My grandson’s tragic suicide

Ethan was the most gregarious, full of life child and young man, with the most beautiful smile and sky blue eyes. He was thoughtful, loving, insightful and had a heart of gold. He had ADHD and probably bipolar disorder. At 14 he was molested by an adult. At 10 he lost his mother to meth addiction. He was in and out of psychiatric centers, but didn’t lose his zest for life and hope for a good life and future. He made the foolish choice at 19 years old to engage in a sexual act with a 15 year old girl that had been pursuing him for months. He immediately felt bad and went to her mother and confessed and apologized. She brought charges and he went to prison, labeled a sex offender, for sexual indecency with a child, and served almost four years. He was released on parole in June of 2012, and struggled to find his place in life outside of prison. Few people were willing to let him live with him, and he found it difficult to follow the rules at my house and was asked to find another option. His dad agreed to let him move in, and the parole officer checked out and approved the residence. Ethan’s dad had some delays on his vacancy in the house and kept postponing the move in date. Ethan stayed with his great grandma and worked cutting trees every day with his uncle. He got a parole violation for failure to register since he wasn’t living there, and not paying his fines. He admitted he had been drinking and asked to go to treatment. He was denied this request and was going to have his parole revoked, returning him to prison. On Feb. 8, he sent out a text message to his loved ones saying to forgive him for what he was about to do, but he just couldn’t go back to prison, and he went to the place where his grandfather killed himself ten years prior, and shot himself in the head. He was abused in prison and he was heartbroken to have this label, not allowing him to date women his age with kids or even to live with family with children. I am dedicated for the rest of my life to do what I can to change the laws that condemn a teenaged boy for having a sexual relationship with a younger teen. How many couples got together at these ages? I certainly did and most everyone I ask did also. Please write letters, draft bills, and speak out about this injustice and the tragedies that result from it.

5 Comments

  1. faith

    My soul is extended to you and your loss… when i was six my own biological father abused me… and when i too was nineteen i got with one of my best friends who was fifthteen… believe i know the ache behind being molested and than stigmatized as one… I can not describe the ache i feel for you and your grandson… and pray that angels be with you always…

  2. JOE

    I’m so very sorry for the loss of your grandson Ethan. His loss will be sadly missed by the potential future generation and goals that I’m sure he would have achieved during his life. What a tragic loss over being young and having an interest in a relationship at an early age. I myself was involved with a younger classmate at 16yrs of age that I eventually married and it lasted for 32yrs until her passing. So, yes it’s a shame that being young and getting involved with someone with only a few years difference would end up getting tied up in a Law that is suppose to protect the young. My wife and I had two children that gave us four grand children between them that I am so proud of.
    I am also a RSO in Pa. so I also know and feel the pressures that someone his age had to endure. I saw it in my children’s eyes as they were growing up (and still today) and now once again I’m seeing it all over again in my grand kids eyes with being added back on the Registry with the AWL. This, after thinking I was able to move on with life when I met the ten year requirement under Megan’s Law. So I feel for all the families and Children that have to deal with the never ending amendments to a Law that was began for the “WORST OF THE WORST” not everyone thrown in a single pot.
    I want to Thank You from the bottom of my heart for your dedication to take a stand to change Laws that are suppose to protect and not bring so much more harm to the young and innocent. I am sure Ethan is looking down and is PROUD of you as his grandmother taking on your dedication and determination in his name. I would hope that the ones reading your story that are “Standing on The Sidelines” would dive in and do whatever they can to make a change. When that single person does something then your dedication is beginning to pay off.
    It is ALREADY is Paying off believe that! Good luck with all the challenges you’ll endure.
    So Sorry For Your Loss!

  3. Jimmy Smith

    So many things going on with the registry. The registry is for the old guy or woman that go after young children. It has destroyed so many young lives, because they where young and in love.I am sure the girl did not want to press charges, but the way the law has been set up, the girl had know say in the matter. They also charge a 16 boy with going with his 15 year old girlfriend. The Registry is out of control and needs Major Repairs. Real Sorry you lost your grandson, the whole system is unfair.
    Sincerely, Jimmy

    • Matthew

      I’m sorry to hear about your loss, and the worlds loss. As Ethan might have had the potential to do great things if given the chance.
      And, speaking from a sexually abused boy, that became a RSO. Therapy and counseling is a must for any victim and their families. I received neither until after my arrest ON a federal level. (don’t know what state) is like.

      The registry is way out of control, and even some of the state troopers agree. (which) they won’t admit in public.

      This is why I admire your dedication and all RSO’s and their families and friends who have the courage to stand up and TAKE a stand regardless of the public and social outcry AGAINST them and us. (BRAVO) and (WELL DONE).

      This is why, as long as my health is willing to let me, I would love to join people speaking with Representatives and Lawmakers in Harrisburg,Pa. As Reform is the key and a sensible reform at that not a vote attracting scare tactic OR a John Walsh Famous Kissssing A$$$$$$ type law. (sorry I tend to lose my cool.)

      But, it makes me made because,what the children no a days are going through I have lived.

      The bullying, the teasing, the sexual abuse, the physical abuse. and growing up in a ERA where, you didn’t talk about such things or the teachers didn’t know what to do or whether they even cared. BUT now things are different and society is so much more open about things and the knowledge and science is so much greater.

      That, I get depressed when I hear about our young boys and girls taking their own lives over the things that I have lived through.

      Take care and THANK everyone of you who are taking a stand.

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