Well, I came home and I accepted my past mistakes. I moved on. In the past 11 years I have created a safe place for my rescue dogs. I originally came here to just rescue dogs, but found a greater need. I volunteered after Katrina and helped gut and rebuild homes for people. I helped restore the 4th district police department. I have found happiness in art and volunteer work. I looked for the positive in every situation.
When I came home, I had nothing. Now, years later, police commanders and their families come over for dinner. Even a few movie stars (a few live in my neighborhood) have dropped by my house. In my little neighborhood, I have become the person that you can depend on. The trust my community has given to me is humbling. Out of the 1300 homes, I have keys to 431 of them. I am their dog and house sitter.
It has not always been so. I had a long road to walk to become trusted. I am one of the weird ones on the registry; I think If I did not wind up on it, I would not be the same man. Today I love my self.
While some would keep me in the past, I do not live there. I live the life I want to live. It is full and rich. I do not let hurdles stand in my way and I obey the letter of the law.
As my probation draws to a close, I find myself both excited and nervous. Excited about the fact that I can go and visit places in this wonderful country; nervous, because one tiny little hiccup, and this could start all over again for me.
I think it needs to be mentioned what my crime was. I had consensual sex with a 17-year 11-month 2-week-old young girl when I was 37. It was wrong and I fully accept the responsibility for my choice. I am not defined by my past, but rather by what I do today in light of my tomorrows.
“I” choose my future, “I” choose my path, “I” choose happiness. I wish you all well.
Comments are welcome, BUT in the spirit of our positive goals for this site, please keep them as positive and profanity-free as possible. NARSOL has an open blog HERE where you can share the more negative impacts of registration.
OMG! What they did to you was so wrong! And it is happening all over the country! For one thing the minor age needs to be lowered! And when did it become ok for the government to be involved in our sex life? When did it become ok for them to say, who we can and cannot love? When I was a teenager in the 70’s almost every girl we knew were dating older guys, most of them, in their 20’s. If we had the laws in place then, as we do now, probably 80% of men would be in prison! This is crazy and we really need to fight these ridiculous laws that are tearing people apart and ruining their lives! You are lucky to be able to have accomplished all that you have, while on that unconstitutional registry. I suspect my son, who was just sentenced to 13 1/2 years in prison, for ‘viewing’ only, might not be so lucky. God Bless you! Your story gave me hope that maybe all is not lost for my son.
You are so true! When I was 15 to 17, I had relationships with men much older than me. No one thought about it. It was all consenual. Now they would be arrested.
My son, too was given a misdemeanor for “viewing only” seventeen years ago in Michigan. I understand that he no longer would have to register if he lived there but he has moved to Texas and there it’s as if he were a criminal with no Halloween lights on, yearly registration, etc. He has lived an exemplary live for all these years but on a recent trip to Mexico he was turned back because of his passport. He does know what was on the passport that caused this painful and embarrassing situation. My heart aches for him and his wife.
Marilyn, I wish there were more of us mothers that could band together to hold each other up. I feel that my whole world has been shattered. As in many families, the crime of my son has taken it toll on my family. My heart aches for you mother-to-mother. Alone in Alabama
In today’s world every week guys are arrested and labeled a sex offender. It’s wrong to treat people so bad. I pray someday this will come to an end. Keep faith in our Lord..
My story was/is much like yours. I “actively participated” in 10 years of Probation and thought it would never end but in reality it flew by. It was 10 years of my life that I will never get back, things I missed. The last few months, weeks, days, hours of my Probation I held my breath. I was at my sisters house when the Zero hour came, I was a “Free Man” again…but ironically enough due to IML and the Registry, I am MORE restricted. I have been off Probation almost 6 years now but still feel the weight of the hammer above me…
Goodluck and keep your head high.
They need to help people not be scared of sex offenders and these Senators need to stop using them as Bait for elections. Civil Commitment is so unconstitutional and needs to stop, the Tax money we are paying for the Therapy in Civil Commitment is so extraordinary. WHY ARE WE HOLDING SEX OFFENDERS IN THIS SECRET PRISON? IF THEY COMPLETED THEIR SENTENCE THEN THEY SHOULD NOT BE HELD HOSTAGE.AT THIS TIME THEY ARE PLACED IN A SECRET PRISON IN LITTLEFIELD. WHO IS BEHIND IT, IS Senator John Whitmire.Where is tdcj Rehab and sex offender classes?We as Tax payers are payijng for the Therapy given to sex offenders,but then Nobody has Completed the Program,I want to know,Why is this Program not being Completed? Is TCCO just not doing a Good Job with these Men not completing Therapy,is this to keep these Men in Civil Commitment??? Why is Texas Civil Commitment not Completing Therapy?? This will be sent to SENATOR WHITMIRE.WE AS TAX PAYERS NEED TO KNOW THE STATUS OF WHOM HAS COMPLETED THIS THERAPY Within the past 3 years.Thank you.
My fondest and most sincere wishes for you and your bright future. I have a son. Nuff said. Everyone deserves a second chance.
Thank you for telling your story and giving some of us a glimpse of what life can be like after incarceration. Remember…you ARE NOT your criminal record. Oh, by the way…what the “prosecutor” did to you was a travesty of justice. The laws enacted were intended for severe violent offenders, of which you are not one. This is how twisted and contorted PROSECUTORS have become in the United States.
Just a quick response JoAnn: While NARSOL doesn’t necessarily dispute your statement about prosecutors, we do want to point out that the registry laws on the books in nearly all states today ARE IN FACT set up to register absolutely every type of sexual crime. Twenty years ago when they were first widely pushed by the federal government, that’s what they tried to “sell.” But the laws aren’t written that way at all. Registries are due to our LEGISLATORS adding more and more offenses to the public list. NO registry is effective at preventing sexual harm, ALL published registries (in our opinion) are actually punishment beyond a person’s sentence. A person can have the BEST outcome in a case, good defense/prosecution/judge or jury, and yet STILL be on lifetime registration because our LEGISLATORS love registries. Until WE THE PEOPLE start telling them to roll them back, and stop voting in “tough on crime” lawmakers, it will be hard to fix these problems permanently.
Stumbled on this… my husband was a victim today of a phone scam due to him being on the registry. Google tells me its happening all over the south mostly. If someone calls acting like a police officer and says your not in compliance… call your LOCAL SHERRIFF DEPT. They got us for 700$.
I was on a Civil Commitment in Nebraska from December 2006 until December 2016 for possession of child porn. I did my prison time, 18 months. I was forced to do outpatient treatment for 18 months, then inpatient treatment for 6.5 years. The inpatient treatment cost the taxpayers $545 per DAY. That amounts to ($1,293,000). I had to pay the outpatient treatment myself. My registry requirements were 10 years when I got sentenced, since changed to 25 years thanks to the Nebraska legislation. I moved to Texas and they tell me I will be on their registry for life. I couldn’t rent from any property managers once I got here. Luckily I found a couple that didn’t run a background check and I have been renting from them since 2017. I am a Ministry Leader at Celebrate Recovery in my local church. At least “off paper”. They can’t have my name on their Ministry positions, due to someone looking me up on Google. At least I can attend the church and do the work of the Ministry leader with someone else’s name on their paper. Over all, my life is good. I don’t like the IML, I would like to be able to go to Mexico for a vacation, but I can’t. I have to get an annual drivers license instead of every 5 years. It doesn’t say SEX OFFENDER on it. So why do I have to get it every year. It adds extra cost to me every year. I hope some day the registry will go away. As has been stated several times, it is a platform for “politicians” to get elected on. It does no good to protect the public.
I feel the registry wouldn’t cause so much pain to registrants if the registry would go back to confidential information accessible to police only. Not be able to be seen by public or employers unless that job would involve something that would be a risk like teacher or daycare or dance club or bar. The public dont need to know. The registry is not used for protection of people in the community rather a list of people to harass, assault, victimize or kill.