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David Frank — 21 Comments

  1. Yes living life on the registry is challenging and stepping out and up is what we all need to do. I live in a very small town and no one here will hire me. I’ve been unemployed for seven years and I paid for my crime “in full” 17 years ago. And I’m dealing with “collateral damage” and someone made a website especially for me in 2014. All because I’m suiting the State for retroactive application, False imprisonment. But I’m surviving and I even have the U. S. Marshals knocking at my door, making sure that I’m in compliance. So, continue to do what you are doing and don’t stop it will get better.

    • Hey Edward,

      Sorry i’m just replying now…i sort of forgot all about my story here.

      I know it’s hard in a small town. Compared to you tho, i have it super easy. Some days i don’t know what’s worse: having everybody know you or having nobody know you (and be on an online registry).

      Hope thing improve for you. Like you said, stepping out and up is the way. Thank you.

  2. Thank you SO much, David, for sharing your story. I recently joined NARSOL just as a concerned citizen who just begun to learn about the awful fallout of registries. The courage you are showing in the face of being ostracized makes me determined to a more active member and advocate.

    • Thanks Mary,

      Most of us probably had no interest in the Registry until we ended up on it so i really appreciate you’d join NARSOL without having to find us the usual way. It probably isn’t an organization most people would want to associate with.

      What i’d like to see is more of us on the Registry becoming involved in advocating for ourselves. In the 5 years since my arrest i’ve seen more registered folks become involved in trying to do something to help us all. Podcasts, magazines, news articles, films, debates- all about being on the registry and reforming sex crime laws.

      Things are tough now, but i am optimistic that as more and more people become educated in how the registry is hurting more than it is helping, some good changes will come.

      Thanks for your encouragement!!!!

  3. Hi David,

    This journey definitely forces us to get tough doesn’t it? I let people walk over me before my offense, but that does not happen any longer. 2 years in prison forced me to become assertive in order to survive. I try to look at the registry as a filter for people who would end up showing their toxicity over time anyway (not good friend material to begin with). At least this way, you know what they’re about up front! Own your mistake, never falter in taking responsibility, always have your list of what you have done since then to amend your life, and most importantly HOLD YOUR HEAD UP YOU HAVE SUFFERED ENOUGH.

    • Hey Joe,

      I haven’t been back to my story in a while and was pleasantly surprised with the encouraging comments. Assertiveness was never my strong suit either. Being an SO offers a person a great education in many things, doesn’t it?

      Like you said, all we can do is take responsibility, learn from our mistakes and move on. I’m lucky to have old friends and family who supported me, some aren’t so fortunate.

      I really appreciate the optimism and encouragement! Thanks!!

  4. Hey Folks…..The politicians never let up. I heard once that before the Mo. Senate adjourned one day,
    one of our esteemed leaders said, “Is there anything more we can do to sex offenders before we adjourn”.
    I hope they all burn in hell with their laws. Like this one: Illegal for me to go to a park, yet I’m allowed to live next to Mrs Smith and her 5 four year olds. Its INSANE!

    • I appreciate you concern and passion. Not a single week goes by that I see some sort of injustice foisted upon SO’s by people who would never even deign to look at us as humans. It is truly disgusting. However, in times like these, ESPECIALLY in times like these, I feel as if it is of the utmost importance that we not only stand united, but that we stand INTELLIGENTLY. Now please, please, PLEASE do not take this the wrong way, because self-advocacy is our most important tool at our disposal. Included in that would be to assure that none of us gives the politicians any more reason to make our lives even harsher than what it is. Saying things like “I hope they all burn in hell…”, helps no one, in fact that can be completely taken out of context (or in for that matter), and could potentially be used as fuel for their war machines against us. A comment like that could be twisted and they could say “see, sex offenders are violent and rash”, or any other sorts of things they want to, just to continue to vilify us. So advocate, stand strong, support each other, but I beg you, to be mindful of what you say. Though I definitely want to say, Thank-you for posting, showing your concern and feeling angry about the situation, there is nothing wrong with FEELING angry, its when we act on it, or verbalize it that it can become a major issue.

      • I agree. Sometimes I get the impression that some Registrants think one must be stupid or naive to be optimistic in this situation. Believe me, I’ve experienced total RAGE over this situation. However, I just can’t live like that. Some anger is good- if it helps get things done. But to just stew all the time, day in and day out, will only make you sick. I’ve chosen to be optimistic as a survival strategy. Plus I’m getting involved thru volunteering and supporting individuals and organizations that are trying to bring positive change. It feels good to be doing something instead of just being angry over the unfairness of it all.

        Life still goes on. We can choose to be bitter and angry and feel hopeless. Or we can try to make the best with the hand we’re dealt. There’s always something to be grateful for and there’s always someone who has it much worse that you do.

        When I feel down I go to the local post office and look at all the flyers advertising benefit dinners for people with terminal illnesses. I’m so grateful to be healthy…and I refuse to make myself sick by being constantly angry. At least I’m not selling sloppy joes and potato salad trying to raise money for a $30,000 operation. For real.

  5. Inspiring story of you pushing through the madness and surviving. How absurd that I have to say it like that when THEY keep calling themselves survivors. We have to survive a hostel government and in your case and so many others being punished for a victim-less “crime”! Sickening!

    Sex offender registries are social shaming and nothing else. They are NOT intended to protect children because there is statistical data that they do not. PERIOD

    Worse still they actually CONTRIBUTE TO ABUSE by fooling parents (and others) into a false sense of security that all they need to do is check for some red dots on a map and little (insert name here) will just fine…we guess what – THAT IS A LIE!

    Nearly ALL of child abuse is done NOT by a stranger but by someone THE CHILD ALREADY KNOWS. So if you actually care about children scrap the useless registry and the made up nonsense label of “sex offender” and insist that government actually work for YOU and use actual facts to make laws.

    As it is now the sex offender registry is simply used as a political tool to manipulate the masses with FEAR and make it appear they are doing something but the TRUTH is that they are using you and doing nothing to help protect children – NOTHING AT ALL visit for more of the truth!

  6. I’m glad you’re doing better. Do your best to think positive and be grateful you have woken to another beautiful day. Yes being on the registry is tough. I have experienced discrimination and ridicule at the work place myself. I do my best to stay positive and move forward and enjoy life. Always remember that those who put others down in an attempt to elevate themselves are hurting themselves. Hopefully Narsol and others can get a change in perception(Zeitgeist) and build a consensus to focus on current actions and not ones past for none of us live in the past but in the present is where ones focus needs to be. Once issues or unresolved conflicts are disassembled and scrutinized and understood by oneself along with objective analysis ones only focus should be betterment of life and moving forward. This is the key in my opinion understanding ones past issues that lead to committing offense then moving forward. God bless.

    • I agree. For over 15 years i struggled with an addiction to alcohol. In 2003 i finally got sober. Part of getting sober was finding a “meaning of life” for myself. After much thought, i decided on 2 rules:

      1) Be happy.
      2) Don’t hurt anyone.

      The first rule may seem selfish but it’s really not. Generally speaking, happy people make the world a better place. If i’m “happy” i’m far less likely to break rule #2. Besides, hurting people is contrary to rule #1, since i do not enjoy hurting others. In fact, helping others gives me pleasure- and i’m pretty sure that’s a universal human trait.

  7. First off you need to be completely honest about the fact you were attempting to solicit a minor online. Time and time again Narsol and others warn of these stings aimed at fake websites and chat dating services setup by your local LEA. Now lets talk about violence perpetrated against a RSO. The cops needs to know about it. If you are ever physically harmed or threatened or your business vandalized as you report you need to start a investigation. You need to go after anyone that commits a crime against you. Cops will back you up.. I realize you can’t believe it but the law is the law. If you are a registrant and compliant and gainfully employed in your own business and crimes happen against you are still a citizen. So file charges and if you know folks defaming you file suits against them. Tell folks upfront how you came about being charged. If you never touched a child and its a non violent crime folks will react differently. But tell them… be upfront. Registrants must stand up and fight. We tend to run off into a corner and cry about it and become so depressed they feel suicide is the only way out. But just remember this, they can take away everything for the exception of our souls and dignity. Don’t ever give up…

    • True- honesty is the best policy. You’re right, i did try to solicit a minor. No point in sugar-coating that fact. I take responsibility for what i did. One thing that bothers me is the way law enforcement and the court make the assumption that something sexual would have occurred. There’s no way of knowing that. Despite my promiscuous-seeming online behavior, i’m really not that way in person. However, i should have just dis-continued the conversation. How could i have been so foolish and made such a bad decision? Part of the reason is i had untreated mental issues. I had tried seeking help several times but seeing a professional started at $280/hour, impossible for me to afford. Fortunately, after the ACA passed, i was finally able to see a doctor. Now, despite being on the registry, my head is in a better place than before i was arrested.

      I haven’t had any vandalism, or anything like that, in years. All of that happened right after the arrest. I’ve had no issues with any of my neighbors- or anyone else in this beautiful little river town where i live, knock on wood. The reality for me is that most of the bad stuff is in my head- it’s the things i tell myself, not what other people are saying to me, that cause me the most pain.

      Of course, i despise being on the registry. It’s shameful and embarrassing. In the online world, it’s the first thing people find out about me. Not much i can do about it tho. What works for me is channeling my frustrations into doing things that are productive. I’ve become an optimist as a means of survival. And i DO believe things will eventually get better. It won’t be easy, but i think reason and reality WILL prevail.

  8. I have been out of prison for a year, I live in Ohio and I started a small construction company that’s doing well. However, I’ve met a WONDERFUL woman and I have a similar case, but I’m still a tierlll sex offender and didn’t have a victim, she’s understanding, BUT we both have adult children and her kids don’t know yet, the impact of this on my life is HORRIBLE. I PAID MY DEBT TO SOCIETY BUT IM STILL BEING PUNISHED! I’m made to be a social outcast and it could damage my company. All I can say is keep pushing and move on. If we were murderers we wouldn’t have to be stigmatized. Just saying. Hang in there and good luck.P.S SOME PEOPLE SHOULD BE ON A POLICE ONLY REGISTRY, BUT A CORPORATE REGISTRY IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

  9. Hi David!
    Your story made me cry inn the beginning, because it was like reading about my son. He was sexually awakened art atm early age tho por n being shown to him at 4-5 years old. Then, unbeknownst to me, a family member 4 years older than him, started sexual contact with him till he was 16. He finally told me, and only then did it stop.My son thought this was normal growing up. Turns out the family member was assaulted by a child in the bathroom at his school. Long story short, my son was busted in 2015 in a sting. He received 14 years. He’s only been in a year. He also has Aspergers and the social relating is very hard for him, plus he is bullied because he is ‘different.’ He will be on lifetime registry when he gets out. All this for simply looking at pictures and 2 videos. He never commuted a violent sexual or otherwise, act in his entire life. Things nee d to change in this country.

  10. Lonna,

    I’m so sorry about your son. IMO, so much of what lands a person on the Registry should be treated more as a mental health issue and less of a legal issue. Fourteen years for a non-violent, non-contact offense is way over the top.

    One way to feel better, and to help create positive change is to speak out. Write your Representatives and tell them what happened and why you think the laws are unfair. Support organizations like NARSOL and try to get involved in a support group with other people in a similar situation.

    Your son is lucky to have a Mom like you!

  11. Hi my name is David and I would just like everyone to know that for some reason we do not have the kind of problems in the state of Rhode Island in this state as long as you comply with what you are suppose to do no one bothers you the police treat you with the utmost respect and probation does everything that they can to help you people on the registry do not have that hard of a time getting employment there is a few incidents where someone on the registry has problems with the folks in there neighborhood but that is few and far apart as far as I can tell the only people who are not willing to help us the local A.C.L.I I have contacted them on constitutional issues to challenge the Adam Walsh act to no satisfaction and no help from them.

  12. David,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I too am a musician and I’m sure it’s difficult not being able to perform, but you will again at some point. Being on stage is one of the few things that makes me forget about being on the registry or what I’ve gone through, and I feel like a normal person again.

    It’s important to share positive stories to build solidarity. We can either wallow in self-pity or try to take the rubble and build it back into a life again. It looks like you’re doing the latter and you should be proud of yourself. Keep your head up and good things will continue to come in the future!

  13. Hi David,
    I too was in the music industry for a while after my conviction. I basically have been in this since the registry started (1995). The crazy thing is, I was able to pick myself back up and move on while still on probation. It wasn’t until about 9 years later (2004) that everything fell apart. That’s when they started adding more and more rules to the registry, which caused me to have to move to several different states, find new employers and places to rent. At first, I also had support from friends and family as well, but they turned on me as the registry become more difficult to deal with. I was really upset because they don’t allow for grandfather clauses and retroactively forced me to abide by the new rules.

    Anyway, I’m glad at least someone like me has found a way to cope. I once loved to play in bands and also got a degree in fixing music instruments. Now I’m facing homelessness, and my family and friends could careless. I’ve tried over and over, starting over and over, but to no avail. I wish you the best and good-luck. I know now taking things for granted is something we fool ourselves into believing. I really thought I had a second chance, and things did go well for almost a whole decade. But now I’m worse off than ever.

  14. I must say that I am glad to have the experiences I have. I am not a sex offender but I have had my share of both sides of the coin. I was molested by a uncle who never got arrested. I hated him for so long. I also was one of those who searched sex offenders and feared them all. However my story changed when I began hanging out with a sex offender and fell in love with who HE is. I also met numerous sex offenders throughout my life after. My husband has been doing extremely well and has held a job for a long time and was even promoted. He has helped with the Keryx program for prison ministry. He was given full sole custody of his son by CPS and the courts. He is crime free for 10 years and has been compliant throughout. We have been married for 7 years now and I am so happy. He has a lot of friends and family who support him and love him. He makes friends so easily because he gets along with everyone. I support the sex offenders because I have seen people change and I know that if they dont want to go back they will change. It can be done and I feel that if you serve your time and are eligible to be re-released into society that you should be able to live free and clear without harm or any extra punishment tacked on which the registry surely is. I say DOWN WITH THE REGISTRY. And no matter what if the offender has been clean for 10 years they should be removed since if people are really sick they will not be able to go 5 years without reoffending. The registry doesn’t help anyone not the public and not the offenders or their families. I say 10 year max with follow up checks by psychiatric doctors every 5-10 years following. And definitely NON PUBLIC REGISTRIES.

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