I was in a relationship with a 16 year old girl when I was 23, 17 years ago. I plead guilty to Rape 3rd in New York State and was told I would have to register for 10 years and serve 5 years probation. After about 6-7 years laws drastically changed. I was forced to move as where I had lived for several years was to close to a school. I was forced to register all email addresses and have my picture posted online labeling me a monster. I am forced to register my vehicles and work information if I am attending college etc. I didn’t plead guilty to this; I had no idea of the repercussions of that guilty plea.
I was engaged to a local elected official, I was living at her residence at the time. She received a lot of flak for this, as you might imagine. As this is an election year for her, I left. I was not familiar with how much the laws had changed. When I left I was told I had to have a residence within a 10 day period or I would be guilty of a felony for failing to register. As in New York being homeless is illegal, I stayed with my mother for several days and listed her address; within 3 days of this she was notified by her landlord that because of my status I had to leave ASAP or she would be evicted. So of course I left.
As soon as I walked out the door I had 10 days again to find a new address or I would be guilty of a Felony. I had the money for a place, but I was honest with the potential landlords, and they would not accept me being a Sex Offender. I looked day and night and made 50 calls to try and find a place with no avail. I was at day 9 and out of options; I called the local police and was told I had to have a residence by the next day PERIOD or I would be guilty of another Felony. I was distraught. I came up with two options, (1) commit another minor crime and be arrested so I could use the temporary address or threaten suicide and go to a mental hospital . I chose the later; I wrote the change of address form out, mailed it to Albany, and drove to the local mental hospital and told them I was going to hurt myself that night if I didn’t get help, all a lie. So they took me in.
I was released after 6 days then the clock started ticking again–10 days to new Felony. I did this 3 more times until I was able to get an apartment. I went to visit my girlfriend; she had some new neighbors who were aware of my status and called me child molester, POS etc., etc., etc. I eventually snapped and we got into a fight. Of course, he pressed charges. I spent 60 days in jail and was released homeless again. This time I went to the local welfare office and claimed homelessness. I am staying at the cost of the tax payers at a hotel for $50 a day. I have a place to stay but no where I can list as an address. I have been here almost 10 days and they are telling me I have to find a place, but I cannot!! I am labeled a rapist; in New York 17 is not legal; in 30 other states it is legal, but in New York I am a dangerous Rapist of Children.
I have had several good paying jobs only to lose them when they find out my status. I was granted SSD/SSI for Depression/Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress, all because of my crime that happened 17 years ago. I am out of options. I either commit crimes to survive or eventually become homeless and get convicted of another Felony just for being homeless. I want to do right, but I am backed into a corner. Every day I want to die!! I am labeled a monster for being in a relationship with a girl a few months too young close to two decades ago. I am hopelessly depressed, I have no life, no friends, and only my mother is there for me. I have not one friend in the world. I contemplate suicide every day, but so far haven’t. I have had no similar charges in 17 years and just want to move on with my life. I cannot; I feel hopeless.
I know the laws through and through in New York. I started out as a 10 year listed offender now as a level 2 I am a Lifetime Registrant. I can apply for relief after 30 years now. Do they want us to flip and lose it? I am really close!! Who do they think they are protecting? I have a daughter that I had 50% custody of for 10 years after the conviction; if I am such a danger why did that happen? I hate my life and I hate the people who made these laws as they are. I just want to move on. I got probation for my offense!!! Why can’t I be allowed to try to get my life back!! I feel so lost! I have no hope, no life, and am losing all desire to live. I suspect this is what the lawmakers want!! We need to band together. I need people in my life that understand, but I have none!! Please Help!