This story by Carol Nestikis, the mom of a 30something, intellectually disabled “sex offender,” is eye-opening and heart-wrenching.
The sex offense laws much change. They are not making kids safer. They are just a simple, slimy way for politicians to sound like they are doing something “for the sake of our precious children.” Well the son in this story is a precious child, too:
When Adam was a toddler, he was diagnosed as having an intellectual and developmental disability (the updated term for “mental retardation”). Many clinicians over the years have confirmed that he will never have the ability to care for himself. My son has the intellectual capacity of a 10-year-old—one who is guileless, naïve, and easily manipulated.
Adam has to be reminded to brush his teeth, shower, and shave. He finally stopped wetting the bed when he was 16. He doesn’t understand sex and he dislikes being touched, hugged, or kissed. We raised him, and our older daughter, in a quiet suburban neighborhood.
When a neighbor (who’d been molesting Adam) convinces Adam to pull down his pants in front of a girl, his whole life fell apart. Why no one in the justice system considered Adam’s developmental disabilities in sentencing him to 10 years on the Sex Offense Registry, I don’t know. I dearly hope it was not simply because a conviction could be labeled a “win.”
Longstanding Free-Range readers may remember this same story from our blog three years ago. It is thrilling to see it get attention in the new magazine Persuasion. May its impact be vast and may Adam get a pardon.
Photo from Unsplash by volkanolmez.com