originally posted 7/27/2009
Back in 1995, before my husband turned 18 years old, he was accused of first degree sexual abuse by three girls. These girls were all friends, all of which disliked me and the fact that I was dating him at the time. One of the girls’ mothers was actually my then-boyfriend’s, and had recently fired him from his job and the other two were actually his cousin’s children and were very mad at their father.
I still remember the acting officer coming to my mom’s house and saying, “I’m sorry, Joey, I know you haven’t done anything wrong, but I have to
take you to jail for the night.” Numerous charges (25 to be exact) on top of the other charges he had. He was a troubled teen and into drugs, and I guess I thought that I could save him from himself. I never left his side. Even through the two years that he was in prison, I knew he couldn’t have done
Day after day in court, my husband maintained his innocence. He was taking it to trial because we all knew he hadn’t done anything.
Then, his own lawyer got to him. “You can take this plea agreement. We will drop ALL other charges (which included grand theft, attempted murder, escape in the first degree, larceny, and unarmed robbery) if you will just take this plea agreement. All of your other charges will be gone, we will amend these down to 16 counts, give you good time for the 6 months you have already served and it will be over. If you do not take the plea agreement, we will take this to court and you will get up to 25 years.” His own lawyer had already made an agreement with the other attorney and had my husband convicted. He (my husband) was scared and he didn’t want to spend any more time away from his family than he had to, so he took the agreement.
On the day that he was released, which was November 12, 1997, my husband was told that all he had to do was contact the local probation and parole
office. We contacted them and my husband (still boyfriend at the time) was told that he had served his time. There was nothing else he was required to do and he could live his life just like anyone else. The horror was over, or so we thought.
In April of 2005, eight years and a five year old son later, a family member had some real trouble; we got caught up in the situation and social services was called on us. They brought a search warrant, the whole police force, it seemed, and the drug task force, and went through every little thing in my home. To their dismay, they found nothing. Even the detective said that they had no reason to be there. There was nothing I could do.
A few days later, we received call that my husband, (now my husband by this time), was to report again to the local probation and parole office and register as a sex offender. We both were mortified, but we were also informed that failure to do so within ten days would result in him going back to jail for failure to comply. So, he went and registered. Our life has been a living nightmare ever since.
My family has been ridiculed. My husband has been refused jobs. We were made to leave my son’s school during a fall festival they were having, with my son in tow screaming and crying because he didn’t want to leave. I got a membership for our family to the YMCA and after three months was told that our family membership, including my children’s, had been terminated due to the fact of my husband being on the registry although he never utilized the membership himself.
We were recently informed that he can no longer go to the school and pick our son up for any reason unless it is first sent in writing and then must be approved, which is crazy because what if, for example, my son gets hurt and I cannot get there? I would have to send a non-family member to get him because his OWN FATHER cannot go?
Our son is about to turn nine years old and I believe his teachers, once they find out who his father is, treat us and my son differently because of his father being on the registry. We have a three year old daughter and you wouldn’t believe the way people look at and talk about us when they see him carrying our daughter out in public.
Recently, back in November of 2008, I went to the courthouse and got copies of all the cases so we could look through them ourselves and see what they actually said. It states in, all the paperwork, that there were never any tests conducted on my husband, nor the girls who made allegations against my husband. The only thing in the records, besides the girls’ claims, is a statement made by one of the girls to a counselor, but the records do not define or state what was said.
I was at every court date and hearing, but none of the girls, nor their parents, were present. The girls see him in public and don’t make a point to stay away from him, they will even say hello in passing.
The saddest part in all of this, to me, is the fact that from the time I was 15 until the day I left home for good at 18, I was repeatedly sexually abused my mom’s ex-husband and he has yet to spend more than 24 hours behind bars. I was forced to sign a petition stating that I was lying and this man is walking free to this day. A man whom I KNOW is guilty and have to face because he still lives in the same small town that we do; yet my husband who never done anything, is classified as a monster and we have to live with this for the rest of his life
just because of something that was said, not proven.
I have tried and tried to find someone to help us, but no one will. They all say that they would have to take his case back to court and he would just get more time.
Once we were done with the copies of my husband’s court documents, we then had to give them to the preacher of our church because people in the congregation were talking and didn’t want us there. He uses the papers as proof for the people of the church. We have to prove ourselves to CHRISTIAN people! My husband is a good man, a wonderful father, a preacher, and it doing the best that he can to provide what life he can for me and his children. But, this has put a real strain on our marriage as well. He feels like a failure to me and our children. We have seperated before, we have argued, we stay at home and keep our children at home unless they go to a very close family member’s
home. I won’t allow them to stay with friends because it scares me to think of what might happen if the other child’s parent was to find out about my husband.
We don’t go out much. I am trying to go back to school and work on my Bachelor’s degree and only have maybe two close friends because I am afraid of what people will say or think if they find out our situation. This has gone way beyond affecting just my husband. Our whole family is affected, yet we cannot do anything.
I wish the laws were different. I wish we had some kind of an option to get this overturned, but we have nothing. We must continue to live our lives of solitude because all we have is each other and God. Sometimes it’s enough, but sometimes we long for more. But, what can we do? There is nothing we can do.