20 year old faces vicious cycle – no housing, no school

Original post date: 02.08.2008

My 20-year-old son sat in jail for six months with 39 charges pending initially, then dropped almost immediately to 16 and stayed posted online, with his picture, for the entire six months, enough time for the entire community to see it and for some ignorant people to speculate about what a “horrible sex offender” he must be.

Of course, his circumstances were ridiculous, and passing polygraphs — more than one — and providing all sorts of irrefutible evidence supporting his innocence was of little or no help aside from the fact that his 39/16 charges ended up as 2 C felonies (because these were two friends who thought this was “fun,” and that they “make a good team.” ) They offered absolutely no evidence except for the allegation. They could not get times, dates, circumstances or anything right — the police reports and discovery were a mess on their side, so much so that when I read all 300+ pages of discovery, I was excited, because anyone with half a brain could see right through what this was.

But, the attorney, probably rightly so, advised my son to take the offered five-year probationary plea in order to avoid our state’s HORRIBLE mandatory sentencing should something have gone awry at trial. He’s now a felon who has to register, no end in sight. He’s attempting to transfer probation to another county so he can go to school. Though he’s registered at school (they haven’t asked about criminal history but the PO will likely visit the dean), we’re struggling with finding housing. He must have housing in place and either a job or be enrolled in school BEFORE the PO here will begin the transfer process, which takes 45 days, hardly enough time before school starts the third week in September. He must get out of this small town. His PO just recently set an 8:00 p.m. curfew and told him the two friends he was hanging out with are now off limits because they associate with girls not yet 18.  Seems like they’re trying their best to trap him.

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