A life of misery

By Ms. C…

I’ll make this quick. When my son was 18, still in high school he dated a girl over the summer. She was also in high school, but not quite 14. He didn’t know her age, and very immature for his age. He had been held back a grade by me when he was 5 because he started kindergarten at 4, and I was following the suggestion of the teacher at that time. Point is, they were both high school students. However, because of her not being exactly 14 years old, she wad not of the age of consent. Even though her mother knew about the relationship because that’s whe they hung out, at her mother’s home, the mother claimed that she didn’t know they ate dating. It turns out that the mother had placed another boy in jail for many years over her other daughter, and had successfully sued his parents for money in a civil suit. The boy, who was under 18 years of age, got about 16 years in prison. My son, who wasn’t aware that he was being preyed upon was 18, and because if the type of car I drove, at the time, the mother thought she would be able to do the same to me, lock my son up and file a lawsuit against me for money. We all lived in the same apartment complex. I had never met or seen her before the trial in the courtroom, where she taunted me from the seats behind about the car I drove, and about my son, she wad trying ti cause me to make a scene in court, but the Holy Spirit told me “do not turn around”. I was so emotional because my son was facing 20yrs in prison at the age of 18. I was very thankful that God was with me and kept me calm, in the moment that I almost turned in my seat to see who was saying awful things right in my ear. I can never forget that day. We had taken a plea bargain at the advice of our lawyer because she said we’d lose based in their ages and the was no point in risking him being locked away for 20 years. She said he would not have ti register when we 1st signed the plea, then 10 minutes before our trial she brings us into a private room along with the prosecutor and says that she’s sorry, she was wrong, and he’ll have to register for 10 years, 1 time per year. We were very upset, Both her and the prosecutor assured us that this was the guidelines of the law and after 10 years he wouldn’t have to register any longer. We signed their document and our court trial started about 5 minutes later. Long story short… the judge seemed to try to get my son to change his plea because we were afraid. With my son and the girl being of different races, we were advised not to go to trial. He was sentenced to several years, thankfully, all was suspended except 4 consecutive weekends in jail for time served because he had to wear an ankle bracelet throughout the entire school year, including ti his graduation. He was given 2 years probation plus several hours of community service work and drug testing, which he completed because he never smoke or drank anything and was always clean when tested weekly for 2 years. I don’t know why they ordered drug testing as part of probation.. He had to register with the police department for 10 years. By the way, the police department put him down fir lifetime registry, ignoring the sentence given, they change it without any care or trial. They simply checked a different box than what we came ti register for and made him sign. The guy was very intimidating. This was on the same day that we left court. Our lawyer said we could do nothing until year 11, which is when ir was technically violating his rights. She made us fearful of fighting any further because it would put him at risk of 20 yrs in prison again. Looking back, we should have demanded that they fix the registry issue. We were so exhausted. My son did everything they asked him to do, and eventually, after years of enduring denial for jobs, firings because of finding out about his record, alienation from society, the only job he could get was in a bar/nightclub as a manager, which was good but he eventually began drinking and he also had to take pills to stay awake and go to sleep since the bar closed every night late and he didn’t usually get off until about 4am. After that job ended, he came back to live at home, by then he had an alcohol and prescription drug problem. He kept it hidden from us for years, but it only got worse as he continued the cycle of job denials, hiring and firings. He became a danger to himself and considered suicide. The alcohol makes him violent and he takes risks when he’s in that state. It’s like Jekyll and Hyde. His life is endangered because he seeks help and no can help him by law. About 3 years ago he completed a 30 day sobriety program and es clean for about 2 years or so, but he recently had a relapse and now we’re looking fir a recovery in-patient place because he has not only alcohol, and other dependencies, but also emotional issues but no one is willing to help him because of his record. Thus is now almost 20 years later. He’ll be 35 this year and he’s seeing his life go by and has lost hope in some cases. He asked me to bebo him find a place to recover but I can’t. No one will accept him because of this record. He had a 12 year old son. He’s now becoming aware of his Dad’s struggles but it is too hard on him to see his dad like this, which make my son feel worse because he can’t overcome this on his own and he’s I’m sure ashamed of his state and the fact that his son (who barely understands) has to see him like this and hardly contributing financially to his life, as well as causing him embarrassment in his drunken exploits. I believe this has all given him a mental problem. I don’t know what to do. I want to scream at the supreme court and dau this registry is ridiculous and unhelpful to anyone. I don’t want a thief or murderer next door to me. But they are not placed on a public registry to further ruin their lives. I’ve asked him to move to another country but he wants to be near his son. His perspective is probably similar, but this is my SHORT version…. All in all, I believe we will get the victory through Our faith in Jesus, and he will use some person to fix this unfortunate law that hurts children and families, while trying to protect children and families.

  1. I’m sorry to hear about that. The whole registry thing is completely , and it makes a mockery of why it was even created to begin with! What good is a sex offender registry if the most violent offenders get watered down amongst the people who committed this type of sex crime.

  2. This breaks my heart because I walked in those same shoes every day and have for 15 years. My grandkids and my own children who arw now adults suffered fro the effects that the registry has caused our family. I have custody of four of my grandchildren and cant attend any programs or functions for them and I’m the legal parent. I never harmed a child ever in fact I reported a sex crime to police reguarding my 14 year old son who is now 31 ti get it to stop and now I’m listed as a Violent Sex Offender because I failed to report in a timely manner. I pray the registry gets abolished!! Many families are ripped apart suffer mental and emotional damages. The registry provides a false sense of security and provides no safety for anyone!+

  3. Ms. C, my heart goes out to you. I will list a few suggestions, some of which you may have tried already. These are in addition to “casting your cares” on Jesus. 1. Contact a jail or prison chaplain in your area and ask that person if they know of anyone who could be a mentor to your son, possibly someone older who also has a record. 2. Have your son go to AA. They may have a mentoring system as well. 3. Have him seek a job that he does at home on a computer, if he is allowed to use computers. This could be producing videos from wedding pictures; transcribing recordings; mystery shopping; providing technical help on the phone, etc. 4. Have him learn how to train therapy dogs. 5. Have him care for people’s pets. Thanks for sharing your story. I have a few years to go before I have to deal with the registry, because my spouse is in prison.

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