By Randy . . .
I was arrested in 2008 for masturbating in my car near a group of people aged 15-22. I had no intention of being seen and remained in my car with a “towel” covering me. Believe me or not I did not think anyone standing out there was “underage”. They were all dressed as “heavy goth”. No judgement, just heavy makeup. One of them called the police because they “suspected” I was doing something. Police picked me up a mile down road and I confessed to what I was doing in the car. I was cited with Disorderly Conduct. It was embarrassing and humbling. My wife picked me up at the station and the arresting officer (very nice gentlemen) told my wife the “kids” who called on me were well known by police. He also said if I hadn’t confessed there would be no case as nothing was ever “seen” or confirmed but only suspected. I was wrong. I shouldn’t have been doing that.
I returned for my court appearance to pay my fine and was notified by the judge that my case was now kicked up to Arizona County Supreme Court as a felony, Public Indecency with a Minor. (still coded as “non-victim” since there was no true victim). As you can imagine I was in shock and fear. I had already planned to move to Utah, about 3 weeks before the arrest. My attorney advised me to go ahead with the move. I had a good job waiting for me and my family supported the move.
About one year later I went down to Arizona for sentencing. The prosecutor said no jail, 3-year probation, drops to a misdemeanor after probation but registered as a sex offender but with no stipulations put on me of where I could live and limits on children as a state psychologist saw me as very low risk.. They advised in Arizona there are 3 level systems so I would be the lowest or least risk so ONLY law enforcement would be aware of my registry. My attorney fought me registering but the prosecutor said she could make me serve my probation time in Arizona, which was inconceivable to me as my job and family were in Utah. I reluctantly agreed to the terms thinking while this seemed very heavy-handed a sentence, I just wanted to put this all in my past and move on.
I then learned I had to wait to be accepted by Utah Probation, which took 30 days! So I had to stay in Arizona for those 30 days. Upon finally being accepted by Utah and arriving there to meet my probation officer, I was informed of some VERY disheartening news. Utah had no 3-level system, so ALL registrants are public. Second, I would need to be evaluated by a Utah psychologist and not allowed around my OWN CHILDREN until then.
So for two weeks I stayed at my brothers house until I was “cleared” which of course I knew I would be. I finished my mandatory counseling that typically takes 3 years, in 1.5 years because I never missed a single appointment. I was off probation in 1.5 years instead of 3 and the charge dropped to a misdemeanor. I have remained on the list for 16 years now.
In the state of Arizona, I’m on the registry for life. They won’t budge even for my low-level offense with NO victim. In the state of Utah, it is only 10 years to register, but when I ask to be removed, they keep telling me, “Sorry, we have to abide by Arizona law”. I say, well Arizona law says I should’ve been private all this time! Sorry, we don’t offer that. If I had committed the exact same offense in the state of Utah, I wouldn’t even be on the register because their maximum age is 14yrs old and the youngest person in mine was 15, 4 days from 16 years old I was told.
So I have received the worst part of both states’ consequences and no one cares. Both point to the other state and say that their hands are tied. No wisdom. No one cares what happens to the beasts that we are portrayed as. I have had NO issues with the law for 16 years. Some have suggested “just move back to Arizona” but it is not that easy as this is the “HOME” for my family and children.
Clearly, this is absurd. Once a state accepts you, that state’s prevailing laws should be applied to you. If I were to move back to AZ, then their laws should apply to me in accordance with my sentencing. As has been shared by many before. There is no “list” of murderers or alcoholics who crash into and kill families or parents that physically beat their children. No lists out there. None. It’s INSANELY ridiculous that this group of people as so punitively punished.