Some good news for a change

I have been on the registry since 1997. Many things have changed over the years. Like when I was sentenced, I was only suppose to be on the registry for 15 years. Which in my mind is too long for a consensual teenage “sex crime.

“Not long after my conviction they amended the law, which made me a lifetime registrant. So as soon as I was considered an adult, I was also considered a sexual deviant.  Sad thing is that the same year I was convicted, there was a law enforcement officer caught for the same thing, but he got a lesser misdemeanor  charge and only 1 yr. of supervision. Imagine that.

At first it wasn’t so bad. There wasn’t an online registry, so if someone wanted to know who was on there they had to go down to the court house to find out. Most people didn’t do that. So I was able to live a pretty normal day to day life other than the 4 years of probation and 6 months in jail. I could go on and on about instances of discrimination and social segregation, but this post is going to be about some of my most recent victories.

I have learned since being on the registry that if you hang your head and are constantly living in shame, you will get nowhere. You will get the same results from hiding from it. The less people get to know you, the worse they are going to think about you. I don’t go out of my way to make friends, but I’m not about to be thought of as a monster. I help my neighbors whether they ask for it of not. I work harder than anyone else, so there is no reason to fire me. When given the opportunity to prove myself, I take it and surpass expectations.  I do these things that most people don’t, and my only return is being considered the best of the worst.  Whatever, I’ll take it.  So, after years of being out of the system, I find myself back on probation. Since being put on the registry, I had developed depression and a hefty drinking problem. Turns out that drinking whiskey and taking antidepressants can cause a blackout rage that leads to beating up 2 bouncers and waking up in a ditch next to the highway surrounded by cops. Oops. Anyway, I have made my apologies and taken responsibility for my actions and am currently finishing up a year of probation. The incident happened over a year ago, and I haven’t had a drink since. Also, I quit taking those complacency pills. All of this leads up to the good news, because without it, the good news would never have happened.

Up until 2007  I was a competition kick-boxer.  I had gotten into a car accident and messed up my neck, so that was over. I have managed to stay in good physical condition, but recently with my new found sobriety I was interested to see what physical level I could get to. Knowing that the YMCA does background checks and excludes sex offenders, I was weary of trying to get in there. I went to the website of the local YMCA  and read their policy on background checks. It turned out that they allow an appeal to membership denial based on the background check. I knew that even if I couldn’t get in, that my wife and children would still be able to attain a membership, and that was more important anyway. I want my children to be involved in athletic programs that will help them grow socially and physically. I didn’t have that, and it’s very important to me that my children do. So we applied.

I was a member for over 3 weeks before they completed my background check, but I was waiting for it. I met with the director and requested an appeal. She was actually understanding and told me what she needed to make the process as smooth as possible. I immediately went to see my probation officer and told her about my situation. Now, being on probation again, I am automatically put back on sex offender supervision even though my crime has nothing to do with a sex crime. But, my rules are basic and nothing about going to the YMCA is part of them. So my probation officer gave the YMCA the information they needed and a referral that I am not a dangerous sexual deviant.  Also, when I told some of my friends and family about the situation, they too offered up references.

I am now a trusted member of the YMCA. I am not allowed to be a volunteer, but I am allowed to use the facility and be with my children as they learn different sports and activities. This has been my greatest victory thus far in overcoming the many insurmountable obstacles of being on the sex offender registry. It does seem that, in my area at least, people are becoming more aware of the fact that many “sex offenders” are not the monsters that the politicians, district attorneys, and judges are calling us in order to justify their positions. I am still very careful in protecting myself from false claims when going to places like the YMCA by going with a trustworthy witness and never being alone with anyone underage. Sad but true, even the most straight edge registrant can be taken down by a false claim of sexual misconduct. And there are people out there that feel like they are doing society a favor by putting you away. Allowing offenders the opportunity to integrate back into society is the only real way for society to keep tabs on offenders and prevent them from re-offending. I’m hoping to see it in my lifetime.

 

s/

28 Comments

  1. Matthew

    Well, I was impressed by the phone conference, that was held yesterday evening.
    It was both informative and insightful LOL so much so I made a 40 dollar donation to the legal fund as it was going on.
    And volunteered to help out with some projects as well.
    So, guys and gals if I can do it so can you. Here’s a Idea make it into a family project, that way get the family involved if you have one.
    I am saddened that I didn’t know about this sooner and it took a slap in the face in Dec. 2012 to waken me up.
    And this is what the government and the politicians and John Walsh are banking on that people will be scared and won’t care, or won’t be informed as to whats going on and what they want will prevail.
    Let me tell you my friends, WE need to as David said during the conference, ” Cut the head off the body ” Well let me tel you any limb you cut off the body helps as it slows the beast down confuses it stuns it and makes it think irrational, ” same as goes with the art of war. ” They call that fire for effect. The forward observation post locates the target and calls in Artillery or a air strike, and says fire for effect.

    And brother and sister we have the target.
    “These are the targets”
    AWA and the registry.
    And the law makers and the courts.

    “Air strikes and Artillery”
    You, your family, Friends

    “Weapons”
    RSOL and the other projects to end this

    “Ammo”
    Donations, doesn’t matter how much $5, $10, $15, $20 whatever whenever.
    Volunteering, helping out in fund raising, mailings, and joining in conferences, and road trips to your state capital.
    Contacting different organizations that might be willing to help us in this fight.

    Now, how important is this well look at all the wars that battled an enemy. They had a collection of forces the USA the UK, Canada, to name a few pulling their might to fight.

    So there’s the game plan, if we organize and plan we can overcome this unconstitutional injustice. Its not going to be easy as our forefathers knew it wouldn’t be, but they gave us the best weapon the truth of the constitution.

    • Matthew

      5/9/2013 This just reported on local news Rep. Frank Burns is pushing for a bill to bus children if a predator lives in the school district BUT then it went on to say that if sex offenders lived in the area it didn’t matter whether it was a public or private school.
      This is all aimed at keep our children safe.
      I believe he is aiming it at Cambria and Somerset counties, but it might be state wide.

  2. To all of you I stand corrected on the ACLU. They sent me an email and said they should be hearing something any day now. I was starting to lose hope because I am an impatient person on this situation. They said this is a tough battle; omg.

  3. Well, Richard, the laws in NC are probably different then the ones passed here in PA. Only thing I can think of is banding together on a federal level because you fighting for my state and me fighting for your state, I think we would be swimming in circles. And there are only like 5 or 6 people that post on this site that I can see anyway. I did read that in another state a bunch of people banded together and a couple of them had good outcomes and didn’t have to register. Had to dig deep on the Internet to find it. That’s about all I have been doing sense this started in PA, nothing but research.

    • pat

      I’m in PA and am looking for help on finding a lawyer on this matter of appealing. I have tried to hire two lawyers and they both said that they are too busy to take my case. But I think we all know the real reason why… When I was in college I was arrested for attempting to lure a child; she was 16 and it was 9:30 at nite and I didn’t know she was a juvenile.

      • 3rd

        It’s time to take what little rights we had back, I was told one thing by the courts of Pennsylvania and they told me 10 years and now its life sentence on registry. And for any one who doesn’t think its a sentence I’m hear to tell you it is.

      • National RSOL’s Legal Action Project and PA No More Labels are hosting a telephone conference for those in PA affected by the new SORN laws there. It will be on May 3rd beginning at 7 p.m. eastern time. The call in number is 530.881.1400 and the access code is 957605#.

      • Matthew

        I’ll be there or on there, we need to take a stand and fight this thing and organize ourselves otherwise everyone if they don’t fight this should just roll over and take it.

  4. I have left my e-mail address rpruett37@netzero.net many times in the past along with a comment, how are we supposed to band together if we are afraid to communicate with each other ?, and why do people on the registry seem more willing to consider taking their own lives, than to do any serious collaboration with each other? Are we that afraid of the same government who clearly would love to see us disappear?

    From editor: what state are you in? Have you checked to see if RSOL has an affiliate group in your state already formed with which you could band together?

    • I am in N.C. I e-mailed the representatives fo N.C. to try to find out if they had been hearing of people in N.C. who have been impacted by the recent changes in Medicare that are brought on by The Adam Walsh Act because the state is forking out $16,000,000 per year to comply with Sorna, in hopes that they would be interested in rallying non registrants effected by this change, to contact our state law makers, but they haven’t responded. Like I said, if registrants are afraid to communicate with each other, and representatives don’t reply, then how are people like me supposed to stay motivated to have hope against a government that doesn’t even have rules to play by, for example suspending the rules of the Constitution to pass these evil laws in the first place.

  5. i think it would be great if every registrant who was homeless came to Los Angeles and registered there every 30 days by law. It would be so fun to see them spend so much money trying to register all those people every day. Now LA is trying to put up a bunch of mini parks to force so’s from living in the city; ha! They can’t do anything if you are simply squatting there!

      • Matthew

        Well, I just donated to RSOL; it wasn’t much, just $6.00 to the legal fund, and I joined the ACLU today as well. Couldn’t give what they asked for, $35.00, had to use the other button. But at least now I’m a member, and maybe that will give me more voice with them.
        So, you see people, it doesn’t matter how much you can give as long as it’s something as everything helps AND counts.
        I got a printer today too, so now I can write and print letters to government officials and tell them a thing or two.
        On another note since this new law came out in Penn. my mailbox has gotten hit a few times. I’ve lived here 8 years and nothing happen, and it seems funny that after the new law came out my mailbox has gotten smashed 2 times.
        Hummmm, an accident or targeting me? THANK YOU MR. A-hole Corbett; you just lost my vote forever. And since I can not own a gun, I have stocked up on EGGS 🙂 All I know is they won’t drive me out of my home. Think again! And thank you all for letting me post on this site, and thanks for reading and offering your words of encouragement and prayers.

        My email is: luvshrimp69@yahoo.com if anyone wants to write and share your problems.

  6. I live in North Carolina, and there have been cuts made in medicare, because the state has to put out 16 million dollars a year to comply with SORNA; I don’t know if similar stuff is happening in other states or not, but what ever people’s research can find on this, it can be used to rally non registrants to help put pressure on state law makers to resist sorna and help do away with part if not all of the registry.

    • Matthew

      Hi, hear ya Richard; yes same thing is happening in Pa. The Gov. cut disability programs, education, senior programs BUT spent millions to enact this new bullshit law all for 975k a year if I understood it right. And you’re right; unless you have money no attorney will help, because they might lose business over trying to help a SO because word of mouth hurts business.

      Matt–little editorial comment here; I hear what you are saying, but lawyer-ing is what they do for a living. They are in one of the few professions where people expect them to work for free and get mad when they don’t. No one would dream of calling a plumber and asking him to come and do the work for free, but we think nothing about asking an attorney to do it.

      And would you do me a favor and not use a series of periods when you need only one…thanks; lol.
      Editor

      • I paid a lawyer $1,800 dollars for a week of work for which he didn’t even have to get dirty, at least not on the outside anyway, and got ripped off to boot; would a plumber work on your house, stay clean, and charge you $1,800 dollars up front, and then not fix your plumbing? Lawyers are cut from the same cloth as politicians, those guys who keep trying to pass these laws, all in the name of (MONEY).

        Point taken.
        Editor

  7. I am a SO; I took a plea deal in 1998 after being scared into it by the system; my court appointed attorney told me that even though my ex-wife was using the system to gain custody of our daughter, that a jury would (very) likely convict because of their emotional reaction to the charge, or otherwise translated, I will not fight for you unless you are rich and going to be tried on CNN. The people in my personal life ridiculed me for taking the deal. Now the laws have changed and I don’t even get the deal they bullied me into in the first place. If we don’t band together and fight this injustice, the law makers will continue to treat us as lepers.

  8. Ok I got the courage to finally call the psp and asked what my tier may be because I am an oos SO. I was given a tier 2 which I don’t get because I was only a ten year registrant, so 10 more unless we fix this. My question is where do I find info on tier 2 as far as does it involve community notification like a tier 3? I don’t see anything on line about it. Only for tier 3 people being released from prison.

  9. shawn farria

    i have been labeled a so called sex offender for seven years now…it was a coinsidence how i got locked up and also my so called victom approached me for sex…at the time i was 23 and fresh off the porch meaning i partied alot because i didnt until i turned 21..not to sound full of myself but alot of women approached me before so i figured this was one of those moments…well she ended up being a minor who looked acted and was out late like an adult..turns out she was a troubled 12 yr old a month from turning 13…long story short she was having sex with other men before me and after me…her parents called the police on her and thats when they found me…they said i was being charged with rape…not knowing her age i admitted to having sex but there was no rape….then the girl admitted she lied for whatever reason…i thought i was free till they told me her age..i couldnt beleive it i wanted to die…this wasnt your average 12 yr old how anyone would picture it she wasnt talking about pokemon…she new about drugs..sex..money street life…the girl parents even came to court to apologize for the trouble she threw my way…i allowed her to seduce me into having sex…she looked like a video vixen when we met…basicly the state pressed the charges on me not the parents and i was sentenced to 1yr flat no parole…well now i have a fiance who is from another country…we love eachother so much but the adam walsh law will not allow me to petition her to become a permanant residence if we marry because my charge involved a minor…the thought of me being with a minor sickend me before the incident and its even worse now that i have to register…i want my fiance who is 27 and im 31…i hope they get rid of the adam walsh act all together. I miss my fiance we shouldnt have to go threw this crap what does marrying an adult have to do with a minor…oh but i can marry somone from the united states who has children…whats damn sense does that make. these laws are created by the same people who break them…injustice rules and it seems like its here to stay…i dont hate this title they gave me somtimes i want to blow my brains out and say good bye to the cruel world but my belief in hell after this life prevents me from doing it..if i was a tru predator or sex offender i would take it like a man…but im not a sex offender so this is eating me alive like its doing so many…im so mad …pissed…confused..and hopless only God forgives so i hope i make it to his kingdom thats my only salvation the way i see it because of this law…heaven will be my only peace.

  10. Keep your head up and be strong; I know, easier said, right. I still have yet to receive my tier; not sure why or how long it takes for them to decide seeing that I am an out of state offender. Suicide is not the answer. I read about someone that hung himself in his garage when he had to (rejoin) the registry. That’s what they want. They want so’s to keep suffering and keep being punished. I see more signatures on the petition and hope more sign it. I don’t think enough people know about it I could be wrong though.

    • Matthew

      I agree with you; that’s what they want…and they say it straight out; the victims have to suffer the rest of their lives so you should too.
      They don’t hide that fact, brother…this is just their way of doing that..
      Keep the faith and we will win this…I’m trying to keep it.

      • Matthew

        Below is a post from premierdefensegroup.com, and another state surrounding Penn. has rules the AWA is unconstitutional, and this is suppose to be from a treatment provider and his view as a professional:

        Treatment Provider says:
        March 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm

        As a treatment provider I find this wonderful news. The punitive laws make good treatment more difficult and there is no EVIDENCE that registration reduces recidivism at all. It is a placebo for the masses. Well funded treatment programs are a better use of resources.

        Persons on the registry are assaulted and humiliated. It functions in much the same manner as the the scarlet letter.

        Hurray!!

      • Looks like restrictions on hold up in PA? There was a lot of stuff to read about on that site, Matthew. I sent a letter to Harrisburg asking them to review my tier because I was supposed to be off in November 2013. Hope they consider letting me off the list. I’ve got my life together and way over ten years I have not re offended and don’t plan on it, and I explained that to them in the letter. I was very respectful because that’s who I am, not what they want me to be.

      • Try saying hurray when your kid is picked on at school, over something you didn’t do in the first place, but because the system is broken. Women who want sole custody of the child can falsely accuse a man and if he isn’t rich and/or famous, he can’t defend himself, but if you are a therapist, you can line your pockets from this; is that what the hurray is for?

  11. Ron

    My case was out of the country. I have no record here in the USA, but when I came back, I was told I have to register or will not get help from the DHHS. They helped me find a place to stay, but I had to register. Well it is the law and all I want to do is live by the law and in somewhat peace.

    I do not even turn without setting a signal. This is the very first time that I have posted, and I am really scared. It is already to the point that I cannot sleep, and I have anxiety attacks. Not so much for or because of me since I guess there is no such thing as a second chance but for God’s sake, for my wife. She is the one I want to protect. She met me way after the incident. She got to know me and married me. Still she is and will be affected if anyone just decides to talk crap. Who believes a SO? Anyone who just wants you out of the neighborhood just has to accuse you of something, true or not; as a SO you lost straight up. My friends are all non SO and they also got to know me – result – hey they like me. I AM NOT THE PERSON I WAS. I was good before and after. If I could just make it all good. Believe me I think each and every day about what I did and feel so helpless to do anything. I cannot support the way I would like to because getting a JOB that pays the right money – as a SO?–yeah, right.

    I hope and I beg that people wake up a little to the facts instead of media hype. There needs to be some sort of evaluation and or differentiation. You guys really think that will happen one day to the better? I think it will get worst. If so, all I can do is leave the country I was born in and have no record in and go back to the country I used to live in just to protect my wife.
    Any of this make sense?

    • Matthew

      Ron,
      What you said goes through every SO’s mind, and you make perfect sense.And I agree with you 110%.
      It should get better if we band together and fight this.
      Keep the faith, my friend, and keep positive because if not it will make us do things we don’t want to do. I am at the point because I am alone and don’t have many friends and am in poor health, and now this depression I have been battling, and my blood pressure which was pretty good is now high over this. Sometimes Ron, I just think, what the hell, better off dead, and think about popping all my pills and shooting up too much insulin and just going to sleep. IF it wouldn’t be for my dog who is 10 years old now, I would do it, but I would miss him and worry who would spoil him like I do.
      But I still think about it..

      So try and keep it together like I am trying and we will win.

  12. Wow there are positive attitudes here. I work out and hit a heavy bag. I grew up with gangs all around me, so I learned to fight on the streets. But at age 35 I am grown and don’t do the gang stuff anymore, especially being a sex offender. I’m still tier pending but I know it will be life registration just by the name of my offense, not because of what I really did. I hope you all went to join the petitions to turn this law around.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *