when I post about the Sex Offender Registry, I get comments like, “Those scum don’t deserve to EVER live a normal life!”
This note below is to remind us that a study of 17,000 people on the registry by the The Georgia Sex Offender Registration Review Board found that about 5% were “clearly dangerous,” and 100 could be classified as sexual predators.
Not that the other thousands and thousands of registrants were all Romeo and Juliet cases, or teens who sexted. Just that most people who have been arrested for a sex crime don’t do it again. Some will. Most won’t. And the public registry has no effect either way.
So here is Shawna’s tale. She is on the Registry for life. Does this make any of us feel safer?
Â Â Â Dear Free-Range Kids: My name is Shawna and I am a required to register as a sex offender for having sex with a teen when I was a teen myself. Here is my story..Â Â Â When I was 12 my mom befriended a neighbor in the apartment complex we lived in at the time. Â She was around 21-22 at the time and I thought she was absolutely the coolest person I had ever met. I idolized her. She was more interested in being my friend than my mom’s friend, and was there for me through some very bad times while we were neighbors. We moved and lost contact. Then when I was 18 we reconnected..Â Â Â She was around 31 at this time and hung out with her friend’s 14 year old son. I had moved in with her and the 3 of us became close friends. She would always tell me how much he liked me and that him and I could have mixed-colored babies and they would be so pretty.Which got my mind thinking about him in a way that was more than friends..Â Â Â On my 19th birthday she said she wanted to have a party and the 3 of us got drunk and played truth or dare. She had us dance naked and kiss in front of her. Him and I had sex that night..Â Â Â The next morning Â she took him to his mom and she filed charges against me. I was sentenced to 6 months jail, lifetime probation and lifetime registry as a sex offender. I will be turning 34 in December and I’m still required to register and be on probation. I have to take polygraphs every 6 months and still attend sex offender group therapy. I have 3 children and this is starting to affect them..Â Â Â Two years ago they passed a law that says I cannot take my kids to the park anymore. This includes lakes, as they are State parks. Their friends can never stay over for a sleepover and where I can have their birthday parties are limited. My husband and I along with our 3 kids have had to move in with my mom on many different occasions, due to my restriction on where I can live and not being able to find a home.Â .Â Â Â Â I have all the backing from my probation officer and therapist to try and get off probation and registry. However due to my felony it is hard to find any job where I would make the amount of money I need to go back to court..Â Â Â Â Â The system is failed and everyone is being painted with a broad brush. I want to become a voice for sex offenders and hopefully get connected with the right people and/organization to start changing some of these laws. Not everyone should be called a sex offender..Sincerely,Â Shawna
It’s the 31 year old who should be on the registry. She sounds really creepy.
I agree with Dienne. Shawna was as much of a victim as the boy in this case.
So much of law enforcement seems to tar with a broad brush.
Justice should consider future risk and rehabilitation.
The sex offender laws are mostly about getting politicians reflected. They don’t actually make much sense, do they?
A 19 year old who slept with a 14 year old? That’s a sex offender. I sure don’t want her near my 14 year old son. Yes she was”gotten drunk”. Still no excuse for having sex with a child. And it doesn’t sound like she even understands what she did was wrong. Boo Hoo that her family is paying the price for her unacceptable behavior to make sure she’s not put in a position where she might repeat it.
And you thought that Sharia law was just some fringe element delusion of a few right-wing apocalypse prophets. Welcome to the United States of America.
Mimi, are you serious?
Please, explain why her children should suffer for a mistake she made fifteen years prior to them being born? Go ahead. I’d love to hear the twisted reasoning you come up with.
When I was a 14 year old boy I would have done anything, anything at all to have sex with that 33-year old woman. I can’t imagine how attractive she was at 19.
Then again, if you’re dumb enough to think the sex offender registry is a good idea you’re probably dumb enough to think the 14 year old boy was somehow hurt by the experience.
@Mimi: Sorry, what did I just hear? Your dad kicked a ball through his neighbor’s window as a kid? Your mom shoplifted those cute earrings when she was a teen? You should totally suffer for that.
“she wanted to have a party and the 3 of us got drunk and played truth or dare. She had us dance naked and kiss in front of her. Him [sic] and I had sex that night. The next morning she took him to his mom and she filed charges against me.”
What the what?!! I agree with Dienne and Donna (waiting for a Danny to come along and agree too…), sounds like that 31-year-old is the messed up one, not Shawna.
“A 19 year old who slept with a 14 year old? Thatâ€™s a sex offender. I sure donâ€™t want her near my 14 year old son. Yes she wasâ€gotten drunkâ€.”
So if a 24-year-old guy has sex with her when she’s drunk, he’s a rapist.
If a 14-year-old guy has sex with her when she’s drunk, she’s a rapist.
Gotta love them status crimes.
@Henry: Yeah… There is a song by Rob de Nijs about exactly that theme: teen boy loses virginity to older woman (older than the boy, that is). According to the song he was 16 and she was 28, but a few years ago Rob said in an interview that he had in fact been under 16 and she over 28…
It’s in Dutch, but Mimi, can you tell just how angry and victimized he feels? That poor boy, ruined forever:
Anyone who thinks it’s ok that this poor woman has been labeled a sexual predator for life is so sick in the head that they shouldn’t even be legally entitled to an opinion. Like a 14-year-old doesn’t know what he or she is doing…yeah, right!! At that age they know and are not anywhere near in the same dynamic as a 21 or 22-year-old going after prepubescent children of 12 or less.
Scum like Mr. Book shouldn’t have an opinion either because he’s emotionally too close to the issue to see beyond his own twisted, sadistic, blind lust for revenge. Emotionalism should have no place in legislation or the judicial system. All that does is inflame passions. Both should be based on pure, legitimate facts and nothing more.
I long for the day when this sex offender registry and supervision system gets so hyper-bloated that it implodes in on itself. Those who think these laws are ok don’t even deserve American citizenship in my book because these laws are as un-American as they come!!! Put that in your pipe and smoke it, all you nanny big government bootlickers!!!
I can see you don’t have the reasoning capacity of a gnat. If you think 14-year-olds aren’t knowingly and willingly having sex in this day and age then you are either totally ignorant or willingly bling of today’s reality. With everything from commercials to video games being satiated with overt sexual content, it’s no wonder kids are sexualizing at younger and younger ages. Society demands sex in everything. That’s why it’s there. And then to have the unmitigated gall to think that adolescents with raging hormones and insatiable curiosity aren’t going to catch on and do it themselves is beyond stupidity. How do you even manage to pour pee out of a boot with the directions printed for you on the heel???
I’d have to argue against the idea that kids are being sexualized at younger ages these days. Look at history and literature and you can see that teen sex has long been an issue. How old were Romeo and Juliet, after all? Heck, how old was the Virgin Mary? And my mother grandmother could tell you plenty of stories about girls in their high schools who had to go “visit their aunt” for several months. It wasn’t uncommon for girls as young as 15 or 16 to drop out of school to get married.
I don’t know, kind of hard to have sympathy for this woman if she truly was a 19 y/o who had sex with a 14 y/o. Tough beans, toots. A male who did that would be sent to prison for years.
“A 19 year old who slept with a 14 year old? Thatâ€™s a sex offender. I sure donâ€™t want her near my 14 year old son. Yes she wasâ€gotten drunkâ€. Still no excuse for having sex with a child. And it doesnâ€™t sound like she even understands what she did was wrong. Boo Hoo that her family is paying the price for her unacceptable behavior to make sure sheâ€™s not put in a position where she might repeat it.”
Yep! I’m not a fan of sex offender registries and definitely not a fan of lifetime appointments to sex registries, but I have little to no sympathy for 19 year olds who sleep with 14 years olds, especially WOMEN considering that if the sexes were reversed, those men would be serving YEARS in prison.
Then Shawna, despite being on the sex offender registry, decided to go ahead and have three children. Talk about irresponsibility!
Tough beans, toots.
I understand from a mother’s point of view you would feel that way. I am now a mother myself as was mentioned in my story. However I do understand what I did was wrong and have lived with that mistake for my entire adult life. I disagree with your comment that I am a sex offender. A drunken mistake I made as a teenager does not define me as a person. I’m a grown woman now and I do not have any sexual ideas about children or teenagers. No one is the same person as a grown adult as they were as a teen. So the judgement you want to place on me due to a mistake from when I was young is ignorant. Everyone has something from their past that they wouldn’t do today. Mistakes are made to learn and grow. And as a side note…. My children should not have to deal with this. That was also an ignorant statement. People have said a lot of bad things to me about this topic but that takes the cake. You don’t see my children’s tears, you don’t see the heart break in their eyes when “mommy ” can’t do some of the things normal mommy’s can. Shame on you for saying that!
Your right that if it we’re a male that they would have been sent to prison for years. I did serve time for this but it wasn’t years. Because the system is this way is sad. That is why I am trying to change some of these laws. The system is flawed and has failed many!
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating;
The Sex Offender Registry is simply a way of branding criminals without actually owning up to what we are doing. If we want people to spend the rest of their lives unable to be anything but an outcast we should have the guts to hold the iron and smell the burning flesh ourselves.
Mimi; if you are prepared to brand this woman with a red-hot iron, yourself, with your own hand, then I may disagree with your position, but I can at least respect it.
Otherwise, I don’t really understand how you can look at yourself in a mirror, and I don’t WANT to.
People (I’m looking at you, Bob and Mimi) keep referring to the 14 year old as a CHILD. At 14, he wasn’t a child. At all. He was a young adult. Are you the same type who want that same 14 year old to be charged as an adult if they were to harm someone? You can’t have it both ways. If a 14 year old boy were to sexually molest an 8 year old, would you be calling him a child?
Only a few generations ago, young men of 14 went to work, went to sea, went to war, got married, had families, and yet now someone that age is considered a “child”.
@Bob – you sound exactly like a major cheerleader for sex offender registries, scarlet letters, and the like – “Sex offenders shouldn’t be allowed to have children!”
Or maybe you think only women should be stigmatized this way?
We need to petition President Obama to pardon as many of these people as possible, if that’s even possible.
Writing a letter today!!
Dienne: Her name is “Virgin” Mary. I don’t understand your comment.
@Bob, so being on the sex offender registry means you shouldn’t be allowed to have children? I suppose we should go full-stop and do forced sterilization to make sure that guy who urinated in public never produces offspring, or that the 12 and 13 year olds in Utah who had sex (and were both charged as rapist and victim) shouldn’t ever have children either because they made a choice when they were too immature to understand the full ramifications (and crazy of the adults in their lives and legislature) of their actions. Let’s not forget the Romeo and Juliet case where a vigilante killed the husband because he was on the registry, even though he and the girl he was charged with raping got married. If he had been sterilized, his children wouldn’t have to grow up without a father. It’s a slippery slope when you decide that someone deserves to suffer for their entire lives because they made a choice that you don’t agree with. Yeah, she committed a crime, but there were definitely mitigating circumstances that should have been considered before giving her what amounts to a life sentence. We’re so obsessed with punishment in our society that we don’t care if someone suffers a lifetime of pain and being cast out because some parents wanted to keep it from happening ever again, legislators wanted to get re-elected, and prosecutors want to win their cases. What Shawna is going through is not rehabilitation, or restitution, or anything that would help her. It is, as a previous poster said, a scarlet letter that will follow her around for the rest of her life until we understand that this registry protects no one but the politicians, and promotes recidivism.
Shawna, stay strong. I’m 33 with 3 kids and it’s hard enough without a 15-year-old mistake dogging your heels. We’re the ones who beat ourselves up the most. We don’t need the rest of the world doing it too.
@Bob: ” A male who did that would be sent to prison for years.”
That’s like saying a broken leg isn’t so bad, because two broken legs is worse.
@Momof8: “Her name is â€œVirginâ€ Mary. I donâ€™t understand your comment.”
I wonder how many prostitutes are named Chastity…
Momof8 – I’m not understanding what you don’t understand – I thought it was pretty self-explanatory. The claim that kids are being “sexualized” at younger ages is demonstrably false. If you know any history or have read any literature, you know that what we now worry about as “teen sex” has been the norm throughout most of history. It’s only been in the past several decades that the concept of “teen-hood” has emerged as an extension of childhood that ought to be protected in any way from the realities of adult life. Throughout most of history, boys were considered men at or around 14 and girls could be married even before that.
Thank you! I am staying strong. I have to because my kids are worth it. I’m not the only story like this and many other stories involve minors who lied about their age and the adult for convicted. That is why this topic needs to be discussed and out to the public who might not understand that most people on the registry are dangerous or preditors. Out of 800,000 registered sex offenders in the United States only around 2% are dangerous to reoffend. The title of sex offender is scary and most think the worse when they hear that title. However, education and prevention along with laws changing is the only way to change this so not everyone is looked upon the same. Thank you for all that you wrote!
I agree with you as well and thank you for writing a letter. It’s a start and hopefully the more people are educated about this the more others will want to help as well.
Thanks everyone for your comments!
C’mon, people. It is possible to acknowledge that Shawna doesn’t belong on the registry without blaming the 14yo.
She did something wrong.
She doesn’t belong on the registry.
Those are not mutually exclusive ideas and there is no need to discuss how 14yo boys probably don’t mind having sex with a 19yo.
No one belongs on the registry. Not even the clearly awful offenders. Why? Lenore said it:
“…most people who have been arrested for a sex crime donâ€™t do it again. Some will. Most wonâ€™t. And the public registry has no effect either way.”
The registry protects NO ONE. It does, however, have a terrible effect on the children of sex offenders. Arguing for the registry is saying that you are okay with the problems it causes those children.
mimi..so you have no problem with the sins of the parent having consequences for the children? it must be nice to be such a perfect person able to judge other people from afar. haven’t you ever heard “let those with out sin cast the first stone?” has your life been so perfect you have never made any mistakes in judgement? what she did was WRONG nobody disputes that. but she paid for her mistake. if she had murdered him she would probably be out of jail by now but not on a registry for murderers. yes at 19 she should have known better but one could also argue that with the infantilizing of youth that she herself was still a child. and if you think for one minute that the 14 year old was not aware and a willing participant I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale. have you met or talked to any boys that age? guess what they are preoccupied with?[a hint, not painting a fence with tom and huck.] maybe people like you who are willing to throw others away for one mistake need to live first with the consequences to better understand the hell the live with.
@Marie – I don’t think anyone is blaming the 14 y.o. They are basically saying that he can’t be a victim because he enjoyed the sex.
While I agree that no teenage boy is likely to be scarred for life by a sexual experience with an older woman, many have lived with feelings of guilt, shame, and self-doubt after encounters they felt were “wrong”.
We used to say “I wish I knew when I was 16 what I know now…” That didn’t mean we put our mature knowledge to use seducing teen-age girls, however. When an adult uses an adolescent to satisfy their sexual needs, it’s usually a bad thing for both, even if the younger person had a good time and was a willing participant.
In this case, it was the older, so-called friend who used both young people to get her kicks.
Was he 14? From her letter, it sounds like they met when she was 18 and he was 14. Then they had sex a year later when she was 19, which would make him 15.
I’ve seen this one first hand, up close and ugly.
John and I have been close friends since I was in high school and he was in college. We wound up in different states but kept in touch over the years. About ten years ago, his neighbors’ daughter accused John of sexually molesting him. He actually did take a picture of her in her bra. But she accused him of exposing himself to her–which he never did–and other things that he never die. (It also later turned out she was 16 at the time, but she claimed to be only 15.) John was found guilty. He was sentenced to community service, which he promptly did. But he went on later to marry and have a daughter of his own. He is a wonderful stay-at-home father, but he cannot pick his daughter up at school. (She’s in first grade now.) He cannot see her class plays. He cannot leave the state without checking in with the police. In a million ways–little and big, degrading and annoying–he is tied down. It has been such a painful thing for me to watch. I have four children of my own and never had such problems, but that’s my good luck and his bad luck, not my virtue or his crime.
That story is 100% true except his name isn’t really John by the way.
These laws are terrible and they are having a drastic impact on my friend’s life every day.
The sex offender registry is just so silly. Most of these people are not even a danger to society.
I can totally accept it makes sense to keep track of people who do things like molest kids and rape people, but there are totally harmless people who have gotten on there, and shouldn’t be. I think it defeats the whole point of having a sex offender registry.
I think to be on there, you have to have done something serious, like rape or child molestation, and be either convicted multiple times of sex crimes, or be assessed to be likely to reoffend (which will dramatically cut down the number of sex offenders, considering so few would fall into this category).
I think that a registry should not be to the public, and should only be seen by the police themselves (and maybe CPS too, for people who have committed crimes against children), but checks can be requested by people if they have a good reason to do so (wouldn’t want to hire a child molester as a teacher or something like that). I think they should let their partner know when the relationship gets serious, especially if their crimes involved children.
The restrictions on where sex offenders can live is ridiculous, and it doesn’t really work. If someone is on there for rape or sexual assault against an adult, why are they not allowed to live near a school if their crime didn’t involve children? Also, most children who are sexually abused, are abused by people they know, they aren’t likely to just grab a kid off the street by school. They aren’t likely to walk into school and molest a kid, because schools don’t just let anyone in, there are security measures in place. They also cant ban them from any place a child might be, as children are everywhere.
I think the only restrictions should be:
-Cannot do a job working with children or vulnerable people
-For people convicted of sex crimes involving a prepubescent child, there should be restrictions on spending time alone with children and doing things such as changing diapers. An assessment should be done if they have a baby, or gain a stepchild, or when they become a sex offender if they already have kids at the time, to assess risk to the child and whether they should be allowed to live in the same home as them or have unsupervised contact with them.
-There might also be some additional ones related to the crime they did, like maybe if someone has multiple convictions of spiking someone’s drink in a bar and then raping them, they shouldn’t be allowed to go to bars, or if someone is convicted of online grooming or downloading child porn, their internet should be restricted. These shouldn’t be universal, but on a case by case basis. Same as any other crime might get, like someone who was convicted of drunk driving might get their license taken away, or if they abused animals they might get their right to own animals taken away for a period of time.
For the silly, more minor ones, that involve no harm to anyone, there should be more realistic consequences that don’t mark them for life alongside the people who are actually dangerous. In fact, I think the whole prison system needs changing, it obviously isn’t working, and doesn’t seem to rehabilitate people at all. Who would have thought that taking first time offenders, and putting them in a big building full of more serious criminals would help them not be a criminal…in fact, theyre more likely to learn worse things in jail and become even better criminals. Also it is harder for someone to get a job if they have been in jail, which means they are more likely to turn to illegal activities such as drug dealing and stealing, because without a job they cannot afford to live. The current drug laws are silly, punishing addicts doesn’t help them, because it is an addiction and something they cannot just stop doing. It isn’t working, so something else needs to be tried.
It’s been 16 years, I think she’s paid her ‘debt to society’. Her kids don’t deserve to suffer for it.
Shawna, just wanted to say I support you. I don’t have the energy to write against the previous commenters who were cruel to you, and I don’t have anything to add that hasn’t already been pointed out a anyway. But when you read these comments and you see ones that make your face burn with rage or sadness or whatever you happen to be feeling, I just wanted to help balance that out with the knowledge that you have one more supporter. And I fight the registry with my wallet and by educating people IRL. Whenever this topic is mentioned, I find a respectful way to let them know the reality of the registry and who is actually on it. I hope I’m at least getting people to open their minds. Best of luck to you, and I hope you will be able to heal from the legally sanctioned trauma that is still being done to you.
“We need to petition President Obama to pardon as many of these people as possible, if thatâ€™s even possible.”
For the most part, it isn’t.
President Obama can commute sentences for or pardon people convicted of federal crimes. But most sex crimes are state crimes, not federal, and therefore the correct source of clemency, if any is to be offered, would be the governor(s) of the state(s) where people who deserve clemency were convicted.
Cluttering up the SOR with people who are not dangerous impedes the sole legitimate purpose of having one… warning other people about offenders who are actually dangerous in the present tense.
I just don’t understand how when she was 12 the neighbor was 21 but when she was 18 the neighbor was 31. Does not add up!
Thank you for your support! I’m working very hard to educate ppl about this topic and maybe open minds to the fact that the registry isn’t always what we first think it is.
I might be off on the age of me and this “friend” because it’s been so long ago. However I know when I first met her I was 12-13 and she was in her early 20’s she could have been 22 or 24.. But regardless she was in her early 20’s. But when we reconnected I was 18 and I believe she was 31. Again it was 15 years ago so it’s hard to remember her exact age.
I’m torn on this one. Shawna was not a helpless victim. She was a legal adult and regardless of her being drunk, what she did was still wrong. It was exceedingly poor judgment and she needed to be held responsible for her crime. That said, I don’t think she should be branded with a scarlet letter. Having a felony conviction makes for a tough enough life, and the sex offender registry just makes it worse. Given that she has not re-offended, there should be a mechanism for removal from the registry after time has passed.
Yes, there are people on the sex offender registry who shouldn’t be on it. I would be in favor of a mechanism where cases involving public urination, consensual underage sex between teens, etc. the convicted person could be removed from the registry if they don’t re-offend. Violent sexual criminals, child molesters and rapists, etc. – yeah, I’m not going to shed a tear about their neighbors and friends being able to find out about their pasts.
To a couple of the commenters – it’s really gross and victim-blaming to claim that the situation was no big deal because you think that every 14 year old boy wants to have lots of sex, and presumably the kid enjoyed the experience. We don’t know if what happened was consensual, and even if it was, the victim hadn’t reached the age of consent in that state.
The registry needs to be ABOLISHED, not merely reformed. I think we’ve proven that after TWENTY YEARS of federally mandated public hit lists that we are incapable of separating the chaff from the wheat.
If Shawna wants to be a voice for registered citizens, then either she chooses to accept all of us in the Anti-Registry Movement and push for abolishment of this pillory or not. But if you aren’t fighting for abolishment, I don’t need you speaking for me, because I’m one of those you’ll throw under the bus to save yourself.
I have been fighting these laws for well over a decade now, and one thing our movement has gotten wrong is that we’re willing to concede too much ground in hopes of gaining the occasional petty victory. I am not content with such a weak approach. What if the abolitionists said that they’d only free some of the slaves? Or, how about we allowed the Nazis to continuing to kill some of the Jews? This is one current event where there cannot be no compromise.
The registry has become the boy who cried wolf. Sex crimes will skyrocket as a result of inattention if we dont reform it and stop adding petty crimes.
No mention so far that the 31-year-old woman gave two underage individuals alcohol?
Encouraged them to get naked and act sexual (kissing) with each other? As others have
said, she’s the criminal in this situation. I’d like to know what legal consequences she faced.
look for “Summer (The First Time)” by Bobby Goldsboro for an example in English.
Surely there must be others…
“Well she was just seventeen
You know what I mean
And the way she looked
Was way beyond compare”
Don’t confuse revenge with justice
Revenge is predominantly emotional; justice primarily rational.
Revenge is, byÂ nature, personal; justice is impersonal, impartial, and both a social and legal phenomenon.
Revenge is an act of vindictiveness; justice, of vindication.
Revenge is about retaliation; justice about restoring balance.
Apparently Mimi believes that revenge IS justice
Mimi did us a service. She paints a vivid picture of the type of thinking that believes the sex offender laws are ok the way they currently are.
On the cartoon show ‘Family Guy’. Meg almost joins a death cult that plans to mass suicide.
Meg – I’m thinking about joining
Cult Leader – Wait a minute. We don’t let just anyone join. Do you have a mind that seeks enlightenment and a heart that seek purity?
Meg – No
Cult Leader – Are you a confused teen that are desperate for acceptance from other teens?
Meg – Yes
Cult Leader – Great! You’re in!
There is so much sex on TV and there is so much peer pressure in schools. A common belief is that if you’re still a virgin by the time that you reach 17 years old, there is something wrong with you.
One size fits all laws never work, we see that time and time again.
This is one where the circumstances do not seem to fit the punishment, but the courts should decide it on merit not just on the face of it.
It’s pretty obvious that in a case like this the people involved fall into two broad categories: the teens (14/15 and 18/19) and the adults (31). In any reasonable jurisdiction the teens having sex would fall within the Romeo and Juliet exception, presuming that the encounter was otherwise consensual. The deeply problematic part is the involvement of the 31-year-old, whose behaviour is disturbing to say the least and who should have been the one to face some consequences, and not just for plying two under-aged persons with alcohol. I’d argue that any negative consequences of the events wrt mental health etc would be far more likely to be due to having been manipulated by an adult to perform sexually for them, not from having sexual relations with a peer.
If this boy went home and told his mother what happened, I tend to think that it was not as consensual as Shawna believes. It would be the rare 14 year old boy who discusses his sexual exploits with his mother for kicks and giggles. Considering only about 11% of 14 year olds are sexually active, it is a far more likely scenario that he was not wanting sex than that he was. “Liking” someone – if he even was as this information seems to only have come from the 31 year old, not him – is not the same as wanting to have sex with someone, especially at an age where engaging in sex is unusual. It could also be that he was sexually active, but the whole situation was too weird for him.
I still lay most of the criminal aspect of this situation on the 31 year old, not Shawna. We don’t magically mature and become impervious to being manipulated by an older, idolized person on our 18th birthday. However, by 31 we should surely know better. And the manipulator is certainly more knowledgeable than the manipulatees. The 31 year old got a couple of underage people drunk and manipulated them into doing things that they may well have never had any intention of doing on their own just to get her own jollies.
However, if the boy was solidly on board and him and his mother just have a strange parent-child relationship then it should not be criminal at all. That is not to say that I personally believe that 14 year olds and 19 year olds should be having sex. But that I am not arrogant enough to believe that my personal discomfort should be legislated into law to the exclusion of what the actual people involved want.
Hang in there Shawna, I’m certainly on your side. Funny thing is, if you would have punched out an 85-year-old woman and stole $500.00 from her instead of having sex with that 14-year-old boy, you would have served your time but you would not have lived under any lifetime restrictions upon your release from prison. This is what is so stupid about the present day sex offender registry. How is somebody who assaults and robs an elderly person less dangerous than a person who has nonforcible (basically consensual) sex with a 14-year-old boy with raging hormones? I really hope there is an elected official out there someday, be it a Republican or Democrat or whatever, who has the guts to completely revamp this crazy registry. The original purpose of the SOR was for the safety of society, children in particular. But now it seems it’s only purpose is for revenge and to appease the torch bearing public.
It was the 31 year old who told his mother, not him. He was a consenting participant. However in that state he wasn’t of the age of consent.
I tried to tell the investigator about how she gave us alcohol and had us do these things in front of her and that she was kissing him. I tried to tell the investigator what she was doing with him but when she was questioned about it she denied it. But they already had a conviction in their pocket due to me being honest so they didn’t push the topic with her involvement. It still confuses me to this day why nothing happened to her with all of this.
Shawna, what was the purpose in the 31 year old telling the mother? Was she really so oblivious to reality that she thought that this was cool? Or was this whole thing calculated to cause drama?
Either way she is a completely depraved individual. I have clients charged with child molestation for less involvement so I am amazed that she was not charged. Maybe it would be different today.
Thank you @John B. Yes the system is a mess. Hopefully my story and others who come forward to fight this stigma will help change things. Thank you for your support!
I wonder how well this notion of a “sex offender registry” stands up to an “innocent until proven guilty” challenge? This is especially true of instances like this one where there has only been one ‘illegal’ episode – before putting someone into a category as a danger, there certainly should be repeated real offences – and this categorization should trigger dispassionate evaluation and treatment rather than just arbitrary ostracism.
At the time I was confused as to why she did this… But over the years and looking back at the situation I believe that she was wanting something to happen with the three of us. And when she noticed his interest was in me not her she got jealous. Hindsight is 20/20 and I was so immature at 18-19 that I truly followed her in all she wanted to do. Looking back on it now I don’t know what a 14 y/o an 18 y/o and a 31 y/o had in common. I’m 34 now and I wouldn’t hang out with teenagers. So I’m not sure why we we’re all together but it doesn’t make much since to me now as an adult.
Thank you @snow
That is exactly right and how I felt. It was embarrassing and uncomfortable for us both. No one has ever asked me how I felt with all this happening that night because I was labeled the bad guy. Not saying what I did was right… I’m just saying the WHOLE situation wasn’t right.
What happened to the 31 year old? Did she not provide alcohol to underage people and contribute to the delinquency of a minor? If she witnessed this sex act then is she not engaging in child pornography?
Nothing happened to the 31 year old. Although I have thought about when I go back to court to get off of probation to try and move forward with getting her to take responsibility for the situation. Don’t know if it’s possible but I’m going to try because everything you said is the truth.
No, people shouldnâ€™t be on the registry indefinitely. That said, some of the arguments here seem to a bit of a â€œred herringâ€ fallacy.
Example: Two people on the registry â€“ one now has kids of their own, one does not. So the one with kids â€œdeservesâ€ to be removed from the list? Does that reasoning work for other types of crime?
Today we have rightly defined as criminal a 19 year old having sex with a 14 year old. What regularly occurred many decades or a century ago is irrelevant.
Pat, that list is pointless, so the answer is no one should be on it, kids or not.
@Shawna. As the Mother of 3 teenagers this scares me. I talk openly with them about making mature choices while know Maturity is an Evolution. Not an age. And Everything not Black And White. My Nephew on registry for viewing pics online of girl he was Told over 18 but wasnt. Had to move out of parents house (he was 19) because a park was within the “restricted zone” as the crow flies by 2 yards. No. I’m not leaving out details. These laws are Draconian. There should be a Probation Period like many other offences then Take Them Off The List!
“Today we have rightly defined as criminal a 19 year old having sex with a 14 year old. What regularly occurred many decades or a century ago is irrelevant.”
Actually, Shawna said this was interracial sex, which would have been illegal for that reason a century (or not so many decades) ago in many places in the US and elsewhere.
I assure you that a century ago they were just as sure their laws were “rightly defined” as you are in our time. It’s called chronological snobbery.
“I wonder how well this notion of a â€œsex offender registryâ€ stands up to an â€œinnocent until proven guiltyâ€ challenge?”
It does just fine, because people only get put on the registry after they get convicted of a crime.
“This is especially true of instances like this one where there has only been one â€˜illegalâ€™ episode â€“ before putting someone into a category as a danger, there certainly should be repeated real offences â€“ and this categorization should trigger dispassionate evaluation and treatment rather than just arbitrary ostracism.”
The current system mandated by federal law has three “levels”, based on their risk of re-offense, and some due process requirements for being moved between levels. This doesn’t stop random individuals from treating all registrants as if they were guilty of the most heinous offenses. There is a provision for dropping people off the registry if they are at, and stay at, the lowest level for a sufficiently-long period of time.
â€œWell she was just seventeen
You know what I mean
And the way she looked
Was way beyond compareâ€
In the UK at the time, the age of consent was 16.
See also “I love Rock and Roll”:
“I saw her dancing there by the record machine
I knew she must have been about seventeen…
The beat was going strong, playing my favorite song
I could tell it wouldn’t be long, ’til she was with me, yeah me”
Later in the song she doesn’t even tell the singer her name, but leaves with him anyway.
I think Marie has made the most important point here: “Câ€™mon, people. It is possible to acknowledge that Shawna doesnâ€™t belong on the registry without blaming the 14yo. She did something wrong. She doesnâ€™t belong on the registry.”
Just because something was illegal doesn’t mean we should punish the person without limit. Likewise, just because something was morally wrong and reprehensible doesn’t make an infinite punishment just. The registry restrictions seem (at least to most of us) to be an excessive punishment for the illegal and wrong thing she did.
And besides the question of justice, it’s also just a very stupid and costly social policy to make offenders who have served their sentences less able to return to being law-abiding and self-supporting citizens.
“Example: Two people on the registry â€“ one now has kids of their own, one does not. So the one with kids â€œdeservesâ€ to be removed from the list? Does that reasoning work for other types of crime?”
Huh? There are no similar registries for any other type of crime. There is no thief registry or murderer registry.
Some states have child abuse registries, but those generally are more closely tied to CPS investigations than criminal law. Some states have animal cruelty registries as well. While I imagine that being on such a registry would not be desirable and might somewhat limit employment prospects, neither registry has any requirements being made on the part of the people on the registry. There is no annual registration requirement. No prohibition on moving. No residency requirements. No law-imposed limitations on what you can do and cannot do. You are not barred from attending your child’s school play if you are on the child abuse registry. You will not be arrested for hanging out at a dog park if you are on the animal cruelty registry.
“Huh? There are no similar registries for any other type of crime.”
Unless you count the similar registries for some other types of crime. For example, the SEC has a public listing of people convicted of financial crimes, who are disqualified from holding management positions in financial services companies. As noted, there’s lists people convicted of child abuse, too. California has a public list of people who’ve been disciplined for not having a nursing license. Is that enough examples?
“neither registry has any requirements being made on the part of the people on the registry. There is no annual registration requirement. No prohibition on moving. No residency requirements. No law-imposed limitations on what you can do and cannot do. You are not barred from attending your childâ€™s school play if you are on the child abuse registry. You will not be arrested for hanging out at a dog park if you are on the animal cruelty registry.”
You’ve listed off a bunch of restrictions that, except for the first one about the annual registration, aren’t necessarily imposed on SOR registrants. It is up to each state to decide if there are prohibitions on moving, residency requirements, limitations on what you can and cannot do, or bans from attending children’s school plays. Not all states impose these.
“Unless you count the similar registries for some other types of crime. For example, the SEC has a public listing of people convicted of financial crimes, who are disqualified from holding management positions in financial services companies. As noted, thereâ€™s lists people convicted of child abuse, too. California has a public list of people whoâ€™ve been disciplined for not having a nursing license. Is that enough examples?”
You’ll note the word “similar.” None of those are remotely similar to the sex offender registry, except in the fact that they are a list of names of people who did things that some other people didn’t like.
“Youâ€™ve listed off a bunch of restrictions that, except for the first one about the annual registration, arenâ€™t necessarily imposed on SOR registrants.”
All states do not have the same requirements, but all states have some requirements. It is not a benign list of names that carries no obligation on the part of the people involved in any state.
“Youâ€™ll note the word â€œsimilar.â€ None of those are remotely similar to the sex offender registry, except in the fact that they are a list of names of people who did things that some other people didnâ€™t like.”
So they’re just the same, then? A list (or, if you want to make it sound fancier, a “registry”) of people who did something they shouldn’t have? Because a listing of sex criminals is somehow TOTALLY different from a listing of financial criminals?
“All states do not have the same requirements, but all states have some requirements.”
The requirement to register annually. That’s the complete list of requirements created by the federal statute.
“It is not a benign list of names that carries no obligation on the part of the people involved in any state.”
True, as long as you ignore the states where being on the SOR carries no requirement to do anything besides register annually.
I agree with your fear. I have those same fears and although my oldest is only 9 she knows basically what mommy did wrong. I use my mistake to teach my kids and family members so they won’t make similar mistakes. I’m also working with an organization who I will be filming with soon to tell my story so they can put it into their high school curriculum so teens are aware that their actions can change and effect their entire lives. I’m proud to be working on this so help with education and prevention of other young kids getting placed on the registry when they may not completely understand the consequences of a seemingly unimportant choice.
When I was growing up any underage boy that had sex with an adult female was looked upon as a lucky kid, and everyone would just smile. At 17yrs old I had sex relations with a 35 yo woman, who was the mother of a female friend. There was nothing dark, underhanded or perverted about it. It was a good experience and I still look back on it as a good experience.
One thing our laws overlook is that all people are not the same; that is to say people mature sexually at different times in their lives. Those that write these laws seem to think that once you turn 18 something turns on and you are all of a sudden able to have healthy sex. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Younger people view sex in an entirely light than do those a few years older with commitments and attachments. (marriage and or kids) and our laws view things differently. So who is right and who is wrong? First I would like to say that sexuality cannot be legislated; it’s insanity to try! Just look at all the harm it does without making anyone any safer. Second, people have been sexually active at different ages and at different times in their lives depending upon the individual themselves. This is the way it’s been since before recorded history.
Then sometime in the last 30 – 40 years someone had a loved one harmed in some way and they started making enough noise about it that laws were passed based on one individual case that have affected thousands upon thousands. You could claim millions if you count all the people harmed by these laws simply because they are close to an individual snared in this one size fits all net.
Anyone that thinks they can change or modify a basic instinct with a law is not doing a public service, in fact they living in a fantasy. I believe the registry should be abolished because it does nothing towards what it’s proponents claim.
I challenge anyone to look on the web or anywhere else and see if they can find just one person, one documented case where it can be said that a sex crime was prevented by any of these laws or if anyone was saved from being sexually harmed because of these laws. I’ve tried and I’ve come up with a big zero.
Then do a search to see if there are any negative results in society because of any of these laws and you will find an almost infinite number of instances ranging from property vandalism, assault, warped lives of blameless children, homelessness, unemployment and murder. Anyone can increase the list.
No; I don’t believe these laws and the registry do any good, and are on par with the Salem witch trials or the inquisition.
” Because a listing of sex criminals is somehow TOTALLY different from a listing of financial criminals?”
Are financial criminals forbidden from living within X feet of ATMs or banks? Or cash registers? Or wallets?
“I challenge anyone to look on the web or anywhere else and see if they can find just one person, one documented case where it can be said that a sex crime was prevented by any of these laws or if anyone was saved from being sexually harmed because of these laws. Iâ€™ve tried and Iâ€™ve come up with a big zero.”
Of course you haven’t had any success. You’ve carefully framed the question in such a way as to ensure this result. That’s an easy game to play, if you get to set the rules. For example, prove that mandating the presence of working headlights on cars prevents automobile accidents. You can’t do it… you won’t find any documentation of cases where an accident would definitely have occurred except for the presence of headlights that were there because of mandatory headlight laws. Sticking with cars, prove that having car doors that lock prevents car theft. You can’t… there’s not one documented case of a car theft that was prevented by the car having locks on them. Or, here’s a more relevant example: My parents owned a bar. They had a policy of excluding people known for being involved in bar fights. Yet, there’s not one documented case of this policy preventing a bar fight.
Consider just one tiny element… sexual violence against children (by which I mean “children”, not “minors”) What is the biggest single factor is actual cases of sexual violence against children? It’s not living near a sex offender. It’s not being left unattended. It’s being left in the care of someone the parents trusted, but should not have. Look at Shawna’s case… was there a minor left in the care of someone the parents trusted, but should not have? Yep, there sure was. Far, FAR more likely than stranger abductions, is the case where a teacher, coach, religious advisor, family member or family friend gets access to kids and violates that trust. Thus, the single best approach to preventing sexual violence against children is a matter of information… identifying people who should not be trusted with children, and informing parents and others responsible for children once the not-to-be-trusted people have been ID’ed. To the extent that sex-offender registries actually do these things, they are effective in reducing the frequency and probably the severity of sexual violence against children. But sex-offender registration is so borked up, it tries to do so many things besides this one core purpose, it loses any effectiveness in reducing the net overall misery it might have had.
The problem isn’t registering people who are actually dangerous in the present tense. The problem is registering so darn many MORE people who are not at all dangerous in the present tense, and then treating them all as if they were.
“â€ Because a listing of sex criminals is somehow TOTALLY different from a listing of financial criminals?â€
Are financial criminals forbidden from living within X feet of ATMs or banks? Or cash registers? Or wallets?”
Gee, no. Are sex criminals forbidden from living within X feet of genitals?
Financial criminals on the SEC’s list are forbidden from owning or operating financial services businesses or serving as officers in publicly-held corporations, by federal law. This might be a good starting point (or it might not; it was a top result of a Google search)
Sex criminals are required to notify law enforcement where they live and work. That’s all the federal law requires. The term to Google is “SORNA”, although “Adam Walsh Act” should give you good results, too.
So… SOME sex criminals are subject to residency restrictions, and some are not.
Hope this answered your question(s).
Derek W Logue of OnceFallen.com , your comment was very harsh. Any support for any SOL reform should be appreciated.
Thanks for providing yet another fine example of a â€œred herringâ€ fallacy earlier this afternoon.
Prehaps those looking to reform the system should look at the system in the UK. Our system is by no means perfect but it is more proportional
While Shawna had she have been convicted here would be forbidden from working with children or venerable adults it is likely that she would have no other lasting effects….
The vast majority of people added to the sex offenders registry here are added for a finite time before they are removed, in a case like Shawna’s 5 years would be considered normal (in which time she would have to notify the police of her address and accept some restrictions although nothing that restricts where she could live)
Given she served a short prison sentence her record would be marked as spent after 7 years so she would no longer have to declare it to any employer (excluding those who deal with children or venerable adults) after that time.
The only other restriction which is based on the sentence rather than anything to do with being a sex offender would be a ban on owning firearms for 10 years.
So 15 years later there would be no lasting affects except for trying to work for a company exempted from the rehabilitation of offenders act
The fundamental problem with Sex Offender Registry is that it stopped being conceived as a tool to somehow prevent re-offending, and now is mostly about delivering additional punishment that totally precludes a return to a passable normal life. Because such registry is now so big, it is also completely useless.
I think such registry should be used for a small subset of sex crimes, such that it would be actually helpful to alert communities about interactions between dangerous subjects with repeated offenses or the most serious single incident of offenses (involving children, for instance).
This all being said, I wonder what happened with the older woman who organized the encounter. She should be in prison as accessory for rape. She’s the most dangerous, though no one above 18 has any business having sexual intercourse with anyone age 15 or younger for any reason whatsoever.
@Dan: “would be forbidden from working with children or venerable adults”
Venerable? You have me very confused here. I first thought, ‘sexually transmittalbe adults? What the…’, but that’s venereal. So I looked up venerable and… You mean like, judges and professors or something? How is Shawna a danger to them??
OH! Did you mean VULnerable????!!
The sex offender registry serves a purpose for a minority of registrants who I think should have to stay on the list for life. There’s a guy living a block away who has been convicted twice of molesting and raping pre-pubescent girls. You’d better believe I’m glad we know about his past and frankly I don’t think he should ever come off the list – he should have to deal with the fallout of his crimes for the rest of his life, just the way his victims will.
I think that crimes should be classified according to the nature of the offense and people who get on the registry should be able to petition to come off of it if they’ve finished any probation/parole and haven’t re-offended. Someone’s life shouldn’t be permanently impacted because at 17 they had sex with their 14 year old girlfriend and her parents found out about it and flipped out. I’m completely disgusted by someone who’s been caught looking at kiddie porn, but if they get some serious therapy and don’t go on to re-offend after 5 or 10 years, they pose little risk down the line.
That said, I have little sympathy for a serial rapist or person who molested a toddler complaining that being on the registry keeps them from going to their kid’s school play or from working in a daycare center. People who commit such awful crimes need to pay their debt to society and I have no problem with part of that including being on a registry – even for life.
“Youâ€™ve listed off a bunch of restrictions that, except for the first one about the annual registration, arenâ€™t necessarily imposed on SOR registrants. It is up to each state to decide if there are prohibitions on moving, residency requirements, limitations on what you can and cannot do, or bans from attending childrenâ€™s school plays. Not all states impose these.”
Exactly. Some states already have a tiered approach when it comes to how long sex offenders have to register. My state does not have restrictions on where registered sex offenders can live and work. If she lived here, Shawna would be able to live anywhere she likes if the landlord is willing to rent. She wouldn’t be able to work in a daycare center or school, but there are places that would hire her. She would be able to go to her kids’ parent-teacher conferences and to attend special events like graduations and performances/sporting events that are open to the public. Some states get so draconian as to make it nearly impossible for sex offenders to live in normal society, others do not.
This is a great — and tragic — example with what is wrong with the criminal justice system — and society as a whole. Our justice and political systems are built around the idea that our officials can exercise good judgment in the administration of their duty. Laws that take away the ability to exercise judgment — or officials that don’t have any to exercise — set the system on its ear.
The woman in this story is no threat to anyone — and never was. The young man whom she “victimized” was almost certainly traumatized far more by the resulting machinations of the justice system than by the incident itself.
Society does indeed need to be protected from repetitive, compulsive sexual predators — but they make up less than 10% of those on these lists. And they can’t be cured, so these laws have very little impact on them to begin with.
Zero-tolerance policies are almost always a dismal failure.
I don’t understand why people worry so much about terrorism. I’m much more afraid of my own government than I am of any terrorist. And stories like this are why. Shawna, I’m sorry that you and especially your kids have been punished like this. It’s not right.
“The sex offender registry serves a purpose for a minority of registrants who I think should have to stay on the list for life. Thereâ€™s a guy living a block away who has been convicted twice of molesting and raping pre-pubescent girls. Youâ€™d better believe Iâ€™m glad we know about his past and frankly I donâ€™t think he should ever come off the list â€“ he should have to deal with the fallout of his crimes for the rest of his life, just the way his victims will.”
If someone according to the law should never be free, he should never be free.
Don’t let him loose on society with some “registry” causing him to be permanently shunned by his neighbours, finding it impossible to get a job (because of idiots picketing whatever company hires him in order to force them to fire him), and more often than not having to deal with regular vandalism of his property by vigilantes.
All that does is force such people (deeper) into crime and lawlessness.
“Some states get so draconian as to make it nearly impossible for sex offenders to live in normal society, others do not.”
It’s not the states/cities, it’s the people living there that make it impossible.
The “registry” is public, there are groups of self proclaimed “pedo hunters” who take the public registries, and go out and harass and threaten people on them, for whatever reason.
Doesn’t matter if it’s a temporary registration either, they just assume that anyone on there is a lifelong threat to society and should be removed.
Vandalising homes, beating people up, picketing rental agents and companies that employ them, sometimes even stores known to sell to them (the neighbourhood supermarket…) until they all refuse to do business with “the pervert”.
That’s mob “justice” and our “justice” system enables and promotes it by taking no action against these groups.
People ending up on the “registry” are more often than not forced to change their identities, undergo plastic surgery to change their appearance, their name, flee the country even (sometimes with help from the authorities).
They’re driven to suicide, with nobody mourning them.
Mayors enable all this, often publishing public announcements that a “convicted sex offender is going to be living at this and that address from next month” in local papers.
JTW, notification sent to neighbors is not always a choice made by public officials. In some states, such notification is mandated by law. At least one that I know of requires that flyers with a photo and exact address be sent to neighbors, local schools, potential employers and local press.
“If someone according to the law should never be free, he should never be free.”
Locking someone in a case isn’t the only way to restrict their freedom. There are lots of cases of people who are returned to society, but with (substantial) restrictions on their freedom. Some states still permanently ban felons from voting. Federal law prohibits felons from possessing firearms. A conviction for specific crimes may permanently bar someone from holding certain jobs, even after they complete their prison/probation sentence.
Keeping someone locked in a cage is fairly expensive, too.
Richard, I don’t care why it happens, but the consequences are making life impossible for the victim, and quite often leading to the victim ending up dead or being forced to flee for their lives, which puts them at odds with the law as they’re not allowed to flee under the terms of their probation/entry on the “registry”.
I agree that the 31yo should be on the registry too.
I don’t think the registry should be “for life” in a case where the victim was as old as 14/15. I think courts should have some leeway to do the responsible thing. Possibly this lady chose to accept a plea deal without realizing how it would affect her in the long run.
I’m not ready to say that certain sex offenders don’t need to be treated like risks for pretty much ever. I think adults make choices and choices have consequences. I continue to feel more sorry for young victims (whose memories and fears don’t end after x years) than for perps.
A young girl or boy who has been imposed upon by an adult sex offender will carry certain baggage for many years, law or no law. It affects their families too. If you’ve been treated a certain way by the first man that got physically close to you, you’re going to look at men differently for a long, long time, and you’re also going to raise your kids differently. So the long term result of sex offenses goes both ways.
If the argument is that registries are a waste of money, or they do more harm than good for non-perps, or something along those lines, I’ll listen. If it’s about how a person’s life is changed by his/her own choices that also changed another person’s life irrevocably, then I’m just not there.
In this case, I doubt the teen boy was particularly traumatized, though I don’t know all the facts.
“I donâ€™t think the registry should be â€œfor lifeâ€ in a case where…”
The federal law that requires states to set up registries (SORNA) sets up a three-tiered system… the lowest level of offense requires registration for 15 years, the middle level requires 25 years, and only the highest level requries registration for life. Additionally, there is a provision to request being dropped off the list 5 years early if the offender has a clean record since going on the registry.
But that’s only the baseline… states can, and some states do, enact longer registration requirements on top of what the federal law requires them to do.
(for legal pedants only)
The federal law technically doesn’t actually “require” the states to do anything; Constitutionally, the federal government doesn’t have the authority to force the states comply. So there’s a funding penalty built into the SORNA law that punishes states for noncompliance by reducing federal spending in those states that don’t enact laws to provide for what the feds want them to do. In practice, the threat to withhold federal spending is a VERY large hammer by which the federal government usually gets what it wants. For example, that’s how come every one of the 50 states independently decided that the drinking age in their state should be 21 rather than 18… the federal government threatened to withhold highway funds for states that allowed people under 21 to drink.
I’m a mom. I’m in many ‘mom groups’.
The witch hunt and demonization of sex is real.
Mom: my 11 year old doesn’t want the HPV vaccination what should I do?
Mom board concensus: it’s her body let her decide
Mom: my 14 year old was caught smoking marijuana
Mom board concensus : it’s his body let him decide
Mom: my 7 year old is being told she has to hug her grandparents but doesn’t want to
Mom board concensus : it’s her body she had a right to decide to hug or not
Mom: my 8 year old son had always identified as a girl how can I help her?
Mom board concensus : help her transition to being a girl it’s her body and she can decide
Mom: I just found out my 15 year old had concentual sex with a 20 year old
Mom board concensus : she was brainwashed! She’s too young to control her body. Arrest that sex predator !!
@Shawna – you got a bad deal and unfortunately politicians don’t care. The DA got a mark in their favor without thinking. Please stay with the movement to do away with these laws and registries. However, why did the person who provided the beverages not get taken in for providing them or did they?
@Marie – Mom consensus board analogy – SPOT ON!
There are other registries, e.g. Ohio has a drunk driving registry.
I leave you with the article to read and consider the content about public registries: http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/tracking-violent-ex-cons-registries-grow-but-do-they-work/
I was actually looking into the inequality of laws. The last 3 years of my life have been a nightmare, due to many sides of this very conversation. In 2009 my then girlfriend became pregnant. When she was 4 months preg, I made a decision to go to treatment becacuse at 29 with 4 DUIs and a mother who died drinking and driving I had to change. I wasn’t in treatment long when my ex at the behest of many told her to end it. I didnt’ see the point i arguing, as my focus was on being present in my own life, so that I could be a father to the daughter who, was coming. I finished treatment in Jan 10, and set about “Growing up” for me It was a sober apartment complex which I have now lived at for going on 7 years. Its simply a place where the people don’t live with drugs and alcohol in their lives, and agree to accountability. I began attending parenting classes with 2 seperate mens groups on alternating, days of the week and AA at night. In April my daughter “Lily” was born. I call her NUGGET. While attending the parenting classes and learning how to live I was sending letters to my ex stating my intentions to parent, my father having only a desire to co parent. There was never a response, and I had dropped the letters personally, with diapers, and clothes. I went to the Child Support worker at one of the fathers groups. They had seen my frustration and at that time 7months of not being able to meet my daughter and a DNA/Parenting time hearing scheduled for the end of 2010, mediation was recomened. This all worked so well, the judge ordered mediation attempted in the future if there were ever any issues. Over the next few years it was tracking my ex down to find my daughter to spend time with her, or sitting at home on a Friday night praying for her to call and ask for money to go out. She had 2 more children with 2 more fathers, and as I had met her in AA, (When I was playing at being Sober) I had known about her drinking for some time. The imposibilty of a father in the family courts detered me from any chance. in 2014 with the youngest on the way, she lost her place, and was pregnant with 2 kids. I suggested she allow my daughter to stay with me, while she sorted it out, this sent her into hiding (not like before she was gone.) I called CPS with one of the Fathers advocates in order to have a wittness. July 7th it had been by this time 3 months since I saw my daughter and 3 weeks since I had heard from her mother. In Aug someone else called on her and they had tracked down— found this out later. CPS went in due to the call and left for 5 months and never told me. During this time I began the custody suit and my attorney told me to try mediation, cause its in the order. Nov 5th went to mediation agreed to drive 1.5 hours up to be accomoadating . I told her I only wanted to nuggets dad and if she wasn’t prepared to allow me in her life I had a lawyer ready to sue for custody. “He molested her!!!!” She just lost it. That was the end of mediation. and the 2 woman agreed, and stated they were mandated reporters. I understood protect kds do what you have too. Couple weeks later they call and say theres nothing there. 2 months later my ex gets the kids removed because her and the youngests dad were in the parking lot arguing METH. In the apartment my daughter then 4 and her 2 siblings were navigating around a broken meth pipe on the living room floor and one in the couch in reach, and one more in the bathroom. At her court appearnce my ex claimed that she hadn’t seen or had contact with me and that she didn’t know my custodial status, and her 6 month marriage to the middle boys dad ended in an OFP. Never any mention of her first false accusation at all. CPS because of the thousands upon thousands of dollars they get from the FED, rushed through the emergency hearing , And the placement hearing 10 days later. MEANING they had a judges approval meaning a new order. When I was sent a bill for GAL services and had no clue what it meant so I called the number the following monday and was told my daughter was removed and they would schedule a hearing. I asked where I had to go get her and was told someone would contact me. noone called. I did recive a letter for a court date Jan 2015, I went in with my custody files, affidavit of the CPS call, 1500 cash for the GAL fees, And a 5 years worth of clean UA’s with verifications. I was expecting to have the option of picking up my daughter. I was bluntly informed that the county had my daughter and she was in foster care. I would be given 15 mins Sat and 15 mins Sun phone calls. Mom and bio dad 3 were given twice weekly 4 hour visits. This after bio dad went to court high admitted it in open court and mom had admitted to using after the kids were removed as well. I was forced to stop custody suit because CPS was involved, and it was reported to the judge that mom says I didn’t see my daughter because I never came to get her, noone thought it was odd that she provided them with 4 different ways to contact bio dad 2, and I had been and still am in the same place since birth of my daughter. NEVER knew where she was. For over a year I did everything these people asked and it was April when I got to finally see my daughter it had been a year I did 4 months of supervised visits every Thurs 4 with 3 hour round trip never missed a visit, brought meals, and frequently had pre approved off site activites Childrens Science museum, zoo, splash pad. After fathers day some 4 months I went to unsupervised visits. 2 days before Thanksgiving 2015 I get a call from a detective he asks If I could come to his office the following day. I explain I have my daughter coming for the thanksgiving holliday. He says she is not coming and that I need to call the social worker. I told him if its my daughter I’m comming right now. I was in his office within 2 hours giving a statement. My ex had accused me of molesting my daughter the previous weekend, to which I explained this is the second false accusation. And that the first one was wittnessed by 2 mediators. I live downtown, and was home and had info faxed in 20mins, called investigative social worker of Co. and told him same thing I did the detective. This prick is the guy who didnt call me for a month, about my daughters removal, and 1 yr berfore when I asked him about it was none to happy to talk to me. He suggests a polygraph, as a way to clear this mess up and as we are finishing he says HANG IN THERE. I had been working this long with these people and they were never once concerned with anything other than my wallet. So much so that for the last year because of the lack of information, they were giving me I was HIPPAing all the information I could think of and a disturbing trend appeared. I had asked after my very first supervised visit for my daughter to be provided therapy, I asked weekly for 5 months and finally, had the court appointed attorney ask the judge and it happend. During that visit with about 20 mins of our 4 hours left my daughter says DAD 2 is not my dad anymore and DAD 3 is not my dad anymore, I had to ask NUGGET if I could be her dad. She didn’t cry she meekly nodded and wrapped her arms around my neck for the final 15mins and stayed there not saying a word. Those were the first things I hippaed. Then I started following a trail around the state tracking down where and what my ex had been up to finding police reports, and also collecting info on the work being done in the current case a court apted attny would not call me back for months at a time. BACK to polygraph I knew this man wasn’t my friend, I shopped through thanksgiving and on DEC 4th had hired an attorney, with the money that was supposed to be for custody. 9 months and they wouldn’t tell me or my attorneys anything, at all. In March 16 I am informed that the county has found a perponderance of the evidence to support a maltreatment determination. The county I live in the criminal aspect had it sitting on a DAs desk and would some 2 months later tell me that no criminal charges were going to be persued, for lack of evidence. During all of this I attended the final 2 hearings where social worker through the county attorney claims I refused his tests. I only asked he speak to my lawyer, he never spoke to either, those false claims reported to the judge were used to deny supervised visits that I requested, as I again understand the need to investigate these claims. During the 9 months his investigation consisted of taking my exs, and her moms statements, he also did a corner house interview with my daughter. This was all done on the same day 2 days into investigation and 5 days before I even learned about it. Socail worker at trial, claims the hospital refused to send him medical records, that the 2 detectives that went to the hospital to interview mom and grandma may or may not have had reports but were never able to provide them, he refused to interview anyone else that is mandatory in the very laws they used to come to their conclusion. 12 people on the shortest list I have come up with, including the man who drove her the 1.5 hours home from a ride service that the county had provided at reasonable fees so I didnt have to take a 3 hour round trip on fridays to get nugget. In an agency decision it is civil which is an attempt to put me on a list to bar me from specific employment, amongst other things. Most important to me was custody of NUGGET, which would become next to impossible with a determination.I had to send in that In was contesting the decison in 15 days I sent it in and in less than a week it was rejected, meaning commisoner of human services judge hearing. They dont provide counsel, which is explained to you on the phone at a preliminary hearing with the co attorney, and the judge, which in all fairness you need an attorney for cause the DA, jumped right into denying me the actual cornerhouse info on my daughter but I was allowed mom and grandmas. Because they don’t provide attorneys I took $7,000 that I had been putting away for nuggets college, and hired yet another attorney. 3 weeks ago I got the judges decision, and he found that there is not a perponderance of the evidence, to support the allegation. He found that the statements mom and grandma gave were dishonest and wildly inconsistant. And he also concluded that the social worker coached my daughter in the interview. Bettween my exes testimony and the 3 month decision my ex has since come to the city where I live. A major metropolitan area and filed ex- parte to have my parenting time reserved, stating in her affidavit that its due to the allegations made. Making sound like it wasn’t her that made these allegations. Because I was never served and the place is blocks away. Which is BS, they entered a default order in Oct. I found out because when I got the appeals judges decision and all investigations were done (I thought) I called to see my daughter, and my ex said check the order. I asked for the judge who made the order that judge has since left the family court, so I filed and got another one. They can’t hear the case till march 14 months it will be 17 till I get to see my daughter at the best estimate, “If mom complies” but the real travesty is 2 fold here the Actual allegation is something like this— these storys were wildly inconsistant. My daughter and I were in my place either playing or coloring and she ran into a dresser. “Which I don’t own” I have walkin floor to celing. and because she ran into dresser I attempted to sooth her thigh but instead rubbed her privates over her clothes for a few seconds. Thats why I haven’t seen my daughter in over a year, thats the best her mom came up with after a year of clean time. The law they attempted to get me under has a maximum penalty of 25 yrs and a $35,000 fine or both. and a second tack on law for their plea deal purposes. During the cornerhouse interview in my exes testimony they say that my daughter had a persistent itch in her privates yet it was some 7 hours out of my care before they brought her in. I the accused called the hospital and had the report in about a week. I left out much because even though I am now broke, I am compiling the information I have and within the next 180 days must notify the Attorney General of my state that I intend to sue in federal court a county and agencies, within that county in a tort action. The main focus of my arguement will be sex, because also during the cornerhouse interview my ex admitted to laying my daughter on the floor and inspecting her privates, and at this the social worker and the officer present, didn’t even believe — this warrented a follow up question. Yet I could have gone away for 25 yrs and lost my life, having to report as a sex offfender if I survived prison. Which I would not have because other information that I didn’t have last yr when this started would have then been the last straw. I’m blessed I have a higher power, I also have been diagnosed with OCD, and have since 4 months ago been nearly unable to leave my home, because I have a compulsion to find some magic bullet in the law, these this is how I found this sight tonight, research, information gathering for a federal case that I am wholly out of my depth for. But the one thing I know is that for nugget i’ll learn to swim. And there are only 2 ways to change the law 1st Know your rights and when they are infringed upon by the government hold them accountable. (I didn’t know this I do now.) this is done because while I knew the word presedence and what it meant I didn’t realize the amount of value courts place on it. If something similar has been ruled on they will honor it. 2nd STOP ELECTING LAWYERS AND JUDGES TO REALIZE THE TRUTH READ A LAW ANY LAW IT IS IN A FORM TO BE DELIBERATELY DIFFICULT. THEY DO THIS TO KEEP THE COMMON INDIVIDUAL IN THE DARK. THEY USE A WORD THAT IS COMMON BUT THEY USE IT FOR ONE OF ITS SLITGHTLY DIFFERENT MEANINGS DOWNLOAD A LAW DICTIONARY, AND WHILE YOUR READING A LAW OR 2 CHECK OUT THE MEANINGS OF SOME OF THE WORDS YOU SEE.
Why does everything have to be so black-and-white? I’m hearing a lot of chuckling, boys-will-be-boys, all 14-year-old boys “want it” by definition and so these things should be decriminalized.
Even Shawna recognizes and says in the comments that she did something wrong. We should be fighting for adults who commit statutory rape to be punished for a short time and then be allowed to move on with their lives, perhaps on probation for a while. Most importantly, we need to leave the space open for judges and juries to fit punishments to crimes instead of painting all sex crimes with the same brush. Unfortunately, judges like Brock Turner’s judge make it hard to trust them to do so. It’s a complicated issue, but I think what we should all agree is that criminal justice should be used to make society safer, not just to punish people for the sake of punishing them.
“The federal law that requires states to set up registries (SORNA) sets up a three-tiered systemâ€¦ the lowest level of offense requires registration for 15 years, the middle level requires 25 years, and only the highest level requries registration for life. Additionally, there is a provision to request being dropped off the list 5 years early if the offender has a clean record since going on the registry.
But thatâ€™s only the baselineâ€¦ states can, and some states do, enact longer registration requirements on top of what the federal law requires them to do.”
You are talking about the Adam Walsh Act. Only 17 states have substantially enacted the Adam Walsh Act, and many of them not in total. And enacting has pretty much stopped. I don’t anticipate that any other states will adopt Adam Walsh.
My state does have 3 tiers sort of – Level 1, Level 2 and sexual predators. EVERYONE is considered a lifetime registrant. Nobody falls off the registry. If an offender is classified as Level 1, s/he has the ability, 10 years after s/he has completed his/her sentence in its entirety, to petition the sentencing court to be removed from the sex offender registry.
The last felony stat rape case (19/14) that I pleaded out got 10 years of probation, so he will have to remain on the registry for 20 years prior to being able to petition off. The last “How to Catch a Predator” internet sting case that I pleaded out got 30 years probation, so he will have to remain on the registry for 40 years at a minimum. Rape carries a mandatory minimum of life so they can never get off the registry.
And I do not know a single attorney who has successfully petitioned to have anyone removed from the sex offender registry. I’ve only tried once and was denied despite the fact that the case did not involve sex at all (in my state, if you are convicted of false imprisonment involving a minor who is not your child, you must register as a sex offender even if there was no sexual act alleged in the case, although you can petition to be removed).
“You are talking about the Adam Walsh Act.”
Um, yeah. Well, specifically, I’m referring to SORNA, which was enacted as part of the Adam Walsh Act. That’s why I referred to “SORNA” and the “Adam Walsh Act”.
Oregon has a statute to comply with SORNA. But Oregon doesn’t pile on anything beyond the federal minimum requirements: Being on the list requires registration and periodic in-person appearances to fill out forms, and nothing else. Restrictions on employment, residency, or contact with the public and subsets thereof, if there are any such restrictions, come from probation or parole, not registration. The Constitutional basis for restricting the freedom of individuals on probation or parole is well-established; I think the Constitutionality of restrictions based on registration is less clear… when the registration case went up to the Supremes, they allowed registration on the basis that information about convictions was public information, and so requiring registration was not a significant limitation of freedom. That was before states and localities started laying requirements beyond simple registration on registrants. Depending on who fills Justice Scalia’s seat, I’m not so sure the modern “enhancements” to the registration laws would survive. The trick, of course, is to find a sympathetic plaintiff who can afford to pay the costs of a legal battle… not easy.
I am Shawna’s step dad. I believe our court’s and justice system has become political instead just. In many cases including this one what is right and just is completely ignored and only what politically expedient is chosen. Shawna and her family have been made to suffer to promote a prosecutor’s political future! Her punishment is way too harsh for the crime. But it politically appeals to the prosecutor’s future. There are many like her who have done nothing to warrant the rest of there to ruined.
Like many others she is the victim of a politically ambitious prosecutor. She like many others are not dangerous preditors. She has kept struggling inspite of the harsh judgement placed on her.
We just voted against a ‘politically correct’ system. We need to get rid of this ‘politically correct’ justice system also.
This is the new NAZI-ism that has swept the Nation! And if those fabled “FEMA camps” actually DO exist, you can pretty much place a safe “bet” in parteints to who the first “internees” are going to end up being!!!
Now this was over 3 years ago. But I think that this applies to either John Pollock or John B.
I know that I obviously “offended” you by a few of the controversial things I said. I apologize for that. You said i needed to “change my meds!!!” Well’ that was rather “uncalled for.” It became obvious to me that you are the designated website “moderator.” It’s always so OBVIOUS when you “run aground” on the website moderator, because, often, they act like “bullies’, tell you that you’re a “mental case”, and then proceed to unfairly “flag” all of your future comments as “inappropriate!!!” It is obvious that had offended you rather badly, I apologize for that, and I ask that you stop removing all my “comments” from these pages. I have not said ANYTHING along the lines of what I said that “offended” you.
And dammit, if you still have that nasty a “grudge” against me, why not tell me outright! All you have to do is “E-mail” me!!! If you DON’T want me “posting” on this blog again, just let me know!!! I don’t like saying important things, revealing important facts, making good valid points, and sharing my observations, just to have you act like a jerk and “remove” all of my postings!!! Ok, I get it. You don’t like me. I must have really your blood boil! If so, I apologize. But people all have different “points of view.” I am clearly no exception. Look, Sir, if I “blew it”, and lost any and all chances of being abled to “voice myself” on this website, just TELL me so I won’t waste anymore of my TIME trying to do so!!! For the last time, I apologize for offending you. Thank you.
Well, I’m going to submit the same old tired opinion I always do.
Those with healthy hearts will truly consider just what punishment fairly fits a crime.
We live in a sad and sorry day and age of punitive rage…likened unto all those dark and dangerous times dancing within the twilights of all empires.
Like swatting a gnat with a “Swatt” team…..
And all the tired apologetic shrugs that shrinkwrap a society that sneaky-peaks trillions’ worth of hard, soft, limp and lifeless porn into planetary plenitude……that cornucopia of (legal) profits –
but gawd forbid a teenager can make a mistake, no.
Meryl, you were right, of course. Wimps and wusses can forgive.
But real men must practice the ongoing torture of righteous hypocrisy.
But hell and anyhow….
I can just as easily re-visit my 14 year-old self, and know the truth.
That I would have not no-how, in any conscious way, have been vandalized, scandalized, pained, maimed, bruised or bluesed by such a happy happenstance as this particular story. (Yes, I was a normal boy.)
That this does not seem to matter a whit……is just about as witless as I can barely imagine.
“He that hath an a little tiny wit
with a hey, ho, wind and the rain”
sorry I didn’t mean to go on a rant their I’ve never actually put all of it down like that. Shawna, this is your struggle, I applaud you for having the courage to open a dialogue. When this ends for you, and I believe soon it will, remember to advocate for those who still need a voice. Maybe document the process, provide some insight the people on the hill can ignore. But hope they will listen one day.