Hello, my name is Kevin Soucy and I have been labeled a level 2 offender in the state of Rhode Island.
Back in 1999 I was in my early 20’s, lonely, socially awkward, and still recovering from the nightmare of going through public school with an undiagnosed mental illness. I got a job working on computers and websites for a woman who had a young granddaughter whom I began having romantic feelings for. One day we were alone and playing on the bed when I reached up and pulled her pants down. She freaked out, and awareness of what I was doing hit me like a bucket of ice water. I couldn’t eat for the rest of the day and later than evening I confessed to the grandmother via email.
The police got involved and I was sentenced to 15 years suspended with 4 months to serve in prison. When I got out I was required to attend group therapy, which never seemed to work at all. Finding jobs in the computer field became impossible and I ended up spending my 20’s and early 30’s delivering pizza. I hated my life and I hated society for all the abuse I endured.
As the years went by, the hate turned into a rage, which I released by looking at pornography. Trace files were found on my computer and I was arrested again. I spent 2 years in a maximum security facility while the case was tossed around in court. While I was in there, I actually found a form of therapy that worked: Native American Shamanism. I learned how to meditate, and release my thoughts in a non-destructive When I was released the second time I felt much better. And then the problems started all over again. I went to a new therapist who tried to force me to give up all forms of fantasy and sci-fi. I got a job with an old friend delivering pizza again, but due to new rules I was required to register my job with the local police. They showed up at the pizza place and told my boss that if he hired me, they would put flyers on every house in a 20 block radieous. So there went my job.
I met the girl of my dreams not long after and asked her to marry me. She changed my whole life, and I in turn changed hers. I was there for her as she decided to give up drugs and alcohol, and brought her to a methodone clinic every morning for nearly a year. She lost weight to scary levels and we found out that she had been allergic to the methodone itself. She went through a painful detox at home and I was there to make sure she took her new medication on time. We went to the hospital numerous times, and stuck with her, reading books to her on her bedside. She’s doing much better now, but things are still pretty rough due to lack on money.
I grew up with broadway musicals and Les Miserables is one of my favorites. The story of ValJean is a mirror of my own life….the fallen man who redeems himself by helping others. I give blood. I’m a type o+ and have a big enough body to give 2 pints per donation. Every 4 months, like clockwork I go to the blood center to donate. So far I have given 44 pints. It greatly angers me that the current sex offender laws don’t take this into account.
My life had never felt better. I was no longer alone and starting to develop as a 3D computer artist. My therapist didn’t like this at all. To him, comic books, video games, and animated movies were bad for me. End of subject…no argument or discussion of themes. He refused to listen to me when I told him numerous times, fantasy and sci-fi are a major part of my life. Rather than making me more dangerous, it gives me an outlet and an escape from this world where I feel powerless. Finally he kicked me out of his program and I was violated by my probation officer for non-compliance.
In court, I begged the judge to have me re-evaluated. I spent 2 nights in jail while the case was evaluated. My public defender, my mom, and my finacee all fought to get me out, and the second day I broke down crying in the courtroom. I felt like a dog that had been kicked around so much that it just wants to curl up and die. All the memories of being bullied by teachers in public school washed over me.
They let me out the following day with the condition to go directly to my doctor to set up the evaluation. I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome and Schizo-effective disorder. This is one of the reasons why I always excelled when it came to computers but failed badly when it came to subjects I didn’t care about. It also explained why I was always socially awkward, unable to carry on conversations with strangers due to my limited interests. Without well-developed social skills, my high libido went unsatisfied. It was always easier for me to talk to children, who didn’t judge me. Group sex offender therapy was deemed ineffective for me and I found a nice one-on-one therapist who works with people with Aspergers. She listens to me when I make a comparison between something in my life and a story like Les Miserables or Phantom of the Opera. She doesn’t judge me when I tell her about the themes of a cartoon movie like Paranorman or Wreck-it-Ralph. I don’t watch them because they are for children. I watch them because they have powerful stories, art and animation made by adults. Me and my finacee both love watching old cartoons like Animaniacs, Tiny Toon Adventures and The Muppet Show. We both know the names of all the voice actors, and enjoy watching behind the scenes documentaries on how the shows were created, from the writing, animation, and music.
I found an old friend from middle school through facebook, who was the head programmer and technician for a large scale video game project. I joined up as a 3D modeler and animator, and for almost a year I worked on it. Last month they launched a kickstarter to raise the money to develop this project as a full time job.
Last night I was ordered to attend a meeting at the Rhode Island Parole Board regarding what was to happen after my 15 years run out in December of 2014. According to Rhode Island General Law 13-8-32, when my time on probation is up, I will be required to wear a tracking device and will not be allowed to use any online chat services, including the one I use to communicate and coordinate with the project I’ve poured my heart and soul into over the past year. I will also not be able to actually play the game because of the possibility that the person on the other side of the screen might be younger than 17. I have no history of online stalking and could really care less how old the other players are. I’m not there to hook up with anyone. I’m there to play a game where I can be the hero.
The laws want to take that all away from me and I am growing very angry with this bullying behavior. I served my time and gave blood on top of it, yet my pleas fall on deaf ears. It’s the same way the other children used to bully me, picking on me to the point of tears. It’s the same way the teachers used to bully me, forcing me under threat of punishment (bad grades = punishment at home) to attend classes I had no interest in and would usually zone out in. I learned computer programming around age 8, and struggled with game design software that I had no manual for, one time creating an inch thick printout of source code for Activision’s Pitfall to pour over in study hall. This is where my mind went as the teacher droned on about American History or Math. I exerted just enough effort to get a passing grade, always bored, daydreaming about video games. How they played, and how they were made. I animated my first 2d sprite using the code from Pitfall. I used to draw my own cave layouts on paper based on Pitfall II. I had Commodore 64 magazines full of small games written in basic that I could study and add to. I was learning math from it. And rather than the endless excersizes in a typical math class, I was actually USING that math as I was learning it.
Video games are my life. This online game that I am helping to develop is my life. Entry level jobs in this field bring in salaries around $35,000 per year. Me and my fiancee would really like to get married someday but right now I’m still living with my parents, denied work that I am good at due to background checks. My fiancee lives in public housing, with all kinds of crazy people banging on her door at 3 am looking for cigarrettes. When I met her she was agoraphobic due to being nearly raped when her elevator got off on the wrong floor. Using what I had learned in prison, I got her out of the house, a feat which all of her family respect me for. I’m very poor right now. I had to give up my car and now ride a bicycle back and forth to be with my fiancee (I’m not allowed to spend the night with her due to restrictions). I’m 37 and still live in my parent’s basement, and my fiancee is on disability. I NEED this job to get both of us out of this pit we’re stuck in.
This law and these restrictions will basically rip all the stability from my life. They will isolate me from a community that accepts me and respects me as an artist. This law is unjust, subjecting a minority group to further punishment after they have served their time, all in the name of “protecting the public”. Me and my fiancee’s lives hang in the balance, so I feel the need to scream this out. I really feel like I’m at the end of my rope, and those old hatreds of being bullied start to surface again. I want to fight. Where do I start?