I was convicted of 2nd degree sexual assault in Missouri in 1987 at the age of 17 for having consensual sex with my 14-yr-old girlfriend. I was sent to prison for 5 yrs. Needless to say, prison was not good for me. I ended up doing 12 yrs as a result of other criminal convictions. The last 4 1/2 yrs I spent in isolation confinement, 24 hrs day, in Arkansas, because of my mental disorders (Bipolar and PTSD, undiagnosed at the time).
I finally made it out and have been out now for over ten years, have obtained Bachelors degrees in Criminal Justice and Sociology, graduating from NMSU in 2014 with University Honors for my published research, “Long Term Isolation Confinement and Mental Health”. I have been clean and sober almost 9 yrs now. Yet all this reform has resulted in me being homeless and jobless on the streets in Portland, Oregon.
I am told by my registry officers that I can be relieved of the requirement to register here if THEY equate my offense in Missouri to a class C felony or better here… yet I have been here over a year and a half and they have done NOTHING to bring this about. SORNA federal statutes state that if we are between the ages of 13 and 19, it is not even an offense now. Missouri has changed their laws so that the charge of 2nd degree sexual assault doesn’t even exist on their books now.
I have filed a motion to be taken off the registry with Missouri, but they sent it back to me telling me I had to obtain an attorney. Not only is this not true, I may file ANY THING pro se, but my degree gives me the knowledge to do so and my motion was flawless. So, I continue to sit on the streets with no job or home, in a vehicle Portland says I cant live in a truck with a camper in the bed (if it was a car, it would be a different story altogether). I am required to register here and federally for a crime that not only doesn’t exist any longer, but that is 30-yrs-old! I was eligible for removal from the registry TWENTY YEARS AGO!!
I am now 47-yrs-old and my life has been wasted, even though I have done EVERYTHING to try and fix it. I rehabilitated myself from the other criminal and violent ways I lived in the past. (This after being beat nearly to death by 9 black officers in Arkansas while handcuffed and shackled in the hole. I was choked unconscious three times in a row and told each time that he was trying to kill me. Six months later I left prison for good.)
I am on medication for my mental disorders. I am a model citizen, but society doesn’t care. I am afraid I will end in a very bad way eventually. No one will help me, no one cares. I live a nightmare I cannot wake from. I am alone in this word, except for my service animal, Tutti Marie, the one saving grace in my life. When she is gone, so am I. This is my last shot in the dark.