How is this not criminal?

I do not even know where, or how, to begin. I am a 44 yr. old husband and father of two wonderful sons. One of which is struggling with Autism. In 2011, I was accused of inappropriately touching  two young ladies who were babysitting for us. One was 15 and the other 16. My wife and one son were here. Nothing happened. Anyway, I was charged with 2 counts of felony 1st degree sexual abuse. Throughout the entire investigation I had the support of everyone. My wife, family, friends and even the grandparents of one of the accusers. I retained a very reputable attorney. After no one showed for the first two pre-liminary hearings the state was still going to indict me. My attorney called me the day before and stated that the prosecutor offered a plea agreement. They offered to combine the two charges into one. One charge a misdemeanor simple battery and the other a misdemeanor 3rd degree sexual abuse. No registration, no jail time and no fine. I had to think about it. After talks with my wife and attorney I decided to take it since the original charges were so harsh. The morning of the hearing my attorney contacted me and told me that we did some research and discovered that the 3rd degree abuse charge should have a 10 yr. registration requirement. That changed everything. He made a call to the prosecutor and she once again stated the terms. I went to court hearing still undecided on what to do. The prosecutor even told my attorney that we were not even going to have the registration hearing which is separate from my plea hearing. After consulting with my wife and attorney once again, I decided to take the plea. At the hearing I was given one year of unsupervised probation and ordered to pay $10 to the victim’s assistance fund. No mention of sex offender registration, no jail time, and no fine. I still have my copy of the plea agreement signed by all parties. The judge said that I seem like a nice young man and accepted the plea agreement after going over the terms in court. In September of 2012, my probation was over. I had not, and have not since, been in any sort of trouble with the law. I was so relieved that it was over.

Here is where it gets crazy.

In January of 2013, four months after my probation was over, and 16 months since the plea hearing, I received a certified letter from the WV State Police stating that I had to register as a sex offender for life. I immediately contacted my attorney. Also one of the accusers and her mom came to me and said that they tried to get it dropped but the prosecutor’s would not listen. They are my sister in law and niece. My niece wrote a letter on my behalf stating that the incident was blown way out of proportion and that I would never hurt anyone. She stated that I have been more like a father to her then an uncle. My attorney took the letter to the prosecutor and she said that she could not accept it. Her words were, “I can’t open the flood gates.” I still do not know what she meant by that. My attorney researched and said that they probably will be forced to allow me to withdraw my plea. He said that he would have to take the stand as well though because he played a role in what happened to me even though it was not intentional. I have retained a second attorney that said this case is like something out of the movie. He has talked to people involved with the case and many have stated that I do not belong on the registry. The detective even said that he thought something was not right with the case from the beginning. The prosecutor supposedly said that they are open to changing my charge to something that does not require registration but that was months ago. The state and county breached my plea agreement. If I would have done so, then I would be held criminally responsible.

I just can’t understand how they can not be held accountable. I have been lucky and have had a lot of support. I am from a rather small town in West Virginia. I am pretty well known and respected in the community. When the story broke on the local radio stations and in the newspaper, I was nervous. It was back when I was first charged so everyone heard of the felonies. In less then 2 hours I had pages of support on my Facebook page and numerous personal messages offering support. My phone was going crazy with texts and calls offering support. Without all of that I am not sure if I could have made it this far. I am at the point where I wonder if I should go public with the unfair, and illegal, activities that our legal system practices on some. I have even went so far as to consider renting a billboard about it . I just do not have the money or resources to do so. My niece even said that nothing happened and that she kept trying to tell everyone. When she read the complaint and the article for the first time about a year ago she began to cry and swore that she didn’t say those things. My sister in law also has cried and apologized, but never gave me an explanation.

I don’t know if my case could help our cause nationally or not.  But I can assure you I have the paperwork with signatures to back up everything that I have just typed on here. I have almost ended my life twice already. The only thing that keeps me going is my sons and family. I also have always been a fighter and am just trying to be strong enough to fight the fight. I lost my retail business over this because of depression and anxiety. I am just lost over all of this. It is crazy because everyone I talk to says that what they are doing is wrong, but I just do not know where to turn. If I could afford it, I would travel to tell my story to anyone who would listen. I will also do whatever I can in order to bring any injustices out there to the attention of the right people.

7 Comments

  1. i took a plea agreement in 2000 stemming from 1998 party at my house where 3 underage girls were brought. i ended up pleading to 3 counts of 3rd degree sexual assault for 2 reasons. 1. to avoid sentence enhancement based upon prior conviction of conspiracy to steal mail matter and to get it over with and be done after 10 years upon release. i had a 2 year old daughter and wanted this well behind me. so after i took the plea and did the time i was informed that i was jacked up to life. destroyed!!!! know that feeling? ok, well i served my time, got paroled and completed parole 2 years to the day. So when i was sentenced the judged explained how i could not be around my daughter if paroled, the prosecution stood up and said, “judge, this is not that type of crime and defendant is not a danger to children anywhere”. so as far as i know im the only person ever in west virginia to be allowed to live with or be around children while on parole. So, at what point do we hold these folks accountable? changing the deal after ya pay. i would be free of this nightmare thats not punishment this past march if they would honor their word. so i want my plea back. a deal is not a deal if the terms are violated and pleas are governed by contractual law. states all around us are getting it right and upholding the constitution. Maryland, Ohio just to name a few. they have realised that it is punishment, and it does violate several constitutional rights. Not to mention that the constitution is clear that people similarly sittuated Shall, love that demanding word, be treated equal. so lets get it moving here in wv, im game. ive had enough. in 18 years ive had a seat belt ticket and a no life jacket ticket. have raised kids, amd raising 4 now and have grandchildren. i work dam hard and run an honest business. Honor your word Wv.

  2. Never give up hope my friend, take a stand for what is right. The police and courts will do all they can to make a case. And as far as the sex offender and the registry are concerned, they are unconstitutional and a lot of it is motivated to not even looking at a child. Sure it belittles one so that’s more the reason to stand up. “To err is human; to forgive, divine”
    Get others involved … once you’re a sex offender, you are just the same as everybody else on the registry….. whether it was a victimless crime or not… it doesn’t matter to them. You are lucky you got off with a small fine. Bottom line is that they will try and strip you of all your rights if they can and program you to their registry of sex offenders. It’s all a money trap in the end. They will tell you one thing, but once you take that plea, they control you. So you’re walking around like a prisoner without a cage and who wants to be a prisoner of the sex registry for the rest of his life? Stand Up!
    Its funny now that John Walsh on America’s Most Wanted said …. you can make a difference.

    • Gs

      Thank you for the encouraging words. I can assure you that I will not stop my fight. Even if I can get this matter resolved, I vow to do whatever I can to stop the injustices.

  3. Hope

    What’s stopping you from outright refusing to register? Since failing to register is a criminal offense, you have all the rights you need to protect you in that kind of scenario. The prosecutors can have fun trying to convince a jury to even indict you when you have the signed papers by everyone clearly detailing everything, especially when the public is on your side as they appear to be.

    • Gs

      I really thought about that. I just didn’t want to take my chances. The officer even told me that something is odd about my case. He said that he had no paperwork and had been hearing my name for almost a year. Thanks for advice. You are totally right too. I actually have an appointment with my second attorney on Wednesday. I really just want this nightmare to end. No matter my outcome, I am going to do all I can to fight all these injustices many face. I just cannot comprehend how the registry is not punitive. It is a life sentence.

  4. Shawn

    I have seen a lot of cases where officials are being sued for abuse of power. This got me to thinking. We all know it is unconstitutional to impose ex post facto punishments. But you can’t attack it in court because the same crooked people that make the laws decide on these cases.

    Can we sue the legislators of these laws for abuse of power? I think when you sue it does not have to be beyond reasonable doubt but that the facts would lead you to think that they abused their power.

    Now I am just an arm chair lawyer but I have a lifetime on the registry to think of legal strategies.

    Would it be possible to sue them for abuse of power? If not we have a lot of people on the registry. Everyone needs to brain storm on strategies to bring these people down. We have a lot more time to think about this issue then the legislators and applet court judges do. And we are on the side of rite. The constitution protects us from these abuses. We just need to find a way to make them follow the law.

    • Gs

      I am not sure what options we have, but you are right. We have to do something about all of these blatant violations of our constitutional rights. I am not sure who will even listen.

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