By Eric . . .
My story begins about 2018 when I saw a news special about a girl whose father had been raping her. Her father was a police officer. Before this, I had never thought twice about sex crimes. Never looked at child porn. Never had a longing for it, which remains to this day.
After viewing this interview which had the victim, who was now an adult telling her story I started to do internet research on the crime. Well, needless to say, up pops all these sites that have the actual footage on them. So, dumbass that I am, I start clicking, and clicking, and clicking. It became an obsession as I was shocked by everything I had found and that it was so easily available. I just clicked away. Yes I had child porn on my computer (crime). I never shared it, it was always locked away behind passwords.
In June of 2019 I was getting ready for work. I was to drop my son off at one of his friends beforehand. I had 2 bathrooms in my house. I preferred showing in the basement bath so that’s where I was at. I was gathering my clothes when I heard a loud crash upstairs. I thought my son had fallen and hurt himself so I rushed upstairs to find the police in my house, guns drawn, my 15 year old son on his belly with a cop on top of him, knee in his back, handcuffing him. I yelled take it easy he’s 15 years old. My son is large 6’3 and heavyset. they all looked at each other and said He’s how old? Again I said 15. To make a long story longer, they confiscated just about every piece of electronic equipment in my house.
I didn’t know the law, never been in trouble before. Didn’t know I shouldn’t say anything without a lawyer present. Let me say that this all happened at the beginning of covid. It took almost 3 years for a plea deal to be struck. Possession of child porn, 3 counts knocked down to 1. 2 years probation, and lifetime registry.
I did my homework before the plea and found the high school and school buildings were plenty far away from my house. Thousands of feet. I thought, ok Im good there, I can handle the probation and registry. I go directly to the cop shop after court to register. A cop tells me, you may be to close to the school I’ll have to check with the chief. (small town Illinois) I go back the next day to get registered and was yelled at through an outside speaker, You were told yesterday you are to close to the school you have to vacate. My heart sank.. I did more research and I was 60ft to close to the real property of the school. Mind you this is a vacant lot. No kids at all.
I rented a hotel until I found an efficiency apt. in the next town over. I am currently doing my probation along with therapy. I see my wife on the weekends, she also thinks this is terrible and they shouldn’t be allowed to do this. So I am now estranged from my family. I have to wait to look for a new home as all the court costs drained me and I had to file bankruptcy. 1 year min before I can look at Hud. I am still working which I am totally gratefull for.
Lastly, my psych eval came back as very unlikely to re-offend. Yet after probation I will be restricted on many things and have to register once a year till I die. I always thought that in the US once you paid your debt you were done. I am now registered as a child predator even though I never even thought of chatting, meeting or touching a child. The thought to me is offensive yet here I am with the scarlet letter. After probation, and I find a new house for my family and myself, I plan on dedicating most of my free time to fighting this injustice they call the sex offender registry.