I was Convicted in 1996 for child molestation in Washington state. I was sentenced to four months’ work release, two-year drug and alcohol class, two-year domestic violence class and six years of cognitive therapy. I completed my sentence and was released from the DOC in 2001. I registered with the King County Sheriff’s office upon release and I was listed as a low level #1 sex offender. Once a year a county officer would come to my place of residence to ensure I was living there. Not too intrusive other than when a sheriff shows up at your door and the neighbors are watching. I never had a neighbor ask but I was sure they were wondering why they were at our home.
Fast forward to 2015. I have been a plant manager for many years and was in-between jobs. A head hunter put me in contact with a company in Texas. We did two phone interviews and they then flew me out for a two day visit to their manufacturing plant. After the visit I returned to Washington and received a call a day later. They did a 7-year background check that came back positive and then offered me a job. They paid to relocate me and my wife to Texas.
First thing I found out in Texas is that if you’re a Sex Offender you must get a new driver’s License EVERY year. Everyone else gets a new license every Six years. I must pay full price for this drivers License. If you’re a sex offender in Texas you will pay five times that of everyone else. Next thing I learned was that no mater what level you are the State of Texas puts your information on the Web (Public). They even post your shoe size on the web site for everyone to see.
Well after working for two years for the company that moved us to Texas someone from my work reported to HR that they saw me on the state web site. I was called into HR and asked about my offense. I told them everything and was ultimately released. The company did not want to look bad for hiring a sex offender.
Next in February of this year I received a certified letter to surrender my passport to the state department. I did and reapplied for a new passport and had it expedited because my wife and I had an upcoming trip to Costa Rica planned. I was reissued a new passport with notice on it saying I am a sex offender. Then two weeks ago my wife and I took our vacation trip to Costa Rica where I had been twice before, with no issues. We traveled to San Jose and when we landed the flight crew asked us to stay in our seat until everyone was off the plane. We then were meet by Costa Rica immigration officers and I was told I could not enter their country.
They told my wife to continue with her vacation and she was terrified. She had not been there before, and they were about to separate us at the airport. A Delta agent helped us, and we are grateful for their help. We were re-boarded and a flight back to LAX with-in about a forty-five minutes. I have traveled for work and for vacation with out any issues until two weeks ago.
I have been reading about new laws that now impose new punishment on me and my family. I have been on 14 cruises with Carnival cruise line 13 of those after my conviction. I am now reading about all the places I cannot go due to the new IML law.
I truly was a horrific individual growing up and in my young adult life. I can not change the past and have spent many years reflection on the pain and suffering I have caused other in my past. I thought I had fulfilled the sentence for my crime, but I keep getting new sentences and punishments.
If society wants reformation for sex offenders, they should not continually punish but help sex offenders to change and be productive in the communities in which we live. Finding a residence and employment are very difficult with the current laws. Who knows what’s next?