape a girl they would be out of my house. If they actually did molest a child, they would be out of my house. If they actually did murder someone they would be out of my house. If they actually did become addicted beyond fixing to drugs they would be out of my house. If they stole repeatedly from me they would be out of my house.

    The point is there is a limit.

  141. Dolly October 1, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    Lila: right or wrong, you are choosing to house your son that is on the registry therefore having your house on the registry list. Life is about choices and we have to live with ours. If your son is more important to you than your reputation as far as being on a list, than okay. And you can do what you can to fight these laws. But you also need to realize that you had other options. You could not be on the list if you have your son live elsewhere. That is all I am saying. No one is forcing you to let him live with you.

    Well let’s see an actual violent rapist lives a couple miles from me in this smallish suburb. I appreciate knowing what he looks like so if I meet him at the corner store I know to be careful and make sure he doesn’t follow me to my house for instance. That is why I like the registry for actual dangerous predators.

  142. Jonas October 1, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    so let’s get this straight… on the bottom line, the boy was convicted, based solely on a romanticizing fanciful diary entry by the girl, and angry hearsay from the girl’s mother?? That’s just insane. Considering the girl herself (!!) denied any wrongdoing on her boyfriend’s part. At that point, the entire investigation should have stopped dead in its tracks. If a dodgy, baseless, third-party witness statement – and a recanted diary entry – were enough to set off a full-blown investigation and court case, it’s hard to get one’s head around the fact that a statement to the absolute contrary by the actual alleged victim (!) remained completely unregarded. This isn’t justice, it’s a travesty.

    And it once again goes to show what’s wrong with sex offense laws. They do not protect minors from sexual exploitation anymore (that would still be a noble cause). On the contrary, they destroy their lives and are misused to police young people’s consensual sexuality. All because courts, lawmakers, and the government are in a “get tough on crime” frenzy.

  143. Claire53 October 1, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    @Dolly – I can’t believe I have to correct your outrageous interpretation of my comments above. I am thoroughly insulted frankly. I DID NOT say child porn was not wrong!! OF COURSE it is wrong! What kind of a moron would say it is “not wrong”?? I said, #1, it is not violent. Look up the word violent – sitting in front of your computer does not qualify as an act of violence. #2, I said it was not predatory. Look that one up too – viewing cp is not the same as tracking someone to do harm to them. I would be the last person on earth to say cp is ok. It does unspeakable and lasting harm to the child. But I have enough critical thinking skills to recognize that there is a vast difference between producing it and looking at it. Both are wrong. But both do not deserve the same punishment. I believe that men who look at it require counseling and monitoring, not prison. I recommend this is for a variety of reasons. A) it is all too easy to see child porn w the Internet the way that it is. Most adult porn sites have links to see teen sites and video trailers of the teens naked or engaging in oral sex are right there on the main adult page. So already the man has seen it inadvertently, yet it is on his hard drive now, so he possesses it without even deliberately going to an underage site. But that won’t stand in a court of law. And if you Dolly, are the one on the jury, I guess we should string him up. Or if he gets turned on by the trailer and chooses to click on the link, well then, let’s castrate him too, cuz he got turned on by something he saw.

    And that brings me to my next point. And that is imprisoning men for their thoughts. I don’t mean the creators of cp. They have deliberately and maliciously harmed children for profit. I mean men who found it to be, for whatever twisted reason, a turn on. Is that right? Is it constitutional? Is it healthy for a democracy to imprison people for their bad thoughts? Look I don’t even like porn. I think it’s all unhealthy to view, adult or otherwise. But that’s the human animal, especially the male version. They like the visual. You think you are safer because you believe the men with the dirty thoughts are behind bars or you know where they live? Think again. Disgusting, vile, violent, and dirty thoughts are around you all the time. Mercifully we cannot read minds. But we are clogging up the prisons and wasting taxpayer dollars by equating creating with viewing as you have done. There are reams of research refuting the mistaken belief that a viewer is a predatory molester in the making. I do not want to spend $30,000 a year warehousing a man with dirty thoughts. How about $6000 a year helping him manage his sexuality in a healthier way? We do as much for drunks and drug addicts.

    And then, because as a society we agree that child porn is unhealthy and undesirable, why don’t we sue Google and PornHub and all the other carriers that make access so easy with the click of a mouse? You won’t solve this societal scourge by locking the consumer up one at a time. And the rats who make it scatter and regroup, making them difficult to catch. I just don’t see why a class action lawsuit against the carriers isn’t the better means.

  144. LRH October 1, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    Needless to say, this is totally ridiculous. People love to use the sex offender registry numbers as “proof” that “you can’t be too careful nowadays.” This exposes the folly of that, and even worse, the tragedy for those caught up in it.

    I am going to say also that, frankly, what Max spoke of (a 14 year-old maile sending a sexually explicit video of himself to his 15-year old girlfriend)–other than the the parents, who obviously have EVERY right to intervene in that situation, I don’t see where it’s the government’s business whatsoever. It’s mutual consent–granted, they’re not ADULTS the both of them, but it’s mutual consent, and it’s not (say) a 30 year old and a 12 year-old, I can understand the reasoning that says that situation is one of power abuse by the older person. But the 15 year old & 14 year old sharing video clips? Again, I totally understand the parents being upset & putting a stop to it, but to me that just isn’t the government’s business in anyway whatsoever, and it blows my mind that it could be seen as any other way.

    It’s the same as how I don’t see where it’s the government’s business in domestic violence cases IF the accused victim actually WANTS to be with the wife-beater (or it could be man-beater), I have actually heard of women say “yes he hit me, but I hit him back twice as yard” and they said it with PRIDE. Clearly they weren’t wanting legal intervention. (Loretta Lynn, the country music star, was one such person, and given her millionaire status and her obvious strength of mind, do you REALLY think she was “trapped?”)

    Yes, that sort of relationship is not exactly what I’d consider a role model by ANY means, it’s clearly not the right way of 2 people relating–but if that’s how 2 consenting adults want to relate to each other, unless MURDER occurs, I don’t see where that’s any of the government’s business to meddle in. I do consider it a “private family matter.” Sames goes with the 14-15 year old situation (but again I do agree with the PARENTS putting their foot down).

    LRH

  145. LRH October 1, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    face palm again!! Ugh!

    “I hit him back twice as HARD, not twice as YARD.” Ugh!

    Once again Dolly I must disagree with you. You really expect Lila had a “choice” in not letting her son with her? The law is wrong, period. You don’t succumb to wrong laws as if you have a “choice.” If the law is wrong, it’s wrong–and such is the case here. To imply Lila has a “choice” is nuts.

    I understand what you mean when you listed the various offenses for which you’d boot your son out of the house. I agree with you THERE. My kids are only 4 and 2, but I’ve thought ahead 10-15 or so years–what if my son is “shacking up” with his girlfriend and they come upon hard times, do I let them “shack up” in our home? Absolutely NOT. If my daughter is a drug addict & it gets so bad she tries to sell possessions around the house to feed her habit, what happens? She’s gone. Otherwise they risk mucking up my life too much with their awful habits, when they’re now adults or close to it, it’s not as if you “kick out” your 2 year-old for peeing on the living room floor. Also, if I allow them to still live here while they’re doing these things, it implies that I am APPROVING of their behavior, since I’m providing the space for them to do it.

    Where it pertains to that sort of thing, I’m with you. But this situation is NOTHING like that. The government is meddling in a situation where it’s clearly not needed, this is an issue for the PARENTS to handle THEMSELVES–but yet again, the United States of China just can’t butt out.

    LRH

  146. Lee October 1, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    @ doll…often wrong, never in doubt.

    I don’t believe one has to “read into” what you wrote, doll. And you weren’t limiting setting your torch to those who physically and forcibly rape. You might be fears and ignorance’s’ best recruiter. Take a unlikely (stats say highly) demo to cast all eyes on, burn ’em up, and all are safe.

    “Well there you go. I don’t care if 100 men look at one picture of a little girl being put in a sexual position but only 1 man actually did it to her. They are all guilty of it. Now if we are talking about a 14 year old sending naked pics to her boyfriend, that is a different story. But actual CHILD PORN, is wrong and the people that look at it belong behind bars and on the registry or really if I had my way with them strung up on a tree.” – Dolly

    So It seems like you’re using a North Atlantic fishing trawler nets to sweep in all fish in and label ’em all as sharks. After all, they’ are fish.

    Your use of mixed generalities at times can be both maddening and comical….but never without that high perch ya carry around. and you always come back and say the reader either got it wrong or simply misinterpreted your remarks. then off you go with your pointy fingers again.

    Fact is, you’re judgmental as hell. You wouldn’t last 2 days in this woman’s shoes…especially when someone just like you goes door to door to get you and your family tossed into the woods somewhere.

  147. Renee October 1, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    What a twisted and disgusting mess we have made for ourselves…

    The sex offender list was created to protect victims of REAL sexual crimes. Why and how did it become such a complete miscarriage of all that it was meant to represent? Abolishing the sex offender registry may seem like the answer, but I think such a thing needs to exist. People who are TRULY guilty of molesting or raping children, creating or owning child pornography etc. need to be publicly shamed and forever held accountable for their actions. However, the language of the law needs to be crystal clear, concise and extremely limited as to who is listed as a sexual predator. For the love of God, leave curious children and horny teenagers ALONE! As several others have said, the laws criminalizing normal sexual experience need to be abolished; there needs to be some clear delineation between CRIME and an unwise choice, a clear divide between sex crime and simple sexual misconduct. How can those responsible for putting a 5 year old child on a sex offender list live with themselves? I wish there were some way to prosecute them for their stupidity.

    I am so very weary of how skewed our system of values has become and so very disgusted with the state of our Union.

  148. Heather G October 2, 2011 at 12:12 am #

    As I read this (and some of the comments) a few thoughts popped in my head:

    1) How is ANYONE safer when there is so little differentiation between normal (physiologically, morally is up to individual interpretation) teenage sexuality and truly violent predators? Does it not occur to legislators, prosecutors and supporters that the more people on the list the fewer resources are devoted per registrant to keep the real threats away from future victims?

    2) I had a fake ID at 13. A potential suitor seeing my ID would not have protected him. Thankfully my ID was only used to get me out of city curfew laws when I was babysitting.

    3) WTF happened to innocent until proven guilty? Wait, I forgot about elections and 24 hour news stations and Facebook.

    4) Life isn’t black and white. There is no easy solution for problems like real predators. Laws and justices that pretend they are do more harm than good for victims, the accused and society in general.

  149. Lori Merriam October 2, 2011 at 12:51 am #

    @RWsMom I couldn’t agree with you more on John Walsh, Mark Lundsford and his son. I don’t know anything about Mr. Smart yet. I’d love to connect with you on RSOL.org. I have just gotten involved in the state we now reside in TN but will also be working with the state where I am origianlly from.

    It’s hard enough to go through what we go through but to see and hear of so many stories of people in similar situations as we are just breaks my heart! Our lives have been turned upside down and ruined.

    These laws are supposed to protect and serve. All these laws do is break apart families and put people on welfare. To know the strength of a country all you have to do is look at the family structure. We are a very, very weak country.

    No one can live or support their family with all these restrictions. Once someone has completed their punishment for the crime, no matter what it was, they have paid thier debt to society except for the person brought up on “sex charges”, if the charges are true or not.

    As a mom, wife, daughter, and victim of a sex crime myself, I am more concerned about a serial killer/rapist in my neighborhood than I am of the average person on the registry. It’s caused more harm and ruined families and has helped NO ONE! It should only be for VIOLENT CRIMINALS who continue to offend and it should be for any crime and held within the police department like it used to be. So many people on the registry have NEVER committed a “sexual offense” and yet are branded a “sex offender”.

    It takes one lie to ruin someones life as the stories on here proove. We need to educate people on the “sexual offender terms” that are used. My husbands probation officer called him a pedophile and I had to educate her in what the term means and told her that he was NOT a pedophile. I also informed her of my husbands consitutional rights and that they are violating his rights. I am now no longer allowed to be brought back with him at his appointment and have to wait in the reception room but they prefer that I wait in the car. They do not have my husbands best interests in mind nor anyone elses and they threaten and bully him all the time about arresting him and what they can do to him. Something needs to be done not only with the law but what they teach the officers about it.

  150. Donna October 2, 2011 at 12:54 am #

    The problem with prosecuting people for looking at child porn on the internet is that you can’t tell whether the person who has it intended to view it, was aroused by it or disgusted by it, has any sexual interest in children or is a threat to society.

    Once you download something on your computer it’s there until that memory space is needed again. You are prosecuted for ANY kiddie porn, not just kiddie porn in your active space on your computer or kiddie porn you “enjoyed” or kiddie porn you looked at for awhile. So if you download something believing it to be one thing but it turns out to be kiddie porn, you are guilty, regardless of the fact that the image disgusted you and you deleted it off as soon as you saw it. This is not going to happen to most, but it happens to people who view porn on the internet. They link to something that they believe to be adult porn, only to find out that it’s child porn. Society doesn’t care because well, he was looking at porn on the internet so he must be a perv anyway – except that looking at adult porn is not illegal.

  151. Donna October 2, 2011 at 1:03 am #

    “Well let’s see an actual violent rapist lives a couple miles from me in this smallish suburb. I appreciate knowing what he looks like so if I meet him at the corner store I know to be careful and make sure he doesn’t follow me to my house for instance. That is why I like the registry for actual dangerous predators.”

    Well you clearly have WAAAAAAAAAAAAY more free time than I do, Dolly, if you bother to memorize the face of some stranger that lives a couple miles from you on the outside chance that (a) you will ever come in contact with him, (b) you will actually recognize him when you do (those pictures aren’t taken daily), (c) he actually is a violent stranger rapist, (d) will have any interest in you whatsoever. Of course, while your busy worrying about this one person, you’re probably more likely (albeit still an incredibly remote possibility) to be raped by some person not even on the registry.

  152. Jen October 2, 2011 at 1:23 am #

    I would suggest that the author’s son fight his lifetime registration requirement. My husband had a similar experience as a young man (He was 20, met her in a club – she told him she was 18, but was actually 16 with a fake ID. She admitted that she lied and the act was consensual, but the law states that even if the person actively deceives you, you are still guilty.), and had to register for 10 years. When he moved to California, he was told that he would have to register for life, but he asked for a review of the case and the state agreed that he would only have to register for 10 years. With the felony conviction on his record, it is still tough for him to get a job and he still avoids a lot of activities (volunteering with children, for example) because it will come up if they do a background check. I don’t know how a state can legally get away with changing the conditions of your conviction/parole, just because their rules are different.

    Regarding LRH’s comment about domestic violence – you obviously have no understanding of what domestic violence is about. I was a domestic violence victim, and spent years being abused physically, emotionally and sexually. It is the government’s business, because the abused person is not choosing of their own free will in many cases – they are making the choice to stay out of fear. It IS the government’s place to protect those who cannot protect themselves. I protected my ex-husband many times because I knew what happened if I didn’t – the police would pick him up, but in 3 days he would be out of jail, and I would get beaten within an inch of my life for putting him in jail. He told me he would track me down and kill me if I ever got him into trouble, and his buddies would do the job if he was put away, and I had no reason to doubt it was true. I left him, had a restraining order, called the police, I did the right things, but the violence continued, partly because people around us, including police, took the attitude that if I really wanted it to stop, it would. If only it were that easy. The system did not do it’s job in my case. It took him going to prison for hurting someone else before my kids and I were safe and we have been in hiding since. There are cases where the violence goes both ways, and both parties are fine with it but I would guess that it’s not in the majority, and I don’t know how it could be determined by police on the scene whether that is the case. Abandoning abused persons to a life of violence because they claim they want to be there is not the answer.

  153. Jenne October 2, 2011 at 1:48 am #

    In response to Dolly–

    I worry about this a lot, having kids– what am I going to tell them? You know, I didn’t have a photo id until I was in college. (Mind you, I could have gone to college at 16 or 17 and had a photo id that didn’t show my age, so that was useless.) Some high schools give photo ids, but do they have the kid’s age on them? The only ID that has your age on it would be either your birth certificate or a driver’s license.

    Now, I discussed this with some female friends. It seems like a lot of people are claiming that girls would never go out of their way to date someone older than they are, unless the guy was somehow ‘grooming’ them in the ‘sexual predator’ sense. As a former teenage girl, I gotta say that seems really fishy to me. What I think the issue is that some people– maybe including Dolly, if I remember her previous posts– have been sexually abused, and they have a particular idea about what young ladies feel about sex and about older guys (To quote a young lady of my acquaintance: “Guys my age are all STUPID!”).

    If you do the proper search on Google scholar (scholar.google.com) on teen pregnancy and statutory rape, you’ll find out that in the last 10 years, social services journals have been talking about– and advocating– the prosecution of any case of *consensual* statutory rape in order to reduce teen pregnancy, since they believe that all males who have sex with teenage girls will go on to knock up multiple teenage girls, and prosecuting a man who has consensual sex with an underage girl will legally keep him away from all teenage girls. Their evidence that this works is that the teen pregnancy rate has decreased (in 2005 it was the lowest since the 1930s, when people were legally getting married and starting families before their 20s on a regular basis).

    And yes, there are lots of cases IN THE NEWS of young people getting arrested for child pornography and put on the sex offender registry for sending someone their age a naked picture of themselves, both boys AND girls. In one case, the girl texted her pictures to several guys, and under the law she was guilty of making and distributing child porn– and lots of people were in fact roaring for her to go to jail for it, because obviously her parents hadn’t raised her right!

  154. wellcraftedtoo October 2, 2011 at 2:00 am #

    I agree with Jen, above, that there must be–and I do not know the law on this–some way to challenge this conviction, and the requirement that the ‘offender’ be on the registry.

    There is no mention, I believe, in the original post that the young man has sought out legal advice on this. I understand that he has little or no money. However, in most states, and I am assuming Michigan is the same, legal services for the indigent do exist.

    There might also be people–law professors and law students–in the law school legal clinics in MI who might well be interested in helping this man.

    I would not stop until I had exhausted all possible means of redress–the societal, emotional, and financial toll of this situation is too great.

  155. SgtMom October 2, 2011 at 2:13 am #

    Ed Smart, along with Orrin Hatch, is involved in getting legislation for Utah’s TrackerPal ankle monitors to be used on all sex offenders, after investing in the company.

    My sister in law falsely accused my son after I threatened to report HER to CPS for child abuse.

    The “system” is VERY acomodating when it comes to convicting innocent men or boys falsely accused, while turning a blind eye to the truly guilty – in this case the children’s own mother.

    My son is on a registry while the TRUE molester is laughing up her sleeve and continuing to molest and falsely accuse others.

    We’ve ALL seen how even adult women are given a pass when it comes to molesting children.

  156. Lila Folster October 2, 2011 at 2:15 am #

    @wellcraftedtoo, Indeed we have been seeking legal advice on this, it has been more than a seven year search with many, many doors slammed in our faces. It all comes down to money, and the ostracization of those on the registry. NO ONE seems to be willing, at least so far, to help one of those MONSTERS who are at the center of constant media attention. Never mind what his “crime” was, he is on the “sex offender” registry, no one who is looking for a future in in the legal profession wants to take the risk…so far.

  157. Nigel October 2, 2011 at 2:20 am #

    As I read this post, tears began to well up in my eyes for your son. A similar thing has happened to me. I am waiting for my last trial where I will need to spend a mandatory time in jail (only about a month or so) and will forever be labeled as a “sexual offender”.

    Your son’s crimes were never justified, mine, however, do hold some weight to them, but it is the consensus of my family and the family involved in the crime that registering as a sexual offender should not be implemented. To say that what I had done and what a child rapist has done are the same thing and fall under the same category is a rather egregious flaw in our legal system.

    Your son and your family are in my prayers. Perhaps, someday soon, they will get that society will forever reject us if we have to register as what they view as a monster, when the crime was so minor or non existent at all.

  158. Cathy October 2, 2011 at 2:55 am #

    Regardless of whether they had sex, what happened to this young man is wrong. Our laws are definitely screwed up when it comes to this. A teenage guy a few years older is way different than an older man who manipulates young girls into sex. Our government laws need to reflect that and give these young guys in love a break. My husband’s first love was 15 when he was 17. She was his first love. She broke things off after he left for college and he was so heartbroken. Had they been caught together no doubt.he would be in the same situation. Her mother was a real nut job. Emotionally abusive to her own kids and hated anyone they dated. Psycho moms who overreact do exist, not all teen guys who happen to love someone 2-3 years younger are perverts. As a mother of two little girls and a survivor of sexual abuse and rape by the true sex offenders of the world…stories like this make me sick. Sick that this man must be put into the same category as the scum of the earth when he isn’t.

  159. Cathy October 2, 2011 at 3:09 am #

    Also, the sex offender registry is stupid to begin with. It doesn’t keep us safer. It only gives us the illusion of safety. In fact, most rapists and child molesters are not on the list. I can name a bunch right off the top of my head. One being the pastor of a church that is trusted by many. But the voices of their victims were silenced. Just as the “victim” in sat rapes aren’t the ones who go after the guy.,..in cases where a true crime is committed. Where real hurt is inflicted. One those who are not believed, the guilty monster walks free. No karma catches up. They go on to live a happy life. The man who molested me for years is married with kids of his own now. He was 6 years older than me. I was 13. I screamed no all the time, every time, but he walks free. The ex registry is a joke and it’s a stupid system put into place to lull us all into feeling secure and safe. We never have been in life and never will be. Torturing people by putting them on it is stupid, and living your life in fear over there being evil people is stupid as well. Good things will happen in life as will bad. I’ve learned what happens to the bad people isn’t important. I have never been able to get any “justice” cause no one else believe me or cared. Or they blamed me for it. I learned what is important in life is how I handle things and to not let the monsters of the world win by me living in constant fear of them. I refuse to live in fear. I will never trust the law or government to create justice or safety for me. To do so is silly. Life isn’t just nor fair nor safe nor easy. Ever. No matter how many rules or laws we make to give us the illusions that it is…we just need to live our lives and stop wallowing in the fear of everything that could go wrong. It might go wrong and need dealt with, but until it does what’s the point of stressing over it?

  160. Broken53 October 2, 2011 at 4:40 am #

    My son was convicted, in a military court, of receipt of cp. A charge he denied then and continues to deny.He lived in the barracks where he let others use laptop. The cp was hidden in a limewire file. He took a plea because the judge told him if he didnt, she would give him 20 years. He could be home in 9 months or 20 years. Hmmm? They also told him he would not have to register. He didn’t find out he had to until a week before he got out. And the registry is for life!! Every 3 months he has to report in, get fingerprinted and have his picture taken. He also had to get a new drivers license with “SEX OFFENDER” written in red on the front of it. WHY? Why does the cashier at the bank need to know that? The courts have ruled that the registry is not punitive (punishment). If this is not punishment, what is?! The info on the website is incorrect and when he asked the detective to correct it, he was told to “get a lawyer!”
    He owns a house he cannot live in because the detective says there is a foster care home somewhere near. I don’t know what the difference between a normal household and a foster care home is. Now he lives in an old trailer by the river, away from family and friends. Last week, he had someone threaten to kill him. The guy found his address and directions to where he lives on the registry and said (on his own facebook page!) that he was going to lay in the bushes and wait for my son!

  161. Lila Folster October 2, 2011 at 6:14 am #

    @Nigel, thank you so much for understanding, and for your prayers, I am so sorry for what you are going through, and maybe someday there will be an end to the craziness. Many of the comments here show that people do realize that something needs to be done. You and your family are in our prayers as well.

    @Michelle,thank you for telling your story. Many need to hear it and I for one have great respect for your strength in making the decision to tell something that has caused such great pain in your life, even at the risk of being attacked for it. You made many good points for people to think about and are an excellent role model, particularly in the area of respect and compassion for other people. Many could learn a great deal from you. You have let your pain teach you, not how to hate and fear, but how to love people for who they really are, and can be, not for what has happened in their past. You husband, children and those around you, are blessed to have you in their lives.

  162. KyohakuKeisanki October 2, 2011 at 6:26 am #

    It is my belief that any individual old enough to be a sex offender should be old enough to have a say in any court cases involving him/her. Therefore, the age of consent should be lowered by federal constitutional amendment to 10, 8, or 4, depending on who you believe when it comes to how old the youngest sex offenders are. Also, if this means creating an international law declaring all individuals 6 or older to be non-minors, then so be it. Though honestly it shouldn’t need to go that far; maybe a multilateral treaty waiving age-of-majority issues within courtrooms, and thus placing the 14-year-old’s testimony above that of a parent who was not involved in the crime, would suffice. It is extremely sad when a prosecution is carried out in the victim’s name by the actions of someone who gets elevated positioning in the courtroom by the simple act of family relationship — an action which the person had no control over. Victims should always have the opportunity, regardless of age, to stop an investigation, against anyone else’s wishes, except in cases where the parent is the one being prosecuted for child abuse involving violent assault with a dangerous or deadly weapon. Sure, there may be very few absolute monarchies left in the world… but have you ever thought that they may actually be tens of millions of absolute monarchies, many which are tyrannical, in the United States alone?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_taxation_without_representation

  163. LRH October 2, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    It is off-topic, but since I brought it up and Jen elaborated, a bit more on domestic violence. I brought that up, by the way, because that is an issue which I think, at times anyway, is a scenario where the government intrudes where it shouldn’t, rather than letting the 2 parties hash it out, which is also what I think should be the way it goes in many “Romeo & Juliet” situations where you have consenting parties doing something that may be unwise or foolish but isn’t criminal, and shouldn’t be labeled and treated as such.

    In your case Jen believe me, if a woman is being abused by a jerk of a man & is wanting-needing rescuing from that terrible situation, I am all for intervention. Absolutely. All I am saying is that there are some situations, Loretta Lynn’s being one (but far from the only one) where the woman very clearly could leave without awful ramifications yet they WANT to stay. They aren’t AFRAID to leave they actually CHOOSE to stay and NOT out of fear–and if that’s how she wants it, her choice, however foolish it may be (and I’d certainly be the first to say it’s a very foolish choice), should be respected and both persons should be left alone by the government.

    Also, as has happened with many other things, the definition of “domestic violence” has expanded to include many things far beyond a man beating a woman (or a woman beating a man) within an inch of her life for accidentally burning his eggs or even threatening her absent actual physical harm. In some jurisdictions, breaking a remote during a game on TV where your team is losing is called “domestic violence,” even if the one observing the breaking doesn’t feel threatened and understands it’s just the man venting over his frustration that his team lost. (In my region, that’s actually so common one guy at Radio Shack told me sales of universal remotes spike during football season, especially if the home team loses.) A person breaking the dish in the kitchen frustrated because they burned the food, and they DID NOT throw the plate at their spouse, they just smashed it in the sink and yelled a curse word–if a neighbor hears that and calls, it’s treated as, yes, “domestic violence/criminal damage.” Even though the person wasn’t trying to harm or intimidate their spouse in anyway, they were just breaking a cheap dish in the sink, and the spouse IN NO WAY wants prosecution and NOT because of fear of retaliation but because they seriously DO NOT want it–nonetheless, they don’t have the option to not press charges, and an arrest is made anyway. I find that ridiculous and totally a case of the government meddling in what is a “private family matter.”

    But yes, in a situation like yours or something like you see on television in that TV-movie “The Burning Bed,” believe me–I am 100% for government intervention, absolutely.

    What does that have to do with this situation? I think it has some parallels. You have a 17 & a 14 year-old, if I got the numbers right, and clearly that is NOT the same as (say) a 30 year old and a 14-year old (I say this realizing you have to draw the line somewhere). Clearly you have a totally consensual relationship which apparently is NOT subject to inappropriate powers of influence as you would have in (say) a 30 year old and a 14 year old pairing, and while I fully support the parents taking action to end the relationship if they think it to be wrong (I surely would), I am saying the GOVERNMENT has no business being involved in it. I consider it totally a private matter.

    LRH

  164. Jenny Shaw October 2, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    There is a breath of hope. At least regarding sexting. http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/01/us/florida-sexting/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

    Florida changed their teen sexting laws. I hope you have heard about it.

  165. Nicci October 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    bigreddress,

    ” Not to mention two trips to jail for failing to register? Hardly the law abiding and compliant picture she creates in her anecdote about the contact from his victim.”

    You didn’t read it right. He was hauled off to jail because he was unemployed and homeless because of the registry (he was fired because he is a “sex offender”) which are violations of his parole; therefore, since he couldn’t register where he lived because he was homeless, they put him in jail.

    Did he even have a lawyer? That girl should have been forced to have a physical examination.

  166. RWsMom October 2, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    I’m going to lay my heart out on the line here. In hopes that you moms will understand the pain and anguish, not only my family has suffered, but others as well.
    When my son was 17, he started seeing a young girl who he met at school. She would call my home at all hours of the night and day. As a mom, I thought it was sweet. It was my son’s first love! She and I would talk on the phone, he would go to see her when her parents were home etc. Her parents even invited him to their family functions, in which he would drive to their home. (They knew he was at least 16).
    My son was totally in awe with this young lady. He told him she was a model for American Eagle Outfitters, so her telling us she was 15 made since, due to the work laws in our state. (you have to be 15 to have a work release). Her face book page stated she was 18, but at that time, you had to be 18 to have an account. Not to mention, she verbally told both my son and I that she was 15.
    They “dated” for 3 months. Until her father suspected more than just a friendship was going on. I received a call from him telling me to keep my 18 year old son away from his 14 year old daughter! I informed him my son was only 17 and when my son’s birthday was. It was then, we found out her true age.(Remember that I told him my son’s birth date)
    My son agreed to break it off with her because of her age. He told her father that if she called him, he would let the father know. Well, she continued to call my son, telling him that she had attempted suicide twice. (it’s admitted that she had in transcripts of the trial).
    She then told my son that since her parents were worried about her suicide attempts, that they would allow her to see him and talk to him on the phone. But that he was not allowed to be alone with her without the parents present. I felt that was respectable and so did my son.
    When he turned 18, she called him asking him to meet her, that she had a birthday present that she had spent a lot of time making for him.
    He was reluctant to meet with her…. but agreed to meet her at a police station. He received her present and left. He was with her all of 5 minutes.
    The young lady called him in a panic telling my son that her father had found out they had met. She sent friends to where my son was working to try and “warn” my son that her father had talked to the police. She would pass notes to have her friends take to my son in school. She would ask her friends parents to take them out to eat where my son worked, to try and see him. I changed his phone numbers on his cell phone 2 times, yet she would still manage to get his number through mutual friends.
    Two weeks after my son turned 18, we received a knock on the door about 8 oclock one night. My son was at work, thank GOD.
    IT was the police with a search warrant. My 5 year old daughter was scared to death! I was scared, my husband was worried. My home was
    invaded by 5 officers. Searching and tearing up my sons room. What were they looking for? You got it! The birthday present she had made him….. a memory album with love letters, pictures and other items she had given him for his birthday.
    That was evidence enough for them to arrest my son. He was arrested several days later.

  167. RWsMom October 2, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

    Since this time in 2005, when he was arrested, my family has endured so much pain and financial hardship!
    We decided that my son was “set up” by either this young lady, her father or the police department. We found out that the father had called the police two months prior (the day after he and I talked on the phone) and asked what he could do to keep them apart. The police told him that there was not much they could do until he turned 18.
    So with that said, we decided to fight these 13 charges of child molestation, 1 count of criminal deviate conduct and 1 count of possession of child porn they had placed on him!
    Even our defense attorney thought this story was ridiculous! She just knew that we had a strong enough defense that we could fight this just on the merits of the young lady’s behaviors…..
    Our attorney never deposed any of my son’s witnesses, which he had 7 of them.
    We went to trial 4 years later…..my son was now 21 at the time.
    While going through the waiting game and postponing of the trial dates, we found out that this young lady was pregnant. By another boy’s baby! This was some of the reason it took so long to go to trial. The prosecutor and the courts did not want her to testify while pregnant, “as not to sway the juries opinion of her”. In fact, while in trial, the prosecutors office personnel baby sat her child for her to testify! She was 16 when she had the baby.
    Needless to say, the defense attorney called no witnesses other than myself to testify on my son’s behalf. (I testified about 10 minutes at the most.)
    Since my son was in possession of the pornography (She had made for him for his birthday present), the jury found him guilty of possession of cp and criminal deviate conduct. The 13 charges of child molest were hung. The jury was obviously confused as to what criminal deviate conduct meant, as they asked the judge several times to explain what it meant. The judge would read the code to them verbatim, offering no other definitions.
    Criminal Deviate Conduct means that he “forced” her to have sex. Going on the fact that most of the jury did not believe that they had sexual contact, they hung the child molest charges. But since the CDC offered no definition as to sexual contact, they took it for what it was named, “Deviate Conduct” and found him guilty.
    He is now in prison serving 10 years and will have to register as a sexually violent predator for the rest of his life!
    We have spent all of our retirement funds….taken out a second mortgage on our home and my husband and I have come close to divorce multiple times. My daughter is afraid to sleep in her own bed or even go the bathroom alone!
    Now I worry as to where my son will live when he is released, I worry that he will not be allowed to visit with his sister because she is still a minor. I worry how my husband and I will be able to pay the 90,000 dollars we have accrued in lawyers fees. I worry for my marriage. I worry for my son’s future to be able to support himself or a family, because it is so hard for SO’s to find housing and employment!
    These laws HAVE to change! They are against our constitution!
    PLEASE help the young boys in these prisons! They are our future!!!!!!!!!
    GOD help us all!

  168. Haddie October 2, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    In reading these sad situations, I’d say we are going to have to be involved “helicopter” parents when it comes to our children dating. We need to know our states laws and before allowing your child to even take a girl out for a milkshake, make sure you MEET THE PARENTS. (Or that you can verify beyond a shadow of a doubt the girl’s age.) Insist upon it and show these stories to your kids. If they are young adults, have them meet the parents or find a way of verifying before they go on the first date. It may sound like going overboard, but apparently it has to be done. (It’s better than prison and a lifetime on the sex offender registry.) In the meantime, we should be fighting with all we can to get these laws changed. :(

  169. Joshua Liberty October 2, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

    I don’t have kids, but if I were in this young man’s shoes I’m pretty sure my dad would remind me that running is an option. Millions of Americans are undocumented- he might try following his music dream under another name.

    It’s a sad state of affairs when mala prohibita leaves a man with the choice of running or being thrown in a cage.

  170. LRH October 2, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

    This posting has hit in the 160s in terms of replies to it, and for good reason: this is one of the most outrageous things going on in our country, and it definitely is applicable to the free-range parenting movement and philosophy.

    RWsMom I only skimmed the surface of your posting, and I’m sorry, because it deserves a full-read (and I’m one to talk, my postings get long too & they’e FAR less deserving of it than yours) but I saw enough to determine how totally outrageous your situation is. I know Lenore is NOT posting these stories to engage in “fear mongering” as the media likes to do with kidnapping stories, but honestly, when I read such things, it makes me wonder if this country is so far gone that we OUGHT to leave it. I mean, gee whiz, it sounds like the 14 year old girl was very aggressive in seeking your son out and it’s ridiculous that the state would make it TOTALLY 100% his responsibility to somehow have the power to prevent her from being as aggressive as she was in seeking him out even AFTER her real age was found out.

    But besides that, 17 & 14–do they REALLY consider that a sexual assault type of case? Gee whiz, it’s only 3 years. Yes, her being 14 is somewhat young in the absolute sense, and yes you do have to draw the line somewhere, but in terms of the “pairing” with a 17-year old, I just don’t see that as being an outrageous sort of situation that merits legal intervention in anyway at all.

    Heck, I remember when I was 22 and in college, a couple of different 17 year-old girls at my job would be somewhat “flirty” with me in the context of work. Everyone knew about it. I never did a single thing with them outside of work, and even at work, I never once even kissed them, it was all talk–and yes, most of the “talk of interest” was on THEIR part. I was flattered with the attention, but didn’t act on it (having no idea just how wise I was in that regard). There MAY have been a hug or two, MAYBE, but that was it. Given that I was in college and had 19-22 year-old women readily available to me and did figure that there might be something “shady” about engaging in them in any real sense, I didn’t have anything more than that to do with them. I am glad, too, I mean that was so many years ago & we have all changed so much since that time, yet get this: I married a woman 9½ years younger than me. She was 22½ and I was 32 only 2 days prior when we got married. We met earlier that same year, both of us well into “legal years.” But heck, those young girls from years ago? They’re now OLDER than my wife.

    See, now my posting is as long as yours RWsMom yet, again, yours is FAR more deserving of it than mine.

    But my point is this: the law doesn’t give proper respect to how aggressive and NOT necessarily naive young girls can be in their pursuit. Granted, those 17 year-olds didn’t try and “fondle” me and it was more talk about “going out to eat” than anything “randy” behind the barn or in a hotel etc. However, they still “flirted” with me very aggressive, they were ALWAYS the aggressor. I’d be minding my own business, and they’d engage in the talk of THEIR OWN initiative. Even when I’d dismiss it as silly and tell them and other older co-workers of women my own age on campus I liked, it mattered none at all.

    Heck, all of these years later, I think about it & laugh. I briefly re-established contact with a couple of them, and we laughed. Why can’t it still be this way now?

    Heck, if you think about it, only 1 year later, when those same girls were now 18 and I was 23, we could’ve done anything we wanted (although by that time their interest in me had waned), even if I was the age then I am now (42 almost 43) yet nothing legally would’ve come of it. it really is shocking how close you can be from being totally in the clear to being goofed up for life over a simple misunderstanding and the failure of the law to own up to how aggressive a young woman really can be and stop putting 100% of the responsibility of the so-called “more mature” male.

    LRH

  171. Ms Sazz October 2, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    While I agree with some of the posts that there is some info missing in the story but to correct one comment I saw – No, a medical exam cannot definitively establish virginity. There are many factors involved and only VERY recent sexual activity (particularly non-consentual/physically fighting the person off) can be definitively established (though often even zero findings does not mean it can be ruled out).

  172. Claire53 October 2, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    @ LRH and RWsMom — I believe RWsMom has heard me say this before, but this is an opportune point in the conversation to state my studied opinion as to why this country is in this mess over sex offenses. If you look at the last 30 years of history, since the late 70s, America’s cultural opinion of men has degraded exponentially, while women’s value has risen. I am all for raising the value of women. I am a recipient of that value and I am grateful. But I believe it has been at the expense of men. In a weird twist of logic, all the new laws and cultural changes that went into effect to protect women and empower women have in reality frequently served to disqualify them from any wrongdoing or sexual aggressiveness! Where we used to inappropriately blame a rape victim for what she was wearing or being out late at night, we now go whole hog in the opposite direction to the point that a girl’s behavior with other boys and her aggressive pursuit of a boy is not to be taken into account and cannot even be used in testimony. The poor little darling is certainly too innocent, as ALL young teenage girls surely must be, to make a sexual videotape of herself to give to a boy. And evidently we have completely forgotten how absolutely manically melodramatic a young girl’s hormones and ideas of romance can lead her to be. Nope, the boy is ALWAYS guilty, the girl NEVER is. Is there where feminism and women’s empowerment has gotten us?

    Consider the attention sexual harassment has gotten since the Anita HIll case. Our sexual harassment statutes are such that they require a one hour orientation for new employees at most companies. Something for which civility and just plain old good manners would, one would hope, suffice. Add all these teenage dating cases, and even the empty-headed way men are portrayed in the media – usually dumb-ass, clueless husbands or crime fighting types with crappy or non-existent relationships – you may come to the same conclusion as I have – that we hate men. Think about it – when a man can be prosecuted as a sex offender for being seen by a woman on the street when he is naked in his own home, (no warning offered to him, not a suggestion he be more careful, but a full-on prosecution by the DA for a suspected INTENT to WANT to be seen naked) then I’m sorry, I just have to say something has gone seriously wrong in this culture with the way we view males, male sexuality, and even the very sight of male genitalia.

  173. Cali October 2, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    There is something terribly wrong when an underage girl can go get an abortion or birth control, and have her privacy and “rights” protected in having that information kept from her parents, but it is still perfectly legal for a parent to invade the private sex life of their daughter and in a fit of anger ruin a boys entire life. The laws are all twisted and contradictory. If the law says a girl can consent to an abortion and birth control with no parental input then she sure as hell is old enough to consent to sex. Parents who can’t control their daughters shouldn’t be using the police to exact their revenge. They are not thinking about their actions ruining the life of a young man. They are just mad that their little girl is growing up and they can’t control her and think they are showing her who is boss. As if it isn’t possible for a 14 year old to crush on an upperclassman and lie about their age? All it takes is a little makeup and a short skirt, and a horny 17 year old is supposed to ask for a birth certificate before taking what is offered?

  174. Somom October 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    Most of these stories are all so familiar to me. The facts may be a little different, but the heartbreak is the same. I will share a little bit of our story. My son was 17 and a senior in high school. She was 14 and a freshman and lived next door to us. My younger son was a sophomore at the time. They were all good friends and we were casual but not close friends with her mother who was divorced at the time. Her mother was on the wild side, staying out late at night, leaving her daughter on her own most the time. The girl walked the streets, made up, and dressed in halter tops and short shorts and looked like she was 21. She had a bad reputation at high school already that we were not aware of at the time. Unfortunately she became obsessed with my son. In May of his senior year, when he was still 17, he was in her garage playing pool which both of my sons did quite often. We were all casual friends so we never thought a thing about it. She got flirty and started touching him. He admitted to fondling her in the private area but never had intercourse because she was not fresh there. When he quit being around her at all, she began stalking him. A few weeks before his 18th birthday she gave him a birthday card offering “oral sex” as a gift and that she wanted to “go steady” with him. He basically told her to get lost and ripped up the card.. She didn’t let up. About 2 1/2 months after his 18th birthday, she came over and told him she was going to tell her mother that he raped her if he didn’t go steady with her, and she did. Without getting into the complicated remainder of his story, he is now a Level III Registered Sex Offender for the rest of his life. He was once an energetic, ambitious happy young man and now he barely comes out of his apartment. He has been beaten up, harassed and ridiculed and is prevented from having much of a life. Jobs, schooling and housing are not available to him and the restrictions surrounding him preclude him from having much social fun. He is a depressed recluse who often expresses thoughts of suicide. I try to keep him uplifted but I know until the laws are changed, his dreams are limited. It is time changes are made so that our loved ones can have their lives back.

  175. Dolly October 3, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    These stories are what make me suspicious of a lot of women that cry rape. I am kinda anti-feminist when it comes to this issue. As a woman I can tell you all too well that many women DO lie about being raped for various reasons. I never have but I have friends that did and I knew the truth because once I started questioning them I got the real story.

    I had one friend tell me her uncle molested her. She also claimed other men molested her. I started to doubt her story because seriously what are the chances multiple men would molest her? And if she was really molested why not tell her mother or the cops instead of just mentioning it in passing to a friend you have not even known that long? Made my BS detector go off. I decided for sure that she was full of it when a couple years later she tells me a guy named T raped her. So I start asking questions about the incident to get to the bottom of it. Turns out that she continued to date him after the “Rape” by choice and wanted to actually get back with him. So I ask her “Why would you continue to date a man that raped you and still even now have feelings for him?” So then, she admits that he didn’t “rape” her so much as pressure her for sex one evening and she eventually consented. Of course I went off on her for lying about rape because there is a big difference between rape and “he pressured me”.

    So yes, I do not automatically believe girls when they cry “rape”. I question her, I look for things that might cry out BS to me. I investigate. I think it is very sad that our court system has gotten to where they just blindly almost believe women in these situations. I know women well because I am one and I have been close friends with many of them and straight up, women will lie about it for personal gain, jealously, greed, revenge, etc. It is sick that they would lie and it makes it harder for the women that actually are molested or raped, but sure enough, they will lie about it. If that makes me a traitor to my gender, so be it. I am a seeker of truth before I am a woman.

  176. Rachel elowski October 3, 2011 at 1:39 am #

    Its sad things like that happen… when I was in high-school my boyfriend and I where in a similar situation only someone reported us to get back at me.. he wound up being convicted of csc4 n wound up on sex offender registery in Michigan.. my parents tried to stop what happened to him but the state went ahead with it. This all happened back in 1994-95 and in the past couple years in the county it happened in we got a new prosecutor and he came to me and my family inquiring about how we felt about this young man and about what happened years ago.. he told us that the man has put in a request to have his name removed from the offender database. We all shared with the prosecution that we were all for that happening.. long story short the prosecution took it to the judge and he approved to have his name removed from the sex offender registery…hopefully this will give some hope to the people who are wrongly on the database that miracles can happen….

  177. LRH October 3, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    Claire53 That is so correct. One thing I’ve said regarding other things applies here as well–that if someone feels they were harassed at work, they should be REQUIRED to tell the so-called offender FIRST, not go running to human resources first-thing because “I didn’t feel comfortable confronting them.” Tough. You’re about to potentially cost a man his job or a promotion when it is entirely possible he doesn’t know you find his behavior out-of-line (that does happen, seriously), before you do such a thing you DANG better be sure first.

    Heck, I was once accused of “harassment” simply for having a very normal (and I do mean normal) conversation with a woman who was trying to read a book during idle time & wanted to read undisturbed. Really, that’s “sexual harassment?” Regardless, you couldn’t just say “I really am interested in this book, it’s very engrossing, can we chat later?” I didn’t lose that job over that, but that was ridiculous. This was a woman who had been very friendly & chatty with me numerous times, in a platonic sense, and the conversation on that day was totally platonic in nature. But I never conversed with her ever again after that, not even when she was remorseful. I don’t fool around with that bunch of nonsense.

    I can’t believe I am saying this, but I have to give credit where credit is due; Dolly, I could not agree more with what you said and, in fact, it ranks up there as being one of the posts amongst ALL of them which I agree with most. As you said (and maybe someone else too, I forget), one of the most outrageous things that comes out of that is that women who HAVE been raped now aren’t as believed. It was certainly wrong before when a woman wearing something that didn’t cover her head-to-toe meant that she got a “she was asking for it” response to a rape accusation, that was totally wrong & it was good we sought to no longer do that.

    HOWEVER, what we have now is easily just as wrong. It sure would help if society could find the right balance with such issues rather than always going to such extremes.

    LRH

  178. Heather Waite October 3, 2011 at 4:18 am #

    Even if you don’t condone teenagers having sex, do you really think they should be turned into a sex offender for it if it is consensual? If you agree that they shouldn’t, please sign this petition.

    https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/decriminalize-consensual-teen-sex/0j6LYZ5c

  179. Cheryl W October 3, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    So what do we do here? Looks to me it is like this:

    No cell phone, or at least not a phone with photo/texting options. (I didn’t have one, and I am not likely to pay for one anyhow.)

    Return to “courting”. But this would take buy in from both sets of parents to supervise the young adults. Is that going to happen in our society?

    No rides in a car with the opposite sex. Too risky.

    Or, do I have to get the parents of the boy/girls that my kids will want date sign a form saying they will not press charges? What if the parents are divorced? Good golly!

    Maybe the Seventh Day Adventist have a good idea with not dating until 21 (and from your own church so you know the person.) I thought it was unrealistic when I was a teen, but now, well, I want my kids to have a life, beyond their teen years.

    Maybe I should just move them all to another country without these laws. Any ideas what one that is?

  180. Donna October 3, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    From the time that I was kid, I only wanted boy children. I had no desire for a girl whatsoever. I was very disappointed to find out that I was pregnant with a girl. I can’t say that I’m disappointed that I never had that boy now. Living in the US is way too hard on boys/men.

  181. Kim October 3, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    Another issue with registries is that some list you before a case has even gotten to court. I could see how most of this could go down exactly as Lila said- my sympathies, and hoping your son can salvage his life a little bit.

  182. Bronte October 3, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    Wouldn’t the easier campaign be to lower the age of consent?

    In most Westernised countries the age is 16. Raising the age of consent to 16 would stop many of these cases being brought before the courts already.

    That said these laws are ridiculous. Like Hineata I am glad I live in a country where the police have discretion. They do not have to prosecute everything that is reported if investigation shows that it is unreasonable. Their discretion also lets them drop the investigation if the age gap is small.

    For the record the age of consent here is 16, the exeption is when one person is in a position of responsibility, then both parties must be 18 years old.

  183. Claire53 October 3, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    @ Cheryl W (and everyone keeping up with this dialogue) – What do we do here? I have a good idea. I was watching Ken Burns’ PBS documentary tonight about Prohibition. A lot of background about 19th century temperance movements where women took over and got things done. I HIGHLY recommend watching it (PBS repeats their shows, so you didn’t miss it.) And it occurred to me – if women – mothers, wives, and sisters – can stage a large scale movement to eradicate the evil of alcohol because of the consequences for women and their children, why can’t we women – mothers, wives, and sisters – stage a large scale movement to eradicate the evil of draconian sex offender laws targeting minors? Don’t you think it is highly counterproductive to insist that the government stay out of sex education and teenage birth control because such topics belong in the home, yet we roll over and allow the government to poke their noses in on every underage sexual transgression that is reported to the police?

    And as long as we are trying to save our children from these prosecutions, why don’t we help save the children involved in child porn while we are at it?

    C’mon people – We talk a good game of prosecuting offenders who possess underage porn. But if you want to get rid of rats, you get rid of the rat food. Did the temperance advocates get rid of men by locking up the addicts? NO. They got rid of the vice. Earlier in this thread I wrote how very easy it is with one click to view teen porn. I say we women go to work to demand the shut down and removal of child porn sites along with the movement to end laws targeting minors. I tell you what – like the many stories of teenagers’ lives being ruined through mistaken choices, the child porn scourge is ALSO ruining the lives of countless men, women, children, and families. The one thing missing from most reform sites is a demand for laws that keep teen morality in the home instead of regulated by the government, and the demand that child porn sites be turned off. How can we say it is illegal, ban the possession of it, yet allow its ready availability on the internet? What a load of hypocrisy! I can’t advertise the sale of meth or pot! How can these sites advertise teen and child porn without the plug being pulled? China does it. Arab states do it. I am not recommending that we become totalitarian and regulate the net EXCEPT for material we claim is illegal, yet somehow allow to slip by.

    Anyone with me?

  184. RWsMom October 3, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

    Claire:
    Of course I’m with you! I agree with you 100%! If anyone is interested, read the Flicker Investigation. You will see that thousands of government employees had porn and cp on their computers. Some of them were HIGH ranking members of the government!
    Yet, out of those, I believe 4000, 27 of them were prosecuted. There are numerous articles that state the government sets up these sites to “snag” those who are viewing. We all know that police have internet “sting” operations.
    If the government is that eager to spend tax payer’s money to entrap viewers by setting up these sites, why don’t they reverse it and use the money to take down the disseminater’s and producers?
    Follow the money trail! By keeping these laws and sites available to the public and our children, the government stands to make money! Let’s use our heads, it’s more economical to the states to arrest and convict thousands for “viewing” than it is to arrest and convict a few hundred for making it! It’s just that simple! We have to stop these laws and take control. Our family’s, children and their lives are at stake of being ripped apart by the legal system. Which, in my opinion, the government controls.

  185. Cedric October 3, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    While I disagree with the system and how it is implemented, it is not entrapment if someone voluntarily goes to these types of sites and gets caught. That it is being run by the government doesn’t mean anything, the person on the other end still went to that site. It is also not that difficult to scrub your computer of malware and spyware re-directs that occasionally go to these kids of sites, but it does require some knowledge and diligence on the part of the user, and a willingness to learn how your computer works, saves information, and what ‘deleted’ really means to your operating system.

  186. NEWifeOfSexOffender October 3, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    @Claire53: “…And it occurred to me – if women – mothers, wives, and sisters – can stage a large scale movement to eradicate the evil of alcohol because of the consequences for women and their children, why can’t we women – mothers, wives, and sisters – stage a large scale movement to eradicate the evil of draconian sex offender laws targeting minors?…”

    There is a group called WAR (Women Against the Registry). I do not know how many chapters there are around the states. But it is possible that if more and more people band together they can start more and more chapters of it.

    In regards to people accidentally going to a site or accidentally downloading something they didn’t want via some torrents site or the like, it was advised on a news cast that you report it to the FBI and basically hand over your computer. There was a young man, 17 I believe, who was not intending to download illegal pornography. He did inadvertently through a peer to peer site. He deleted it. Thought that was good enough. But it wasn’t. He had asked them when being investigated if he’d even have access to the deleted files had he wanted to and they admitted no, but he was supposed to report it.

  187. Claire53 October 3, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    @NewWife – yes, I know that group. My proposal is a little different from their goals, but there is no reason in the world why the goals can’t be merged, or that there be two women’s groups working simultaneously. All protest movements (prohibition, civil rights, Vietnam War, have had multiple groups working at similar issues from different angles.)

    @Cedric – 2 definitions of entrapment: New Oxford American dictionary: “Trick or deceive (someone), esp. by inducing them to commit a crime in order to secure their prosecution.” and Merriam Webster definition: “the action of luring an individual into committing a crime in order to prosecute the person for it.” So, maybe the individual voluntarily went to the site upon being lured, but it is still, most definitely, entrapment.

    And do read my description above about the “PornHub.com” website. I am talking about a legal website whose main page displays a video of a teen (or purported teen – legally it does not matter if it is a real minor or someone pretending to be) engaged in illegal sexual activity. This is no “accidental download.” One of the planet’s most popular, legal, adult websites advertises teen videos. Sure, you can click on one of the advertised links. And that is bad enough. But what I am talking about requires no click or intentional/unintentional download. You do not need to because the illegal video is right there on a legal website’s main page. WHY IS THIS ALLOWED????

  188. Coccinelle October 3, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

    @ Cheryl

    “Maybe I should just move them all to another country without these laws. Any ideas what one that is?”

    Like I said above, there is one really close: Canada! I don’t believe you were serious though… you would move your kids alone? I guess they are better with you…

    I don’t think the “don’t date before 21″ is a realistic approach… which teen will respect that? And anyway the problem is not your age but the age of the other party. I don’t know if you were serious about that though…

    A question that bugs me since the debate started… is there the same problem if a 17 years old girl is dating a 14 years old boy or 18 yo girl and 15 yo boy? I’m very curious about that. I know it should be rarer, but it should exist somewhere! Are the girls branded as easily as the boys?

  189. Claire53 October 3, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    @Coccinelle – Yes, there is a problem with an older girl and younger boy, particularly if she is over 18 and the boy is under 18. It is always much worse if one party is over 18. Now, when both are under 18, they are still dealing with the fact that underage sex is illegal in most jurisdictions (even though statistics demonstrate that 40% of teens have sex). What I have never understood is, when both parties are under 18 and therefore neither can legally “give their consent,” how on earth the government agency comes up with prosecution of one or the other individual. If you cannot legally give consent, then how is that BOTH kids are not protected by the legal coverture of “not being able to give consent”???

    That being said however, from the reports I have read, the “victim” is most frequently the female, the “aggressor” “predator”, what have you, is most frequently the male. There is no room for an aggressive, attention-hungry, sexually provocative, melodramatic female in these cases. Apparently no such animal exists in the law.

  190. kiesha October 3, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    Just wanted to add that Laura Ingalls Wilder was two months shy of being 17 when she started teaching. She began courting Almanzo Wilder at this time as well. He was 10 years older than she. They married in 1885 when she was 18 and he was 28.

    She and her daughter Rose skewed some of the ages in the books. They made her younger when she took her teaching position for dramatic effect and made Almanzo younger because they worried readers would be put off by the 10-year age difference.

    #lauranerd

  191. Claire53 October 3, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

    During Wilder’s time, I don’t know about her specific locality, but in many many places the age of consent was 10. It was the WCTU, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, who successfully lobbied to increase it to 16. Again – women at work. In Great Britain the age of consent was 10 until about 1885. Even in the 1940s, most states’ AOC laws were 16. It is since the end of WWII that a steady upward movement to age 18 became popular. My mother-in-law married quite legally at 17 and had her first child at 18. That’s what women in Oklahoma did.

  192. Cedric October 3, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    “That being said however, from the reports I have read, the “victim” is most frequently the female, the “aggressor” “predator”, what have you, is most frequently the male. There is no room for an aggressive, attention-hungry, sexually provocative, melodramatic female in these cases. Apparently no such animal exists in the law.”

    Definitely needs to be updated. 3 college friends and myself were pursued relentlessly by 2 high school girls in a summer theater troupe. “Wardrobe malfunctions”, blatant groping/rubbing, using stage blocking as an excuse to cop a feel, etc. I think they were 15 and 16 at the time, and we were ranging from 19-21. This went on for weeks-it was really difficult to not quit the show as principals, and the same mentality prevailed there as what is shown by many people “oh isn’t that cute, she has a crush…..”. Yeah, what the hell ever. I was engaged at the time. My fiance’ was not amused.

  193. Coccinelle October 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    @ Claire

    “If you cannot legally give consent, then how is that BOTH kids are not protected by the legal coverture of “not being able to give consent”???”

    Good point! I once read on internet that there is a state where the laws state that if both parties are 13 and under, the two of them are both the victim AND the aggressor. I don’t know what it means in term of accusation/sentences though.

  194. LRH October 3, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    Frankly, where it regards the Internet, I’m one that looks at it as an “alternate sphere” vs an “extension” of one’s live, and I like for it to be free of government regulation in EVERY WAY, including the horrible aspects mentioned here–yes, even that.

    No, I don’t condone such activities at all, but I very much want the government to stay out of the Internet 100%, simply because they goof up & mess it up and do it all wrong. The person who mentioned how it’s not hard for a person to scrub their computer from malware–for some, actually, it IS that hard, and I don’t put the onus on them to do the scrubbing, especially if it regards doing so for legal purposes. I simply advocate the government stay out of it altogether because they are too aggressive and/or dumb to tell the difference.

    That, or we need to start learning about virtual private networks & such so that we can hide our IP address while browsing, then it’s not a worry to start with. Do what you want, no worries about the government messing it up.

    LRH

  195. wellcraftedtoo October 3, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    Lila,

    Thank you for your response to my comment. I don’t know if you have gone this route, but I would try talking with legal aid services (they are usually set up by county), and also would explore legal aid clinics run by law schools (the U of MI has an excellent law school in Ann Arbor). Also, as it sounds like your son was charged with a criminal offense, I would contact the office of the public defender in the county in which he was charged and convicted.

    Good luck to him, and your family.

  196. Claire53 October 3, 2011 at 11:50 pm #

    Look, I want the govt out of our private lives too, but they have made it their business to hunt down consumers of child porn. We as a culture sanction this. Hence, they are “in” the internet.

    God knows, we certainly do not want child porn around because it harms countless children. Not just the ones victimized by the producers, but kids on the internet who can so easily view porn in exactly the manner I described above. Again – I cannot sell meth or pot online or post pop-up ads. The authorities would hunt me down in a heartbeat. Why then, can underage porn be so easily had? You can’t have it both ways. The govt is either “in” the internet business, criminalizing the material and policing the users, or its a free for all. What are we gonna do?

  197. wellcraftedtoo October 3, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    Lila, forgot to add that, contrary to the impressions that many hold, there is often excellent legal representation given in all three of the types of offices I named above…

    It must be terribly exhausting, but I wouldn’t give up until the people you talk with at these places hear all the facts.

    Believe me, they represent people everyday who have committed awful crimes, and many attorneys–the more experienced–have literally ‘heard it all’. I don’t see why they wouldn’t look into your son’s situation.

  198. Claire53 October 3, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    For those of you who think a guy sits around all day wondering how he can find child porn, let me entertain you with this little anecdote from this morning:

    I am writing a Word document right now, an essay about Norman Mailer. I want to write that his literary technique is “f***ing with the reader, but obviously this is an academic essay and I have to find a synonym. I usually do that by typing the word and then using the Word thesaurus to replace it. So I type in f***ing and there are no synonyms, just the definition. Scrolling a little further down the thesaurus/dictionary pop-up window, there is also a field that provides internet web addresses to learn more about the term you have typed in. You’ll never guess. – Yep. the “Bing” search engine has graciously provided me with links to teen/sex any and everything. Think of all the sexual words you can muster up in your head, then link them with teen, and that’s what’s offered to the user of a Microsoft Word for Mac program. Microsoft obviously contracts with Bing to provide links to search terms. But I didn’t even search for the word teen. (btw, “Teen” produced normal stuff of interest to teens, like movies and hairstyles.) But “f**ing” produced teen site links. And the public thinks men have to chase this crap down! Ha!

  199. Donna October 4, 2011 at 12:06 am #

    @ Claire53 – It is not entrapment. Entrapment is almost impossible to prove as you must show that the person was lured to commit an act that they would not otherwise engage in. Simply maintaining a website that people can choose to visit or not is not entrapment. Sending out kiddie porn to random people unsolicited and then arresting them would be.

  200. Cedric October 4, 2011 at 12:08 am #

    The word ‘teen’ used in the US for a pornography site is not illegal, because in order to be hosted in the US such a site has to be compliant with the aforementioned sections of the United States Code. Just because your search engine serves up links to ‘teen’ sites does not make it illegal activity, unless those sites are, in fact, using under age models. People that traffic in actual child pornography are not hosting publicly accessible websites, for obvious reasons.

  201. Claire53 October 4, 2011 at 12:18 am #

    @ Donna – What makes you think they do not send unsolicited emails to email addresses advertising kiddie or teen porn in order to get a click, and an arrest?

    @ Cedric – As stated above, the subjects do not have to be actual teens to get someone in trouble, as numerous court cases attest. Even a cartoon of underage porn can result in an arrest, because it is not ONLY what you possess, but intention behind your possession. As with responding to an email advertising underage porn, and as the registry for ex-offenders itself demonstrates, INTENT, and anticipated intent, is as frequently prosecuted as possession of actual contraband.

    And, I ask you, if teen porn is illegal then why ISN’T it illegal in the US for the word “teen” to be used at a pornography website, as you state above? [Not to mention it is bait and switch, and isn’t that an illegal business practice?]

  202. Cedric October 4, 2011 at 12:27 am #

    No bait and switch, because there are differences between the legal use of the word ‘teen’ and the semantic use of the word teen. An 18 or 19 year old, while fully legal to conduct this activity, is still a ‘teen’ in vernacular usage, hence the proliferation of ‘teen’ sites.

    As for the court cases, specifically cartoon pornography falls under the 2003 PROTECT act, and if it can’t pass the “Miller” test, then it is illegal. “any realistic appearing computer generated depiction that is indistinguishable from a depiction of an actual minor in sexual situations or engaging in sexual acts illegal under 18 U.S.C. § 2252A”

    Pictorial sites are not ‘computer generated’ and are required by law to be able to prove the ages of their participants.

  203. Cedric October 4, 2011 at 12:29 am #

    Claire53-and how easy is it to delete an unsolicited email without opening the attachment? I do it all the time at work and at home, those few that manage to get through the other protections that I have in place, which are all either freeware, or commonly available at any Walmart in the software section.

  204. Claire53 October 4, 2011 at 12:31 am #

    Granted, teens are indeed 18 and 19. How can cartoon porn fall under the Miller test? People can’t tell the difference between a cartoon and a computer generated indistinguishable depiction? I can tell that Snoopy is not a real beagle. People have been prosecuted for cartoons. Again, my point is intent. A very murky topic, but one critical to the child porn debate, and seldom discussed.

  205. Claire53 October 4, 2011 at 12:46 am #

    Cedric – Depends on your mail program. On my mac mail program, if you want to delete just one email, you have to open it and then press delete. The only way to delete an email is to group it with other emails I want to delete using the control button to select several at once. I do not have little check boxes to the side that I can check off, then press delete.

    But that technique is beside the point. If the criteria for entrapment is as Donna writes, ” Sending out kiddie porn to random people unsolicited and then arresting them” – then whether they open it or not, the act is still entrapment on the part of the sender, in this case, the government. You know, if the govt sends me a box of pot, I do not have to open the package or smoke it to be guilty of a crime.

    And yea, it is hard to clean your computer for the hidden stuff. And if it can be found by a professional computer forensic specialist and there is no way you could have found and cleaned your computer yourself as an amateur, you are STILL guilty.

    Look – I don’t want to parse all this stuff out point by point. The fact remains that we have a huge problem on our hands with citizens being imprisoned for all kinds of things they should not be imprisoned for and which are handled far more humanely by other western nations. We have the highest incarceration rate among these nations. We do very little to prevent the crimes from occurring in the first place or prevent the circumstances that generate the crimes. Our answer is to punish, warehouse, and publicly shame, not rehabilitate or educate. You want to know why men are attracted to the underage? Read your biology books, watch a little prime time TV, visit a middle school at lunchtime, and hit up your local mall on a Saturday. You want to know why we prosecute teenage romance? I actually don’t have an answer for that one.
    Anybody?

  206. LRH October 4, 2011 at 12:54 am #

    Claire53–to answer your question, do I vote for “the government is in it,” or do I vote for a “free for all?” I vote for a “free for all, in part because yes I do view the Internet as an “alternate sphere” that’s totally separate from the world itself, basically anything goes there and it SHOULD be that way, but even more than that because again the government can’t get it right, going way overboard to the point of labeling parents photographing their 1 year-olds running around the house naked as “child porn,” which is totally ridiculous. I realize nothing is perfect, not saying we should throw out all government and become an anarchy simply because of miscarriages of justice, but when they INTENTIONALLY harass in situations as highlighted in the first post and situations like a parent photographing their 1 year old running around in the yard naked, then yes–boot them outta here, I say.

    If they could get that straight, then I’d be all for them being “in it,” yes, even in the Internet “alternate sphere.”

    LRH

  207. LRH October 4, 2011 at 1:00 am #

    That said, Claire53 I agree 100% with that last post of yours, 100%, totally. As for Cedric–frankly, why should I have to determine for myself not to open an attachment from someone I don’t know? Some people really don’t know any better, and as dumb as maybe that is they sure ought not to go to jail over it. Besides that, I’m one to open almost anything sent to me unless it is very obvious to likely be a virus–the way I see it, it’s my email and I can do whatever the hell I want to with it, and if it turns out to be a virus, I DO know how to scrub it off without losing sensitive data. Keep the government out of my inbox, it’s none of their business, period. If the law says otherwise, the law is wrong.

    LRH

  208. Cedric October 4, 2011 at 1:00 am #

    I don’t know ‘why’ it falls under Miller, most likely because that was the only obscenity ruling on the books that the powers that be could apply to it.

  209. Cedric October 4, 2011 at 1:01 am #

    Actually, if the ‘government’ sends you a box of pot, you can refuse the delivery or call the postmaster general. Entrapment 1. rarely happens, and 2. even more rarely (if ever, documentation, please?) happens as Donna has posted previously.

    This aspect of the discussion, however, is off topic.

  210. Claire53 October 4, 2011 at 1:06 am #

    True enough! Poor Lila – we are off in another land and the relevant issue at stake is her son and other kids in similar circumstances.

  211. Cedric October 4, 2011 at 1:06 am #

    Claire, all you have to do is drag the mail to the trash on a Mac. You don’t have to open it.

    LRH-because, part of the due diligence is on you. Would you open unsolicited postal mail? There is no ‘obvious’ virus. I get email from my own friends and relatives with attachments that have things hitched along for the ride. At least i scan them first-most antivirus programs have a setting to scan email before opening. While it’s easy to blame the government for everything, there is still an aspect of personal responsibility in all this. As for ‘What if’s’, they are like doorknobs-most everyone has at least one. We can what if all day, but the scenarios being presented are not all plausible or even legally viable-and i’m pretty open minded. Sticking to facts rather than hyperbole makes those of us affected, or those of us that know affected people more credible. I can speak as both.

  212. Donna October 4, 2011 at 1:11 am #

    @Claire – The government, and entrapment only applies to government actions, can send ADVERTISEMENTS for child porn to whomever they want. That is not entrapment. You choose whether to click the link to get the actual child porn or not. The government cannot send you an email of unsolicited child porn and then arrest you for having that image. If, when you open an email that makes no reference to child porn, a picture of a child having sex is clearly visible and that is the child porn that you are charged with having, it is entrapment. If you are sent a link to a non-child porn site and that takes you to a picture of a child having sex and you are then charged with that image, that would be entrapment. If you have to do anything to get the child porn (click a link, download a file, open an email) and you knew, or should have known, that you were accessing child porn when you did it, then there is no entrapment.

  213. Coccinelle October 4, 2011 at 1:19 am #

    @ Claire
    “Our answer is to punish, warehouse, and publicly shame, not rehabilitate or educate”

    So true!! The saddest about that is what are the tools that lower the overall crime rates? The first three or the last two? In case you don’t know, which I doubt, the answer is to rehabilitate and educate. So why are the laws made like that? I honestly don’t know.

    “You want to know why we prosecute teenage romance? I actually don’t have an answer for that one.”

    I have many, but I don’t know how I can articulate them so it won’t sound like blatant stereotypes so I will not…

  214. Donna October 4, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    “You want to know why we prosecute teenage romance? I actually don’t have an answer for that one.
    Anybody?”

    Because we are a nation of prudes who don’t want our teenagers, particularly our teenage daughters, having sex. The US is probably the most repressed western nation. And, yet, is also obsessed with sex and youth. It makes for a really bad combination.

    We are also a nation of blamers. We don’t want to take responsibility for anything. If our 14 year old is having sex, it can’t be because the 14 year old wanted to have sex. It must be because the 17 year old pressured her.

    We also tend not to want to parent our own children. If our daughters are having sex before we think they should, it is much easier to prosecute the guy than to discipline our own child or accept that she is a sexual being.

  215. Cedric October 4, 2011 at 1:23 am #

    Very true.

  216. LRH October 4, 2011 at 1:24 am #

    No Cedric I disagree, it is MY computer and I can be just as “un-diligent” as I want to be regarding the discernment of a virus etc, because IT IS MY COMPUTER, I own it, I am free to be as sloppy maintaining it as I want to be. Period. That’s how I look at it–if it’s not how the law looks at it, the law is wrong, and again–there are some people who really are that ignorant about how to handle their PC, and I think they bear ZERO responsibility to do better for the purpose of avoiding jail over an accident.

    LRH

  217. Lila Folster October 4, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    Thank you Donna, I agree with your last comment 100%

  218. Cedric October 4, 2011 at 1:30 am #

    If a person, through ignorance, receives stolen property, they are still charged with receiving stolen property-usually it gets thrown out of court if it can be shown that a reasonable person would not have known it was stolen. That being said, if you are on the internet with no safeguards and no intention of taking any personal responsibility for your own protection then I really don’t know what to tell you other than you invite the potential for problems. Burying your head about it by saying that it ‘shouldn’t ‘ be that way is not a solution, any more than ‘wishing’ SO laws were different without being proactive about it and protecting yourself is a solution.

  219. LRH October 4, 2011 at 1:41 am #

    At the risk of over-commenting & possibly continuing to help this thread slide off-topic, I agree with Lila Folster, that is, Donna’s last statement, it is 100% dead-on.

    I never realized it so much, or thought of it, but what Donna said is so logically correct: we are the most sexualized western nation in terms of parading it, yet the most repressed in terms of legal responses to it. (I THINK that’s how you put it, I hope I’m not misquoting you.) How much sense does THAT make as the foundation of your society? Please, parade your flesh everywhere, it’s your body–but then when a person responds even in a NORMAL way not anywhere near rape or molestation, we shame the person having a normal response.

    We as a nation seem to keep alternating extremes–one generation we tell a woman who was raped she was “asking for it” because she was wearing a miniskirt, that was wrong–but then, we go the other extreme and tell someone who even just GLANCES at an attractive women that he’s a pervert for taking a slight peep. I mean, come on already! Get it straight!

    How many times have I gone to a lake or pool & seen an attractive woman in a bikini and glanced, and I do mean GLANCED–only to have her look at me with indignation or even actually say “what are you staring at?” Gee whiz, you’re parading yourself around in an outfit that basically is your underwear, and you wonder why I’m even taking a glance? Good grief. I’m all for a woman in that situation being able to enjoy herself without having to cover up head-to-toe else or else be subjected to horrible over-the-top ogling or tacky c’mons–but gee whiz, you act like a small momentary glance is akin to “visual rape” or something. Puh-leeze.

    Look at our TV shows. Every episode of Survivor shows the “hot chick”
    and makes SURE there are scenes showing them showering in their bikinis or even nude with the “square boxes” or whatever–and they show it CLOSE-UP. Clearly they are PUSHING the sexuality of the woman as opposed to merely acknowledging it casually. Yet, you’re a “pervert” for looking at it. We criminalize so many normal responses to such things, or attempt to–while it’s paraded in your face. That makes NO sense at all.

    LRH

  220. Lila Folster October 4, 2011 at 1:49 am #

    And that is why this website of Lenore’s is so important. Many parents actually don’t know how to go about parenting and yet keep their children safe. I raised all three of my children “free-range” letting them learn and experience what life was about, all the time watching them from a distance. A few years back, my oldest daughter told me, “Mom, I am so glad that you allowed us to make our own mistakes and learn from them, because I for one would not believe what could happen unless I had tried it for myself”. Have bad things happened to my kids? Yes, but life happens, no matter how sheltered and protected your child is kept. They need to experience life to learn survival skills. I did not, however, realize when my son was young that he would be in danger from experiencing young love or from the very ones who are supposed to “serve and protect” How can we raise happy, healthy kids who know how to survive in this world and then have laws such as this attack them and rip the very heart out of their chest just as they have began to enjoy the freedom?

  221. Cheryl W October 4, 2011 at 2:46 am #

    Coccinelle, I am only half serious about the moving and dating. Not being 7th Day Adventists ourselves, we don’t really subscribe to the whole bit, so getting the kids to go along with it would be hard. I saw how well it worked in High School with families who were subscribers to the religion. As in, it didn’t work.

    The older female with the younger male, well mostly I have heard about that as a young teacher with the male student. And those do get punished now too, because our boys are little saints like our girls are little angels. None of them ever tries to pursue an older person for sex. Of course, 100 years ago, they could have gotten married legally in many states without parental consent as a teen.

  222. Shelley October 4, 2011 at 4:16 am #

    This story could be ours and thousands and thousands of other young boys. At 19, my son was being stalked by a delinquent 15-year-old who had met him three weeks earlier at a community event and decided she liked him…until she realized he would not reciprocate. After only knowing him for three weeks, he received an email from her, which we still have, stating, “Now you’ve f–king pissed me off,” and she went to the police with false allegations of having sex the night she met him. I was with him for some of that evening, and I saw him throughout the night with other friends, not her, all of us participating in this event. As she and her multi-felon mother sat in the police station making the false allegations, her mother, known to the police for weapon, drug, and assault convictions, some felonies, excused herself to “use the restroom,” ran the three blocks to my son’s place of employment and began to assault him. She knocked his glasses off and punched and kicked him, multiple times in the groin. He fell to the ground, against the building, and a co-worker would later tell us “there was blood everywhere.” Even this felon ran back, sat down in the officer’s office, and told him (this is in the discovery we demanded), “I just beat the sh*t out of [our son]. There was blood everywhere. I feel so much better.” My son called and was sobbing so hard I could hardly understand him. We took him to the ER and then to the police station. Nothing ever happened to her, but our son was arrested in my driveway two days later, handcuffed to a bench for five hours before being charged, and spent six subsequent months in jail awaiting trial, all the while having his name and allegations posted online for every idiot prone to vigilantism to see. We worked very hard on his defense, and we were confident he would be cleared. Three weeks before the trial, his attorney called me and said he’d received a plea offer of five years’ probation. I said, “Absolutely not – no felonies, no registration!” Two hours later, he called back and told me our son had signed. Our son later called, his voice shaking, and said, “Mom, did I do the right thing?” He had told my son this was a “miracle deal.” It occurs to me now that this is why the attorney would not follow up on leads and hire the expert witness we wanted him to hire from The Justice Project. He took his $12,000 check up-front with no intention of going to trial with this. Upon release, our son tried to go to college and had three weeks of great success before being called into the Registrar’s office and told he’d have to drop his classes because there was a minor high school student on a fast-track program in the classes. He lost all hope and ran. Somehow he made it across the U.S. to the snow of the east coast in January. He slept under the porch of a frat house in nothing but tennis shoes, jeans, t-shirt and a P coat. He would go into the library during the day to stay warm. Eventually, someone realized how he was living and a church-going man asked him to come to church for prayer, took him to Burger King, and bought him a parka, and gave him a place to stay for a few days. Eventually he obtained a great job at an electronics firm and found his own apartment! Naively, he filed his income taxes using his own name and SSN and the US Marshals showed up at his place of employment. Two Con-Air flights (yes, it does exist), two more jails and five federal prisons later, he arrived back and was revoked and is serving time in prison. When he is released, he will go back to the place he ran from, the place where he could not get a job, could not go to school, and was constantly threatened by the PO that he’d better find something after applying and being denied by 35 different employers because of his status.

    There are no holes in this story, and I doubt there are any in the initial one above. Any of you who think it can’t happen this way or it doesn’t happen this way are simply just fortunate that it has not yet affected your family. There are thousands on the registry and an estimated five-six million family members and friends who suffer as well because of it. Let’s wake up, quite spending billions on a registry that does no good and put that money back into our schools or something that will actually make a difference.

  223. Lila Folster October 4, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    Thank you Shelley, you are so very right!

  224. KyohakuKeisanki October 4, 2011 at 7:06 am #

    Here in OK the age of consent is 16… I did not realize it was 18 in any states before reading all this. On an unrelated note, seriously stories like those in this article could all be eliminated if there would be one simple constitutional amendment (could end up being two or three):

    No State or other lower Governmental Body within the United States of America may deprive the right to vote from any individual due to age unless said State also prevents individuals of that age from being subject to Detention by Criminal Law.
    Within all courts operating in the United States, the testimony of all individuals who are able to pass the 2015 Third Grade Reading Exam, regardless of age, shall be considered valid. This shall not be construed as to prohibit any individual age 18 or above from giving valid testimony.
    The Victim of any Federal, state, or local criminal act, regardless of age, gender, race, or criminal record, may permanently adjourn any and all Court Cases for that crime at any time by making a statement under oath. If such Oath shall be made, then all Charges shall be expunged from all Records and no further Civil or Criminal Charges may be pursued. Such Oath shall be considered legally equal to Administrative Pardon. It shall be considered a Federal Felony for any retaliation of any kind to be made by any individual against the victim for making the Oath.

    This time I got the italics right lol

  225. RWsMom October 4, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    Shelly,
    I am sitting here in tears reading your story. GOD how I pray that all of this stops! I miss my son so much, as I know you do as well! My son was never ever away from me! Now, he has been taken in handcuffs to a place I can not protect him. He will live a life where people will persecute him. I can not stand knowing that these young men are being kidnapped by laws that are stealing their lives! It HAS to stop! GOD help us all and those who have not yet suffered our pains.

  226. VoiceofReason October 4, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    Is there a registry for other convicted felons? What about murderers? Is a convicted murderer required to register and limited in their freedom as a sex offender is? If not, why do murderers enjoy more freedom than sex offenders?

    I have a dear friend who is on the sex offender registry. He was placed on it in his early 40’s. A bitter ex pressed charges over having been exposed to an STD. The sex was consensual, and there was never any allegation to suggest otherwise. The web site that provides the data for our area has a picture of my dear friend and the charges simply say “sexual assault”. So unjust.

    What’s worse is that I’m constantly forgetting all the restrictions placed on him by this BS. He is constantly having to remind me that he can’t go to the park, the library, etc.

    The whole thing is an embarrassment to this country.

  227. RWsMom October 4, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    Voice of Reason:
    There are bills being proposed in VA and CA, that I know of right off hand, that are suggesting registries for crimes such as: Murder, Arson, Domestic Violence, Drunk Driving and even Animal Abuse.
    I know that in my state, they had started putting murder on the registry, However, in January, they petitioned to be removed due to ex post facto laws. But anyone after the law passed, is now on the Sex and Violent Offenders Registry.
    To answer your question, I believe that in the future there will be more registries for other crimes. IF we don’t speak out now, I believe that each and every one of us will somehow be affected by these registries. If not personally, through friends or family members.
    Yes, some laws are embarrassments and the fact we have children as young as 8 years old on the sexual registry has just gone too far!
    I work with many young men and their families. I have one member who was 14 and his “victim” was 14. It was consensual, yet HE went to prison for 7 years. He is now 23 years old. Can not live with his family or visit them because of younger siblings.
    These laws HAVE to be stopped, by everyone! Fear driven laws named after “victims” never work!

  228. Claire53 October 4, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    229 responses. I’d like to know Lenore’s top response rate and what that topic was about!

  229. Seamus October 5, 2011 at 12:22 am #

    This story omits a couple of very important facts. First, what crime was the kid convicted of? Since he was sentenced to three years of probation, I assume it was a felony, but which felony? Second, if indeed “[t]hey never got beyond kissing or hand holding,” how did he get convicted at all, since to the best of my knowledge neither of those acts would support a conviction for any felony? Did the girl lie on the stand? (The diary itself would only be admissible if someone–presumably the girl herself–could give testimony that would authenticate it. And if she testified as to the authenticity of the diary, she could be cross-examined as to its meaning and veracity.)

  230. Shelley October 5, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    Seamus:

    I can’t speak to the facts of the initial post, but our son’s attorney told us that even if he had “brushed against this girl’s breast,” whether purposely or inadvertently, and she alleged that he’d touched her, he could receive a felony conviction and seven years in prison. None of it had to be proven; she merely had to allege it. We offered his bedding, which surely had his DNA present, and if she was telling the truth, would have had hers as well, but the DA wouldn’t take it. They searched his apartment and found nothing (left his bedding), and we asked if they’d like to search his car, and they declined. They knew they didn’t need anything but this girl’s unsubstantiated statement to get a conviction, even though his attorney eventually talked him into a plea. His is the lowest felony one can be charged with, but that doesn’t make us feel any better since he’s innocent of this crime.

  231. Lila Folster October 5, 2011 at 12:50 am #

    My son was charged with CSC 3, statutory rape of a minor, based on her diary entry, regardless of the fact that she denied it was true. His court appointed attorney got him to accept a plea bargain by telling him that, “Quite frankly if it goes to trial, a jury will accept the diary entry as evidence and he could very well spend 20 years in prison.”

  232. Claire53 October 5, 2011 at 12:50 am #

    Seamus, the problem is you are employing logic and reason to a field of law that has abdicated these, and in a climate of moral panic where reason has been supressed.

  233. Lori Merriam October 5, 2011 at 3:08 am #

    Unforntunately, when someone claims to have been “violated” if they actually were or not is all they need to prosecute the “alleged” victim needs to say. Very few go to trial in fear of loosing so they plea out even if they are innocent.

    The ones that have gone to trial have lost. I haven’t heard of anyone winning a case like this. Our country is “tough” on sex crimes!!

    99% of people take the plea to stay out of prision. It’s just how it works. The 1% that do try it have ended up in prision if they do not take the plea. I know that’s why my husband pled, even though he was innocent, and the “alleged” victim has recanted. Years in prison or plea to stay in society. Not a tough choice.

    I’ve heard of other stories of people who claimed innocence that are in prision right now serving a minimum of 10-20 years, depending on the state law, and the “alleged” victim has come forward after the fact stating they lied about everything, but the person is still in prison and they are still proclaiming their innocence.

    Law & Order, Criminal Minds, Cold Case, etc. do not show what really happens and they take stories and spin them. It’s good entertainment but not true. They even lead people to believe the negative rhetoric that is spewed from wrongful thinking about the people who are on the registry. Even their terminology has been wrong. Though I enjoy these shows I have caught them spewing incorrect information about people on the registry which doesn’t help.

    If you want to see how our justice system works and have your eyes opened I suggest you go to your local court house and find out what day these “felons” are being prosecuted and watch what happens. It’s nothing more than a gentleman’s club/social day for the attorney’s(both women and men). Giving their clients warm fuzzies as they plea their lives away, rake in the money, justice isn’t served. You may not get to hear what the attorneys are saying to their clients but these stories you are being told are true in how attorneys, prosecutors, judges, etc handle “criminals”. And it doesn’t matter if you have a court appointed attorney or have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on your defense. You end up in the same boat. GUILTY until proven innocent and a plea bargin to keep you out of jail, even if you NEVER did anything to the other party!

    You are hearing it right from the horse’s mouth and others confirm it. I don’t know why it’s so hard for people to understand! I guess you won’t till it hits your family and the way things are going in our society, it eventually will hit every family in America.

    Most of society is going to end up on the registry and then what are we going to do? Most of us wouldn’t be here right now if teens didn’t have sex. I am one of those who’s mother is only 15 years older than me. I am 40 and she’s 55. My grandparents had children early in life one of them was only 12 when she had her first child and she was married to a man in his mid 30’s. I don’t condone sex outside of marriage but we are human and it happens.

    And what about these aggressive females? I can tell you right now that these girls are vindictive, vengeful, and will do whatever it takes to get the man they want, no matter the cost. All they have to do is cry wolf and they are free and clear!! I want something done about these “alleged” female victims who are so agressive, will NOT take NO for an answer females, that basically rape the men and then cry wolf. Nothing is done though. But if we were talking about a man he would be considered a rapist and thrown in jail with the key thrown away. Something needs to be done about these aggressive females. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!

    The sad thing is most of these females, once they are of age, are still the same, even years later. The young female that went after my husband when she was 13 and he was 23 is still the same today and she just turned 34. She thinks anyone who smiles or acknowledges her, says hello or good moring wants her sexually. And though she confirms my husbands innocence and that she lied about the whole thing, we have to keep our distance because she hasn’t changed. She’s still VERY aggressive sexually to this day. It’s VERY scary to deal with people like that.

  234. Jen Germain October 5, 2011 at 3:52 am #

    A few months ago, I got a call from my son’s preschool. He was 4 years old and decided to play “doctor” with a little girl in the class. The little girl had her shirt pulled up and he was checking her heart beat. She had also checked his heartbeat the same way. The teachers stopped them, of course, and separated them and spoke with each. The teachers explained that this was not something to do with friends at school and they were to never remove any clothing. Makes sense to me. BUT since the parents had to be notified, I was immediately scared for my son. The little girl’s mom did freak out. So much so, the school had to calm her down and explain that this was normal behavior for 4 year olds. So far, nothing else has happened, but to this day, I am very afraid of that mother deciding to press charges.

  235. J.T. Wenting October 5, 2011 at 3:53 am #

    “A 17 year old was convicted of statutory rape when both he and his victim stated that nothing sexual occurred and a medical examination could have established that?”

    doesn’t surprise me at all. In many places, accusation equals guilt in rape cases, especially if the supposed victim is a juvenile.
    And of course any spychiatrist for the prosecution who wants to keep his lucrative contract will state that the “victim” is too distraught to give a correct version of events, and actually believes being in love with the piece of filth that raped her, proving it actually happened.

    Such is our “justice” system (on both sides of the Atlantic) in rape cases, and even more so in pedophilia cases (which this is).

    It’s not justice, it’s gross injustice played out in the name of justice and “it’s all to protect the children”, and it leads to vigilantism as well as the real victims, the so accused men, are for the rest of their lives branded as psychotic filthy sociopaths who just want to rape little children, when in reality quite often nothing could be further from the truth.
    These men (invariably) are shunned whereever they go, are forced by their neighbours (and even the city councils where they live) to move every few months because of constant harassment, threats, and vandalism of their property, having their name smeared all over the local newspapers (by mayors and police chiefs “doing their civic duty to warn the community about the pedophile who’s come to live here”).
    In the end, more than a few either commit suicide or undergo massive cosmetic surgery, change their name, and disappear abroad to try and start a new life hopefully without the vigilantes coming after them there.

    I don’t of course know this specific case, but I can fully understand how such false accusations can lead to conviction, and how a person can end up being late to his parole officer (something that’s bad, but usually probably not acted on if it’s a small amount, say 10 minutes, and with good reason (like being stuck in traffic, or indeed being stopped and harassed by those vigilantes on your way).

  236. Anne Huddleston October 5, 2011 at 4:08 am #

    Maybe if enough wives and mothers tell the stories that are similar to these, other American citizens will wake from their torpor and their prejudgment to demand changes in how we deal with DIFFERENT types of sexual crimes.

    Moreover, it is time to stop treating sex offenders like they hatched from some primordial ooze. They come from the society we have created. Some are guilty of very little or nothing, like the stories you read here. Some looked at some online teenage nude photos (something thrown in the face of every American man, every day, from billboards to TV to the internet); some viewed images of real sexual abuse of a actual child; some were hands on molestations of children they knew; some raped an adult woman they knew; and some, some very very few, molested or raped a total stranger – adult or a child. But they come from us. This culture and the way we handle sex and relationships between men and women and what we teach our boys and girls. Because they grow up to be the aggressive young women and the men who do wrong. But WE have created them, and allowed this to happen. They are related to perfectly normal people. They themselves are often perfectly normal in every other way. They’ve provided for their families, cared for their sick parents, been to every football game of their child, and opened the door for a stranger. In many cases their problem stems from an inability to manage their sexuality, like others who can’t manage their drugs or alcohol.
    Maybe when we stop parading little girls around in pageants wearing make-up and sexy miniature versions of adult clothes, when we stop buying videos of barely dressed teen pop stars, when we teach our children how to respect the opposite sex, when we have programs for people with destructive sexual urges where they can go for help without being arrested, and when we stop prosecuting people and funding punitive preventative measures for people on account of thoughts, not actions, when we stop treating sex crimes like they are worse than every other kind of exploitation and abuse we humans are capable of, and when we put the torches down long enough to think clearly instead of stereotypically about human sexuality from age 0 to adult, MAYBE then we will live up to the rhetoric of democracy we pride ourselves on.

  237. Lindsay Cresta October 5, 2011 at 5:00 am #

    Simply my heart is broken. I can empathize I am haunted every day by our legal system! I am so sorry that this has happened a young life taken away! I am so deeply saddened. I wish him all the peace in the world.

  238. Donna October 5, 2011 at 6:41 am #

    “Very few go to trial in fear of loosing so they plea out even if they are innocent.”

    And this is why: In court, on Monday we had two defendants charged with very similar crimes sentenced. Both men claim to be innocent and that the victim is lying. One man pled and one went to trial.

    Man # 1 was accused of fondling his own daughter, under the age of consent and against her wishes, repeatedly over a lengthy period of time. Man #1 pled guilty at a pretrial conference to lesser charges and received a sentence of 5 years in prison (with another 15 on probation). He will probably be out of prison in 4 or so years.

    Man #2 was accused of fondling his cousin who was at the age of consent at the time (16 in my state) against her wishes. Man #2 was offered the same plea as Man #1 before trial but elected to go to trial. He lost. He is now serving 35 years in prison and the rest of his life on probation. No parole. He will not see the outside of the prison until he is 60 years old.

    Which man would you want to be? This is why these cases rarely go to trial.

    “It’s nothing more than a gentleman’s club/social day for the attorney’s(both women and men).”

    Believe it or not defense attorneys and prosecutors and judges tend to get along. We deal with each other day in and day out and actually end up doing more for our clients because we have formed pleasant, friendly relationships with prosecutors instead of coming at them constantly as adversaries. I probably see the DA in my courtroom more than I see my daughter. Yes, it may seem strange to see us chatting and laughing together but we do what we need to do for our clients regardless of our congenial attitude outside of legal arguments. Most of us are actually able to separate the job from who we are and those who can’t don’t make it very long in this job.

  239. lunatic October 5, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    Oh god, your post made me so angry I just can’t keep reading your blog. I seriously feel like breaking something right now, and I don’t want that to happen. I haven’t done it in a long while. Three years of age difference. And it’s known they didn’t even actually have sex. And he’s registered as a sex offender for life? I really hope I missed something, but I just can’t keep reading.

  240. Michelle October 5, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    Have you seen this?

    Sex offenders win appeal against indefinite inclusion on register

    Supreme court backs case of two sex offenders who claim being on register for life without review breaches their human rights

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/apr/21/sex-offenders-register-life-appeal

  241. Lila Folster October 5, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    Thank you Michelle, if they would only decide to do something like that here in the United States it would make a lot of sense. Fortunately most other countries don’t hold the same attitudes toward sex as the United States, and because of that, their laws are much more prone to punish those who have actually committed a crime, rather than destroy the lives of their young.

  242. Dolly October 5, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    Charges against a 4 year old? I really hope something like that would never fly. Oh no, just tonight I had to have a talk with one of my sons because he was trying to play a game in the bathtub where he held a cup of water up and tried to make it where his brother’s penis dipped into the cup of water. My other son didn’t like it and was fussing. I had to tell my son that we don’t touch other people’s privates. He can play with his own, but not anyone else’s. He got upset just because he is in that phase where he thinks he can do whatever he wants and get away with it, but I let him know it was serious business.

    According to some people he just molested his twin brother and I better press charges and put my other son in therapy. :big eyeroll and sarcastic tone there:

  243. Renee October 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    These stories are absolutely heartbreaking. The lack of reasoning by the judicial system in these cases is astounding to me. I always knew there were a “few” undeserving people on the sex registries – men who were unfairly prosecuted and convicted. However, I believed that they were an unlucky and small minority compared to a majority of the listed offenders who were in fact guilty. These stories have opened my eyes to the true nature of sex offender registry and i have to say, I am disgusted. My heart goes out to all of you who have been touched by these miscarriages of justice.

  244. Melvin H. October 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    What seems to also be missing here is why did not the girl get hauled in on charges herself–either statutory rape, rape, assault w/a deadly weapon, etc. or contributing to the delinquency of a minor?
    ————————————————–
    Two other thoughts: (1) Someone mentioned the (underage?) girls who were/are underage, that show up on such as “Maury”, “Jerry Springer”, or some of the (now-gone) other talk shows through the 90’s and 2000’s. How come the cops have not gone after the kids, the parents, &/or their boyfriends/girlfriends?

    (2) The denial of a victim lying about age as a defense, must end. Whether it is meeting someone in an over-21 club (fake ID’s) or outright lying about their age, this SHOULD be a legitimate defense against such charges.

    (3) If we are going to have a sex-offender list, it should have limitations as to what charges actually get on the list; maybe also there should be a limit on how much time one ends up on the list…say, whatever the actual time in jail or probation is, is all the time one can be on the list. (I realize there are likely exceptions to this, but without a post as long as the Obamacare bill it would take too long.)

  245. Nina P October 5, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    This is crazy. Period. I don’t even want to read the rest of the comments anymore, there are so many. But my own opinion is that that mother is insane to call the police immediately…

  246. Coccinelle October 5, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    @ Michelle

    That’s a good news, but according to Wikipedia, the register in UK is not public and I doubt that it carries the same restrictions as in the US.

  247. Claire53 October 6, 2011 at 1:35 am #

    Not only is the register not public in the UK, but they have a very fair and sound tier system for sex offenses, particularly non contact offenses, such as child porn. In the UK, it depends on the nature of the material possessed. Tier 1 would be underage nudity without sexual acts or adults, if memory serves. The punishment is a warning, and I believe, therapy. Now, if you are stupid enough to pursue it and can get a second time with cp, they do send you to jail. This seems fair, considering the ease with which a link can be accessed, or a mistake can be made, or the curiosity a person might have when they are in an oxytocin-induced state of sexual euphoria (a state in which few people make good decisions – can anyone say “teen pregnancy”?) CP is bad for society, men, women, children, everyone. But you aren’t going to solve the problem locking folks up one at a time. This is like imprisoning people caught with alcohol during Prohibition. I imagine law enforcement thought they were making “examples” of the arrested. I don’t recall that really helping. Ridiculous.

  248. Rhea Hepburn October 6, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    This made me cry. I am so so sorry these people have to live their lives this way. How horrible…

  249. RWsMom October 6, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Melvin:
    I agree that only certain offenses should be considered to be on the registry, however, my son was convicted of a “forced” offense. Which, listed him as A Sexually Violent Predator. Because the prosecutor chose to charge him with that offense, the jury asked multiple times for the judge to define the charge in which he read verbatim the law, the jury did not understand what Criminal Deviate Conduct really meant. Deviate Conduct sounds like there was some sort of deviance, but nothing “forced”. The found him guilty. The jury is never told, by the way, what the sentence of a conviction will be either. They had no idea that he would be sentenced to 10 years in prison and a life time on the registry as a sexually violent predator. In my heart, I believe that if they had known the sentence, they would have never found him guilty.
    My point is, it doesn’t matter what the offense is, unless some one is a repeat child rapist, they should not be on a list for the public to view.
    There is just too many vague laws and not enough specifics to convict people of certain offenses. The laws need to be clarified and the registry abolished.
    I beg and plea with all of you to protect your children and to write/call your lawmakers to stop this insanity!
    Please save our children! Don’t let these laws steal them from you, like they have my son!

  250. Claire53 October 6, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    Melvin – why would the girl be brought up on any of the charges you listed? Or any charge at all? After all, she’s the “victim,” right? She was only 14! Unable to legally give consent. Underage girls have immunity, for whatever reason. – I think it might have something to do with the adults wanting to believe in the innocence of the young, at any cost.

  251. SgtMom October 6, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    Surely you realize Free Range Kids, and Free Range Kids alone is the only blog that discusses this topic rationally.

    Sometimes someone somewhere will pipe up with the truth – only to be accused of being a pedophile protector or themselves supect.

  252. Lori Merriam October 6, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    I am thankful for this blog and the replies. We need to educate people starting with the basics, sexual and legal used. People have no clue what a pedophile really is but they use the term all the time.

    It’s refreshing to have support and that we can all be adults when discussing such and emotional subject that affects too many families in America.

  253. Son's mom October 6, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    Do any of you know what it is like to be a sex offender? I am the mother of one, and I must tell all of you, if I thought for one second he WAS a sex offender-he would still be in jail. He was a person who made a stupid mistake-he didn’t have sex-the girl was underage, she lied about her age. And my son will be on this registry for the rest of his life. That’s right folks-the rest of his life. You will be able to look him up and see his face. He is divorced and has two children-he can see them, but he can’t pick them up from school, nor see their first play, nor take them to a park, nor take them to a pool? So what’s the point of having unsupervised visits, it doesn’t matter because he can’t go anywhere with them. These laws were put into effect with good intentions, but we have missed the mark-we are putting everyone convicted of a sex offense on these registrys. The only way to change the laws is to write the representatives of your state. And Washington to let them know what these laws are doing to some of our people. It takes away their civil rights and civil liberties, yet not even the ACLU has put a suit together. These are feel good laws, they are supposed to make us all feel better and safe-wrong, they only make it more difficult to find the really bad guys amongst the stupid or misguided ones. If you feel that these laws are unjustified, then write or phone your representatives of your state.

  254. RWsMom October 6, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    Has anyone ever wondered why a 13 or 14 year old girl can be charged with murder, yet they can’t give consent to sex?
    Does that make any sense at all?
    Or why an 18 year old boy can not buy alcohol, yet can be thrown away in prison for having sex with an under age girl friend?
    Does that make any sense???????

  255. CEDrics October 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    Politicians dont have to live in reality, they get to live on’what if’ and cater to their loudest constituent.

  256. Claire53 October 6, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    We might also note how frequently people discuss the biological immaturity of young people under 25 years of age, how the brain is still developing, how the cerebral cortex and area for decision making is still developing until the age of 25. We might notice how different today’s young 20’s something is less mature and adult than those of a couple generations ago. We might notice the contradicting ways our kids both grow up too fast, yet are simultaneously infantalized and are not expected to assume responsibility at an early age. But when it comes to sex, no matter the male’s age, he’s guilty of being a predator & prosecuted with no regard to how culture encourages general immaturity of youth. BUT, as “the victimized”, girls, on the other hand, are indulged in remaining young, unable to give consent, irresponsible for their actions, and supposedly innocent. Maybe, if we buy this under development of the cerebral cortex stuff, the laws should be completely overhauled for both sexes between 12 and 25

  257. J.T. Wenting October 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    “Have you seen this?

    Sex offenders win appeal against indefinite inclusion on register

    Supreme court backs case of two sex offenders who claim being on register for life without review breaches their human rights”

    except it doesn’t matter. In this society, the moment your name appears on those lists, it’s on dozens of vigilante websites as well, and that’s where the real damage is done.
    And those guys never wipe their lists, not even if you’re later cleared in appeal (under the reasoning that “he must have done something or he’d not have been accused, he just got off on a technicality or he paid the judge”).

    “This seems fair, considering the ease with which a link can be accessed, or a mistake can be made, or the curiosity a person might have”

    Or you get sent to a naughty site by Google without even realising it, or you knowingly go watch something naughty where the publisher/owner of the site claimed to be legal but wasn’t, yes.
    My dad once typed “bird watching” into Google, thinking he’d get ornithology (birding…) sites, and ended up with page after page of links to naked girls, most advertising to be “barely legal”. If he’d gone to such a site, it happened to be not “barely legal” where we live, and there’d been a monitor on the site (police do such things at times, sting operations trying to get people to identify visitors to child porn sites that way) he’d have been on the sex offenders’ registry and probably spend time in jail for simply putting the wrong word in a Google search.

    “. I imagine law enforcement thought they were making “examples” of the arrested. I don’t recall that really helping. Ridiculous.”

    I’m all for removing rapist (and especially child rapists) from society, either to give them psychiatric treatment or permanently.
    But the system has grown to the point where it’s become almost impossible to do anything without being caught up in it, especially if you’re a single man.
    Walk past a school and wave at a kid who waves at you, and someone might report you as a suspected pedophile (and suspicion == guilt at the moment in those cases).

    “My point is, it doesn’t matter what the offense is, unless some one is a repeat child rapist, they should not be on a list for the public to view”

    and even then. If a person is a repeated criminal who doesn’t show that he’s going to stop (whatever the crime is, even were it someone caught shoplifting once a week for half a year) they should be sentenced to life, or death depending on how society chooses to deal with it.
    NOONE should be told “you’re getting a 6 month suspended sentence but you’re also losing your civil rights permanently” which is what this comes down to, the person gets a limited sentence but loses his right to privacy, right to travel unrestricted, right to hold many kinds of jobs, and in the US right to own weapons (as any criminal conviction automatically means you lose your 2nd ammendment rights) permanently, no time limit.
    Effectively then, any conviction becomes a life sentence (in the US even a conviction for drunk driving becomes a life sentence because of loss of 2nd ammendment rights).

  258. BrianJ October 8, 2011 at 1:37 am #

    @Lila – the others have said pretty much all that I think needs to be said about the specifics, and doubts, of your case.

    You’re in a very tricky spot right now, and you have a big decision to make. You can either go forward and make yourself and your son a poster child for the cause of reforming (or eliminating) the lists. Or you can try hard to live your life (and your son’s) in anonymity.

    If you pursue the public route, then your son’s story will be dissected and examined and every bad thing that he has ever done will be held up for public consumption. He will have no privacy. He will be considered a hero, a villian, a monster and a human being, perhaps by the same people at the same time. He will have to answer the same questions over and over again, and any inconsistency will be held up as evidence of his dishonesty. But… he may be the case which actually gets things changed. And he may, through this publicity, meet an employer who believes in him and gives him a chance.

    If you pursue the private route, then nothing will change. And you should stop using his story, with all of its horrible specifics, for public consumption. It will do no good because the people who need to be convinced will poke holes and disbelieve.

    Your choice. I wish you well. For the sake of our society, I hope you choose the public route because change needs to happen. However, I would not question or demean your decision to go private. There are no good answers.

  259. SgtMom October 8, 2011 at 5:11 am #

    “”I hope you choose the public route because change needs to happen. However, I would not question or demean your decision to go private. There are no good answers.””

    I have watched the PBS series recently about civil rights protests in the ’60’s.

    It’s pretty much what I have come to expect will be happening to the “listed” when they finally rise up against this.

    It’s happened before – to “negroes”, and more recently gays.

    Admitting your son is on a sex offender registry is like admitting your son was gay, back in the day. You were putting yourself, your son and your family in grave danger by doing so.

    You were putting yourself, your son and your family in grave danger by not doing so.

    Both blacks and gays suffered for hundreds of years before finally getting the strength and courage to sacrifice themselves for the good of future generations.

    I think people living in these times don’t really believe what is happening to them – this is AMERICA!

    Well…it’s America, all right. The same America that “listed” natives, forced them to accept “American” names and death marched them to Oklahoma.

    It’s the same America that took Japanese American’s farms away to give to the “Okies” to make up for the injustice done to them.

    It’s the same America that conducted Communist trials and “sterilized” retarded people.

    It’s the same America that is forcing young children onto public registries for life…to “save the children”.

  260. Lila Folster October 9, 2011 at 3:48 am #

    @Brian, we can only continue as we have. We must do what is right. Basically it is a damned if you don’t and also if you do, situation. My family suffers either way, and if we remain silent we will suffer in silence like so many have for so long. The laws may discourage an organized civil rights movement, but where would everyone be throughout history, if someone had not pushed ahead with the fight? My family is made up of survivors, not just because of the registry, although it is the main reason for us living at poverty level. We are not asking anyone to feel sorry for us, we are simply pointing out the facts of life on the registry, and how the laws are NOT processed the same as other crimes and that is something that NEEDS to be told for the good of all. Somehow it makes me think of the old cartoon where the little hillbilly guy walks around with the dark cloud above his head, singing “if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.” Life has never been purported to be fair and I can’t question why ours is the way it is, we can only work with the hand we have been dealt, to the best of our abilities.

  261. KyohakuKeisanki October 9, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    Testing the subscription mechanism… disregard this post.

  262. TheOtherSideOfTheFence October 11, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    My niece was a false accuser.

    She was 11 when it happened. She was spending the weekend at her grandmother’s house, and after being sent to bed at her usual bedtime, she waited until we were asleep, then got dressed, climbed out a window, and walked a couple blocks to meet up with an 11-year old boy she’d had a crush on. They kissed, and at her request he gave her a hickey (her exact words were ‘I really like hickies’). Then they split back up and she walked home, climbed in the window, changed back into her pyjamas, and got back in to bed, all before dawn when the rest of us were still asleep.

    That afternoon she went out to lunch with her other grandmother, who caught a glimpse of the marks on her neck, and asked her where they came from (she said later that her first suspicion was that we were beating/whipping her and that those were bruises). At this point, my neice panicked; and not wanting to get in trouble for sneaking out she spun a story about being held down by a group of boys and kissed/hickied, even though she told them not to (her phrasing). Her grandmother immediately turned around and called the police. (Note: I don’t blame her one bit. I’d call the cops too if an eleven year old told me a story like that.)

    The responding officer, thank God, was an experienced cop who saw through her story after interviewing her. The details of her story kept changing, and she seemed unperturbed by what had supposedly happened. Finally, she admitted that she made the whole thing up and the truth came out. She’d lied, not just because she didn’t want to get in trouble this time, but because she didn’t want her parents to find out she’d been sneaking out of her bedroom window at night to meet up with ‘cute boys’ for the past two years. That’s correct, since she was nine years old. Sometimes solo, sometimes with other boy-crazy girls from her elementary school. All roaming around town in the middle of the night looking for cute boys to flirt/make out with.

    My niece is unusual. Most girls aren’t that driven to seek out the opposite sex until they’re at least teenagers, and her immaturity has led her to a lot of bad decisions. We (and by that I mean everyone involved) were lucky; we were lucky that her parents weren’t the kind of people to press charges against the boy because they can’t face what their daughter’s doing, we were lucky that she’s a poor liar, but most of all we were lucky to happen to get a police officer who didn’t jump conclusions and actually investigated the situation. No charges were ever filed as a result of that. I wish everyone were that lucky.

  263. foster mom October 12, 2011 at 2:27 am #

    Had to say what is going on but from my experience it all depends on how the accusers parents (not the accuser–aka the 14 year old girl) want to proceed. My little brother at age 14 ‘dated’ a 26 year old woman. My parents and all small town knew this and nothing happened, maybe it wasn’t sexual though. At 23 he was in army reserves and openly dating a 15 year old girl, sleeping with her at her home with her parents knowledge. They dated for several more years and at age 18 the discovery that she was infertal led to breakdown in their marriage plans. No charges or complaints. The parents did not prosecute or even complain. In all these cases the person who could have been convicted and the person who could be the victim was ‘white’. I foster cared for an african american boy age 11 a few years ago who was charged with but did not have to register for sexual misconduct with another 11 yr old white girl. I fostered a 17 yr old african american boy who was a registered sex offender after dating and sexual contact (but not loss of “virginity”) with a 14 year old white girl. I fostered an african american 9 yr old boy who was molested over the course of 3 years by a white 16-19 year old and the DA on the day of the trial said it would be best to drop charges because the 9 year old was not a reliable witness and did not tell of the abuse until after being moved to new foster home. I once told a neighbor to not allow her 8 year old (african american) boy to be followed around by or play with a white neighbor girl age 4 who was going around for weeks pretending he was her girlfriend. It seemed “cute” child’s play until the mom of the girl came to me flustered because her 4 yr old described a scene with the boy leading to them filing a police report and taking her for a forensic exam thinking she had been raped. They came to me because they were appalled by what their girl described at such a young age only to afterwards find out it was all a lie and this little 4 yr old ‘baby’ was just describing something she saw on t.v. They were worried it would get back to neighbor. Nobody ever questioned the boy or his mom though but I felt the mom of the boy should know because the girl was right back telling everyone they were getting married and who knew if she’d tell a teacher or something. I’m white, my brother was white, I hate to make it a case of racism but it could be. Only the 2 black boys ever came to trial and there was physical evidence in the 9 year olds case of abuse (but the DA felt without DNA evidence specifically and the fact that the 9 year old had Down’s Syndrome, it was best to ‘move on’). I think it comes down to how much the other victims parents were ‘insulted’.

  264. Jillian October 17, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    I personally am happy there is a sex offender registry. There are too many dreadful people out there for us not to know exactly who they are. If teens know what they are doing can land them on the registry and they still do it, I can’t really feel too sorry for them. If it’s illegal to date someone under age – don’t do it! Harsh, but that’s the way I feel about it. Consequences exist and it’s not that hard to get through life without landing in jail or becoming a registered sex offender.

    Back to the veracity of this story – I’d like to read the court documents. Count me amongst the skeptics.

  265. Claire53 October 17, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    Well Jillian all I can say is I’m glad you’re not in charge. If you want to live in the 21st century equivalent of Salem, and you think a registry that creates an untouchable class is the American way, be my guest. But I don’t.

  266. Shelley October 17, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Jillian:

    I would venture a guess that you do not have teenage children. If you have male children, you should be very afraid that something could happen to them at any time which would put them on the registry. In fact, this happens to females as well.

    Perhaps if the registry contained the names of only those who warrant monitoring, your statement would make sense. In the state where I live, for instance, you would find the names of such people as the two 10-year-old boys who mooned a schoolbus to be funny, or the homeless man who was caught urinating behind a bush in the dark of night. Or you might find the female teacher whose student had a crush on her then made up stories to impress his friends, stories which have destroyed her life. The registry is so overblown with those who pose no more of a threat than you or I do that you will never again be able to discern which are the most egregious. We’ve taken care of that by continuing to vote for idiotic laws purporting to get “tough” on sex offenders. If it wasn’t so sad, it would be laughable. And the obscene amount of money that is thrown at this useless registry could be much better used for education or law enforcement yet the registry is causing cuts in both arenas. Do you see that this is contradictory – keeping a registry to watch the “scary” people yet letting it soak up so much money that there is none left to pay for people to watch over them? Please educate yourself and research the real facts surrounding the registry, including the fact that sex offenders’ recidivism rate is the second lowest, second only to murder, which makes sense since most murderers are incarcerated for much of their lives and not able to reoffend.

  267. Lokira October 17, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    Jillian, look back on your life, did you ever have to take a pee when there was no bathroom nearby? If your answer is ‘no’…the you’re either very lucky or lieing.
    If you answered “yes”, what did you do about it.
    People have been put on the registry for peeing alongside the road, and for many other stupid reasons.
    I can look back on my life and see several instances where by todays laws, I’d be on the registry…and peeing alongside the road, was one of them, and the others where stupid, simple “rights of passage”
    Such as changing my clothes in a car, etc.
    You’ll find, if you research, just how easy it is, to be put on a registry these days.

  268. RWsMom October 17, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    Jillian:
    The problem is this………if it’s a crime, than don’t do it? How many of the laws does the average ADULT American know? We are placing more and more ridiculous laws on our books. And ignorance of the law is no defense. For an adult or a child.
    Yes, you are correct when you say that the recidivism rate is the lowest……4.6% re-offend. But let’s look at that rate…. a re-offense is ANY crime, not just a sexual crime. An offender could have merely ran a red light. In my state, the “sexual” recidivism rate is .7%. To me, we are wasting our tax payer monies that could be used to employ more teachers to educate our children.
    We HAVE to stop voting for these legislatures that want to lock up our society! We have approx. 300 lawmakers……I would say the rest of the 312 million of us would have a good chance of voting them out! Of course, that is if we all do not have a felony that takes away our voting rights!

  269. Lori Merriam October 17, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    I’m with you RWsMom. How many of us go 5 miles an hour over the speed limit? There is no law that says we can, the speed limit is the speed limit! Should everyone that does go over the speed limit have their car taken away for not following the law? And just in case they can not have any mode of transportation except for walking to wehre they need to get, just incase they want to speed again. How about those of us who run a yellow light to get through the intersection so we don’t have to wait again? Should we take their car away because a yellow light was ran? Not only that but because you ran the yellow we also are going to make you wear yellow the rest of your life so everyone knows what you did and the only mode of transportation is walking to where you need to get to. Turning a library book in late should you be ban not only from the library but NEVER to read a book or magazine again? And just for good measure take away your t.v., computer and anything else that pertains to reading? Not only that, just to make sure you don’t break the law again, I’m going to make sure you have a sign posted in your yard, permanently on your door, and a website showing that you turned in your library book late. YOU BROKE the law and what you did to break it. I have the right to know how foolish you are, the poor choices you made, especially in the past. I don’t want you living near me because I don’t want my children learning your bad habits! Rediculous! But that’s what we’ve done with the law for people required to register as a sex offender and being publically displayed. It’s a registry that needs to go back to it’s origins, being held within the police department and only a phone call away. It doesn’t need to be publically displayed. I am one for abolishing the whole thing! The sad thing is Jillian, you like a lot of people, have bought into the rhetoric of John Walsh and the politicians who have no clue what they are talking about but play on your fear and emotion to pass these laws. They do it for public interest and safety but it has nothing to do with either one. It’s a bait and switch and you bought it hook, line and STINKER! It’s all about money.

  270. Lori Merriam October 17, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    It’s up to the parent to teach our children about safety not the goernment/law to scare everybody and tell me what’s best! It’s not my fault so many people are too lazy to take up their parental role. Not only that the federal government has no authority over making such laws for the land. We have to educate ourselves on our constitution and what roles the government actually has and can do. If we knew our constitution 99% of these laws would NEVER be passed.

  271. Cedric October 17, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    I have a friend that is a police officer in Omaha, NE, in the ‘north’ part (not so good part). He says the old saw about “if you aren’t doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about” is the stupidest thing he’s ever heard. A police officers job is to arrest or cite for infractions. Yes they are supposed to show judgement, but really, they can cite and arrest for most anything if they find it in a statute book, and the ‘pet’ statutes for enforcement trickle down from the DA, the Chief of Police, the local politics, what have you. If “Sex offenders” are the du jour, then that is something they will focus on. The average citizen has no idea the number of minor or major infractions that they can be arrested for, in different juridictions. Ignorance of a law is no defense, either.

    There is a great essay by Daniel Solve about this subject (If you aren’t doing anything wrong……”) that was written a few years ago that shows just how dangerous this mode of thinking is.

    Some examples:
    http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/the-data-trust-blog/2009/02/debunking-a-myth-if-you-have-n.html

    Excerpt of essay: http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Privacy-Matters-Even-if/127461/

  272. Lila Folster October 18, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    Another point in the “ignorance of the law” issue, Jillian, is that you have to very CLOSELY follow the age of consent laws in order to know if the girl is underage, in your state, as the age of consent now varies between 16 and 18 in most states, they change frequently, and without notice to the general public. Please be kind enough to tell me how you would tell the difference between a 17 year old and 19 year old girl when most girls look like they are 20+ from the time most of them are in their early teens? Most young men when attracted to a “hot” girl do not have it ingrained in their minds to check for positive, proof of age, identification. Sadly, perhaps they need to be trained to do this rather than just going on physical attraction the way things were done for centuries prior to laws being vaguely presented the way they are now. Young Love and what was previously considered NORMAL teen and childhood exploratory behavior is now criminalized and results in the permanent destruction of hundreds of thousands of young lives.

  273. Cedric October 18, 2011 at 1:29 am #

    A criminal justice specialty in identifying false credentials shouldn’t be necessary, either, but if the girl lies about her age that is no defense of the law.

  274. Cedric October 18, 2011 at 1:30 am #

    defense from the law. *typo*

  275. Lila Folster October 18, 2011 at 1:55 am #

    I agree Cedric, but think that the girls have a tendency to take advantage of that situation. Many young girls try to grow up way too fast and don’t face the same consequences that the boys do for the same actions. Regardless of the situation the girls are almost always considered the victim, even if they initiated the contact. That is just plain wrong, no matter how you look at it.

  276. Cedric October 18, 2011 at 2:03 am #

    Absolutely, What I meant was that, for the guy, saying, or even proving, that a girl lied about her age is irrelevant. Legally he is still culpable despite her id being illegal at some later point.

  277. Lila Folster October 18, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    This is exactly why the laws need to be changed, because as long as they remain the same, both the young men and young women will continue status quo. Unfortunately the teen thought process will always remain the same, “Bad things only happen to other people, it can’t happen to me”!

  278. john October 18, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    this happens way to often I know of an 24 who was on the registry hey he only had to register for ten years finally got off
    his crime 27 counts of stautory rape he being 14 she 13
    it has always amazed me the stupidity of our court system
    this should have never gone through it should have been dropped but hey it looks good right?
    I have read most of the posts and am amazed at how uneducated some of you are in regards to sex offenses
    all men are sex offenders trust me you just have not been arrested yet
    take a pee on the side of the road no problem right?
    well if a child should see you then its called exposure
    hey that’s gonna get you arrested
    so you go to jail and you cant pay for a lawyer
    hey they give you a pd
    then you get a plea deal where you are told hey they got you dead to rights and you should take this deal of 3 years probation or you are going to go to prison for five years (don’t go huh it happens way way way to often) so you sign the deal having not a clue what is going to happen next
    whats next you say?
    a phsycological exam (just hope you dont get an evaluator with an axe to grind (gotta pay for that bmw somehow)
    hey the judge gives you soisp for 3 years and ten years min on the registry
    out you go to see your new probation officer who tells you how it is
    no contact with children not even your own (this includes talking about then with your wife or family at any time unless it is approved by therapy at least 2 years away
    you must move out of your home and if you dont have the cash for a new place or anywhere to go sleep on the streets oh yeah cant go to a homeless shelter your not allowed in (might be kids there) hey gotta protect the public
    and the list goes on can only go to work or home can go get food but only late at night
    must go to court ordered treatment and pay for it to or you are going to go to prison
    no dating
    no sex
    report everything including if you see someone pretty thats a sexual thought you can masterbate but you have to report it
    must admit to your crime
    polygraphs every six months 270 each time and you dont want to fail them unfortunately your gonna and for no reason at all
    hey gotta go to extra groups now at 50 a pop
    and for what you had the bad luck to be peeing against a tree

  279. Lila Folster October 20, 2011 at 1:29 am #

    @Cedric, you might want to google this for your own information, but a number of states are beginning to include a “mistake of age defense” meaning the young man would have defense against a girl misrepresenting her age. At this time, this is available in 10 states.

  280. Cedric October 20, 2011 at 1:40 am #

    ill give that a look, Lila, thank you. I know some people that would be interested by that.

  281. Shelley October 20, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    Tommy, your comment(s) about you and your son not taking a plea [no matter what if I’m reading this correctly] could cause you, and your son, an horrific deal of grief if you are ever, God forbid, confronted with such a situation in your own lives. I know a father who believed as you do, believed in his son’s innocence, so made him reject the probation-only plea deal and made him go to trial because he mistakenly, as you apparently do, believed that the system would bear out the fact that his son is innocent. Not true. Yes, juries do have minds of their own, and that poor kid went to trial and instead of going home and serving five years probation, is serving eight years in prison. Was that worth the risk? Definitely not.

  282. Lori Merriam October 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    I agree with Shelley, unfortunately our system is broken, and believe me if you were to ever be in that situation you need to take the plea unless the tide of thought changes with public opinion. You have to pick the lesser of the two evils because you are guilty until proven innocent in these cases. If there was a better way, we’d tell you, but are speaking from experience. Please, please, please learn from our experiences!

    The police should investigate more, the lawyers should have their client’s best interest in mind and the prosecutor should drop the case but they don’t, even when there’s evidence to the contrary and doubt. With sex crimes it seems to be a slam dunk for all involved and they better their careers but do not realize or don’t care they make more victims and criminals the way they are going about things. There are no stop gaps put in place to hold these people accountable. They just go for the gusto no matter what and they don’t care about you or your family!

  283. Karen October 22, 2011 at 2:33 am #

    Please don’t be so naive as to think our justice system is looking for the truth. When a person is accused of a sexual offense, they are “guilty until proven innocent”, not the other way around. How do you prove something DID NOT happen, when it’s one boy’s word against another boy’s word? No evidence. No eyewitnesses. Nothing. It’s like trying to catch smoke in your hand. Every time you think you have something, you open your hand and there is nothing…..In my nephew’s case, the jury couldn’t agree on which accusation was true, so they just chose on the most vague charge and convinced the hold-out jurors that “something must’ve happened”. Verdict comes down late on a Friday afternoon after five days of trial. Two teachers on the jury and school starting the following week….sounds fishy to me. Our judicial system, including the entire network of therapists, probation officers, victim advocates, social workers, polygraph examiners, judges, district attorneys, and defense lawyers are in on the scam to make money off of juvenile sexual offender treatment program. They have no motivation to say that an offender has “passed” out of treatment. If they “pass” an offender, they lose money. Simple as that. The State of Colorado has produced an entire industry around this scam and a lot of people are making $$$. As they say, just follow the money. It is a black hole from which my nephew will never escape. In order to make “progress in treatment,” he has to pass a polygraph where he admits to the offense, but if he’s innocent, he can’t pass the polygraph. So now, he’s trying to “lie” and say that he did commit the offense and hopes the polygraph says he’s telling “the truth.” This is a nightmare! To all the people who have boys: Don’t let your son babysit anyone, even a good friend’s child….

  284. Claire53 October 22, 2011 at 4:37 am #

    Karen – I am a history PhD student writing an article about the history of sex offender treatment programs, how they developed, when and how the state got into the act, and so forth. I want to include information about current programs in various states nationwide – to compare and contrast them. I was stunned to find out that in OK for instance, the introductory workbook is produced by the Dept of Justice and the BOP, with special thanks to Hernandez and Bourke, of all people. Would you be able to provide me with information about Colorado’s program? Some states do not want to part with their curriculum to outsiders who are not enrolled sex offender clients.

  285. Lori Merriam October 22, 2011 at 6:01 am #

    @ Karen and so true, it’s a never ending nightmare, no matter if you are a juvenile or an adult in the same situation!

    @Claire53 I would LOVE to read your article when it’s completed. I’m sure the research is pain staking especially met with resistance from the government agencies.

  286. Karen October 22, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    Claire53- would be glad to talk with you about the Colorado program. Not sure how we can talk “privately”. Let me know how you would like me to get in touch with you…..Karen

  287. RWsMom October 22, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Claire:
    There is a book, “Knowledge As Power” by Wayne A. Logan. It describes how the registries got their start way back in the 1800’s. It’s a good read for those who are studying the history of registries.
    Good luck with your article!

  288. Claire53 October 24, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    @ Karen – thank you for your interest. I have a separate email for just this kind of correspondence. If it is abused, I can simply close it down. Please write to Claire5353.a@aol.com. I’d be very interested in learning what goes on in various states.

  289. RWsMom October 26, 2011 at 3:18 am #

    Here is a very good article. Juveniles are 36% of all sex offenders who victimize children. Seven out of eight are at least 12 years old, and 93% are boys, says the study by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.
    Here is the link:
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-01-03-kid-sex-offenders_N.htm
    Just beware, I know first hand that too many children are being arrested for “crimes” we used to consider teen age behaviors!

  290. steve88jjj November 30, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    More information on this at http://sexcrimeswitchhunt.wordpress.com

    The register has gone to cloud cuckoo land.

  291. jsun March 17, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    that is a unfortunate story, if music is his passion tho, he can begin by performing online, many modern musical success stories have been initiated through the web. look at die antword for instance (perhaps not your cup of tea, but hey they made it through the web)
    all the best of luck to you
    (ps. a voice is the most wonderful instrument and it’s free)
    j

  292. lois August 1, 2012 at 4:48 am #

    i surely would have killed myself if I were in your sons shoes, what a horrible way to live. The girls mother should be help n your son financially since she ruined his life.the bitch would be dead cause is kill her then myself

  293. Karen Lancaster August 7, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    I feel for you, I am in a similar situation. My son was sentenced to 11 mos in a prison bootcamp facility AND 25 years of registration to follow. We were told/warned that that number COULD actually go up.

    I am curious to know if you have met many others with similar stories and if so, would you be interested in participating in some interviews? I am about as pissed at the system as I can get because of this and I am going to write a book about it.

    My premise is two-fold ONE, the net for catching their prey, we’ll refer to them as Tuna is wide, too wide. They catch too many “not really guilty” types in this net, we’ll call them Dolphins. Rather than have the intelligence to see that they’ve captured a Dolphin, rather than an intended Tuna, they do exactly what I saw someone mention above.. they threaten them with trial and all the horrible things that could happen (30+ years in my son’s case) and they are forced to “take a deal”. This deal ruins their lives for sure because they are now required to register, either for the rest of their lives or for an insane amount of time which makes it impossible for them to find a home or a job.

    The second part of the premise is this.. if you start peopling the nation with “MONSTERS” (how people read the term: “sex offender”) eventually, no “MONSTERS” exist, because everyone is a “monster”.

    What choice are many sex offenders left with but to A) either not register (a felony) which can result in them being thrown back in prison AND.. if the DOC decides, they can be kept FOREVER on a Draconian law called the Jimmy Ryce Act or B) lie about their address in order to report that they have a place to live that isn’t close to one of these places (again, if found out a felony that could end up in the forfeiture of their freedom) C) knowingly and consciously turning to a life of crime in order to support themselves.

    What are we teaching people like your son and mine? Lie by omission, Lie outright, Criminality is the only way to support yourself. That’s exactly what we are teaching them.

    So, as to what I was saying before, I am writing a book about such things. I am going to provide the first couple chapters for free online. They will be available to download. I am not looking to make money on this, this isn’t about the money, it is about the injustice of treating people who are NOT monsters, like they are.

    I’ll check back from time to time to see if you are interested or if you have information no others who might be.

  294. Rochelle August 8, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    At 19, my son was accused by two underage teen girls because the ringleader had hoped to be his girlfriend and when he didn’t respond as she had wished, she sent an email to him the night before she went to the police: “Now you’ve f—ing pissed me off.” She convinced her “bestie” who “would give anything to be like you,” to go along and it was great fun for them. The rest, as they say, is history. Six months in jail waiting for trial with his online photo posted next to 25 of the most egregious offenses (all but two of which would eventually be dropped and those two were C felonies, the lowest felony that can be imposed), and right before trial where he was threatened with 14 years should something go awry, the attorney, with my $10,000 check in hand so to speak, convinced him to take a plea. He told him it was a “miracle deal,” but I had told the attorney two hours before he went to see my son not to let him sign this, “No felonies, no registration,” I said. He called back and said, “He’s on board. He signed.” My son then called in tears, “Mom, did I screw up?” What could I say. The damage is done. These two girls have taunted me, sending emails laughing about his time in jail, etc. This is such fun for them.

  295. Karen Lancaster August 8, 2012 at 1:03 am #

    And where is the registration for such as these? Where is the punishment? Of course we’d all like to think “karma” and “they’ll get theirs”.. but this just isn’t true. If Karma were real, my son wouldn’t be where he is. Why? Because this kid spent every possible hour he could volunteering for the local food pantry, homeless shelters and other community projects. He worked in the yards for some of the elderly and for friends of the family.. FOR FREE.. never asking for more than a glass of water on a hot day. No, karma isn’t real because if it were, those two girls would be behind bars and your son and my son would be home with their families where they belong.

  296. Rochelle August 8, 2012 at 2:23 am #

    Our sons sound similar. I naively even prepared a collage of photos of him in various stages of volunteerism, in his high school band tuxedo, in his high school soccer uniform, volunteering throughout the community and with our church youth group, and I thought it might help but I’m sure you could have guessed, it did not. I, likewise, have photos of these two girls, one sitting on the lap of her black gangster boyfriend and she is smoking a marijuana pipe, drinking out of a whiskey bottle, playing beer pong, and the ringleader? The fourth month my son was in jail, she became pregnant by a high school kid she’d just met, but as soon as he learned what she’d done to my son, he took off. We are now all likely paying her way through life with our tax dollars.

    I’d like to stay informed about your book as it progresses.

  297. Karen Lancaster August 8, 2012 at 2:35 am #

    I naively wrote a statement discussing how the system is broken when it tags a monster label on a man who has harmed children and on a boy who has looked at a photo or video, equally. I also pointed out that the “Tuna net” put out by the FBI has too many flaws and catches too many “Dolphins”. When we walked in there yesterday, we really thought this was too ludicrous to be happening and that it would “work itself out”…

    Not only will I keep you informed about the book, if you have any information (once the book starts actually coming together, right now I’m collecting statistics, but I’d like to collect stories too) you’d like to share, it can be done either anon or with your name, depending on how you feel about it.

  298. Stacie August 11, 2012 at 1:13 am #

    I know the registry is a joke. I live it first hand, as my husband is on it for a false accusation from his ex wife falsely manipulating her 13 yr old daughter to sign her name to an email that the mother wrote lieing about him touching her. The reason retaliation because he was given custody of the kids during a divorce because she is mentally unstable and a drunk. She showed him…he would not get custody because of the accusations which she is now trying to do with her next oldest daughter in line…whom’ told us and that she refuses to go along with it because it’s not true…she now wants to live with us but guess what she can’t because he is on the registry and the courts will not allow it. The daughter that went along with the false accusations originally is now 18 and wants to see her dad, she has told the next oldest daughter she can not come forward and tell the truth because she would lose everything she has…she doesn’t understand that she was a minor at the time and nothing would happen to her…it would possibly put her mother away for purgery. My husband had a great job of 7 years and when they found out he was on the registry they canned him..he has not been able to find a job since it’s been 8 mos…no one will hire him because he is on the registry. He is not in the same category as a rapist. But is treated as if. The registry needs to be revamped…I used to think the same as the general public..oh he’s on the registry must be a child molester…I no long believe that. There are many men and women on the registry that are harmless and should not be in the same category as a violent sex crime.

  299. Casandra A Borland August 11, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    Having to share vehicle information when the vehicle is registered/owned by another person is dangerous. The Registry Laws need to change. The Registry does not protect. Example: The lug-nuts on my tires were loosened while the vehicle was parked at a place of business. Apparently the person who loosened the lug-nuts didn’t care that I would be the one driving the vehicle with passengers. All they knew was that my vehicle was on the registry. I was 30 minutes from home and on an interstate highway when a loosened lug-nut came off, the tired sheared the Lug bolt, and my tire dangerously wobbled. I almost lost control of the vehicle at 55mph! I regained a tighter grip on the steering wheel and was able to pull over to the side of the highway and look for assistance. Who was the registry protecting at that moment?!

  300. Don Conyers September 2, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    Maya the fourth person above is completely clueless. There is definitely something FUBAR about our justice system and YES the mother of ANY underaged girl can accuse ANY adult of “statutorily raping” her daughter no matter if the man is17 or 70. Anybody that doesn’t believe that is not only naive but is as clueless as Maya. I am speaking from firsthand knowledge. I live in Corpus Christi Texas and almost the exact same thing happened to a young couple here, except the two did “make love” and the girl got pregnant. The young lover was arrested, prosecuted, tried, convicted and sent to prison. Once he got out the girl was of legal age and he married the mother of his child. The poor kid to this day has to register as a sex offender even though he is married to the alleged victim, so riddle me that Batman… And, no it wasn’t me, but I followed the case very closely because I have five sons… At this juncture I must say, “Only in America”.

  301. Don Conyers September 2, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I forgot to mention and I have to be honest. I didn’t read past Maya’s comment and after reading the three preceeding it I knew where the whole string of comments was headed. The majority are skeptics, I’m sure. I will read more later when I have a bit of time and if I’m wrong I will repost and humbly apologize.

  302. Jenn December 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    I’ve heard this story so many times from so many people and places that it just makes me sick.

    The first problem is sex offenses range anything from peeing on a wall to rape, so the registry in most states doesn’t tell people whether a person is “dangerous” or not. Secondly, the restrictions some states put on sex offenders makes it impossible for them to live. Despite the fact that many of these restrictions have actually proven to cause more problems than the fix, legislation will never be made to rescind them because it would be bad publicity.

    The laws need to be revised across the country.

  303. Martha April 8, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    A young man can be in trouble with the law for just an accusation of sex. The minor girl does not have to prove anything, nor can she be held liable for her part in any consensual acts. She can not have evidence brought against her in a trial (she is the victim), and it is pointless for the male (boy or man) to plead innocent. Pleading innocent only gets a stiffer, longer jail sentence. But, Medicaid will pay for contraceptives for any individual 12 years and older. Here is our government (Medicaid) saying it’s okay on one hand (Here, we’ll help you with birth control) and then penalizing and turning our men and boys into criminals when something happens (or even when it doesn’t). How about punishing some of these young girls who chase down our sons and throw themselves at their feet?

  304. Cop chases May 7, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    Hello my pal! I must declare that pros and cons incredible, pleasant written and may include about virtually all major infos. I’m going to view more posts this way .

  305. Linda June 22, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    TO all you nay sayers out there, let me clear something up. Since my son, also charged with statutory rape and having to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, also living with me now at age 37, I think all of that gives me the credentials to declare this mothers story very believable. Sure, I don’t know her personally, but I DO KNOW HER STORY!!

    I won’t bore you with my feelings in all of this since you probably won’t believe them anyway. My son was 18, the girl was 15 and the sex was consensual…for about 3 months. Her mother would hold parties for them, complete with alcohol and pot.(which I found out later) One fine day during a party mom got a bit intoxicated, began flirting with my son and the argument ensued. Understandably mom and daughter were not getting along after this so the mom decided she’d ‘fix’ her, and then proceeded to press charges on my son. She had enough power held over her daughters head, threatening to cut off her pot supply or whatever, that the daughter stayed tight lipped through it all, just showing up for court in her pretty little school girl demeanor, flashing her eyes at the judge like mommy instructed, and just let it all play out.

    My son was not an angel by no means and was guilty of having sex with the minor girl. But he did NOT deserve a life of constantly fighting to hold a job, denied the ability to serve his country, didn’t qualify for any state aide, then later, after he was married and had a son, his small family had to pay as well because he was unable to get a break anywhere. My son was on probation for 15 years. Oh, and the girl? Her mother continued with the parties and not long after my son was sentenced, the daughter was having a child by who knows!

    So you see, these sex offender laws are not a one size fits all situation. If some of you pious idiots would get your heads out of the ‘self righteous’ butts, you might realize that this can happen to ANYONE! In fact, I’d be willing to bet that most of you guys out there and probably the girls as well, those of you so quick to scream. “SEX OFFENDER! SEX OFFENDER!!” …if you’d be honest with yourselves, I’m sure there are plenty of you with secrets in your closets. I worked with victims of violent crimes as a profession. I know for a fact that many of you out there had sex in your teens and preteen years…and even ‘messed around’ as children. Does that make you a criminal? No, it means you were lucky!! So get off the judgmental band wagon and realize that life happens.

    Our world is a dirty one with darkness everywhere and our justice system is nothing close to just. It needs to be fixed. But until we get people standing up, willing to be realistic about life, we will remain a broken society with a lot of people suffering at the hands of a system that is fractured severely!

    To this mom, I’m sorry you had to endure such hardships and I commend you for sticking by your family! Your position was not an easy one by no ones standards. Of that I am certain. I wish Gods very best to you and your son. You both deserve it!

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