By LC . . .
At 19 I met a girl who told we she was 18. We went out to the club on 18+ night… We went on a couple dates…We had sex one time. I found out she was underage and broke things off. She claimed she was pregnant. I told her we needed to talk to her mom and explain what happened. She told me she had an abortion. I left her alone because I assumed she was just playing games. I met my now ex wife and joined the Army only to find about a year later I was under investigation. Eventually a warrant was issued and I was transported from TX back to IL in chains like a dog. I had ZERO criminal history. At my first court appearance I found out how old she actually was (13) and for the first time here allegations of rape. I was shocked.
Upon speaking to my lawyer I learned the rape allegations were recanted but she insisted that I knew how old she was. I wasn’t worried at the time because I assumed the fact that she and the fact that a family member of hers was saying she lied and in fact was the one who told me she was lying 1st this would get dismissed… Not so. My lawyer told me that likely was not the case. If this child was mine all they needed was this child and our birth certificates to convict and I was looking at 6-30 years in prison… But he said he believed me and he would do everything he could. At some point I received a letter from her stating that she was sorry for lying etc. I really thought at that point if we have to go to trial this will help. My paid lawyer, the one who believed me and was willing to fight left the firm. My case was handed to another partner who I didn’t know at the time was also the head public defender. Immediately he started pressuring me to plead guilty to this crime. I didn’t want to. They did a blood typing test and said this child was mine… Mind you no DNA test was ever done. For 5 years I still refused to to plead to this case. I felt I was innocent and should not be held responsible for someone lying to me. I went to court one day expecting another continuance but instead my lawyer pulls me in a room and tells me I can either plead guilty now or go to trial and if I go to trial the judge has told him if I am convicted he will ask for more than the minimum sentence. I was already looking at a minimum of six years… I was told I wouldn’t be listed as a child sex offender and that i would have to admit to paternity serve 30 months of probation and register for 10 years.
I agreed but asked if I could have time for my family to come was told yes, but that didn’t happen. When the judge called me up and asked if I had be forced to take this deal I wanted to say yes so bad. I wanted to tell him that the only reason I am pleading to this is because my lawyer has told me that you will ask for more than the minimum sentence in this case and I don’t know how you can say that without hearing all the facts. But I didn’t because I was scared and alone and being scowled at by everyone in the court room. A few days after I went to my lawyer and told him i wanted to retract my plea of guilty. He wouldn’t let me. Fast forward, while attending mandatory sex offender consoling I was informed that laws had changed and my 10 year registration is now a 10 year registration and was now listed as a violent sexual predator… No violence at all but Im listed as a violent predator…
I’m a chef and I’m good at what I do. I just applied to a job had to cook as part of the interview was told out of hundreds of applicants my dish was the best. I was offered the position. When completing the background check I asked is there anything that will disqualify me. I was told as long as the offense was more than 5 years old I should be good…. Well today I was told I am disqualified solely because my name is on the sex offender registry. Something I should have been off of years ago. This isn’t the 1st time the second time or even the 10th time. I cant even take care of my family because of being on a registry I shouldn’t have ever been on for something that happened when I was 19 years old. I am 43 almost 44 now. I am still being punished. I have also been denied housing. I told one landlord my entire story. She said she believed me but could not rent to me because of no crime addendum’s. Which isn’t true those laws are to give landlords the ability to evict people if they commit felonies while living in their property but they uses them as a excuse not to rent to felons. Especially those on the SOR.
I am tired. I am at my whits end. I cannot deal with this for the rest of my life.