My Husband Is (Not Really) a Sex Offender

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Hi Folks! It’s Lenore Skenazy from Free-Range Kids, where one of the issues we visit often is the corruption of the Sex Offender Registry, and how many of the people on it pose no risk to children, yet have their lives ruined. Recently I heard from a mom whose slow-witted 19-year-old son (still a high school sophomore) was convicted of possession of kiddie porn because he was looking at kids his same mental age — under 18. Then I heard from another mom whose son is on the list, too. When young men date women a little younger than them who are legally minors, this is legally considered statutory rape. If it’s consensual sex, I consider it a relationship. Here’s a letter I just got that makes me believe we have to revisit and reform the sex offender laws. It is the perfect companion piece to the post  by William Anderson, about how sex crimes get treated in the media and the courts. Any ideas about how to change all this — fast! — are most welcome. – L.

I know the registry is a joke. I live it first hand, as my husband is on it for a false accusation from his ex-wife falsely who manipulated her 13-year-old daughter into signing her name to an email that the mother wrote lying about him touching her. The reason the ex wanted retaliation was because he was given custody of the kids during a divorce because she is mentally unstable and a drunk. She showed him! He would not get custody anymore because of the accusations which she is now trying to do with her next oldest daughter in line…who told us what was going on and that she refuses to go along with it, because it’s not true. She now wants to live with us, but guess what? Se can’t, because her dad is on the registry and the courts will not allow it.

The older daughter that originally went along with the false accusations is now 18 and wants to see her dad. But she has told the next-oldest daughter that she can not come forward and tell the truth because she would “lose everything” she has. She doesn’t understand that she was a minor at the time and nothing would happen to her. Though it would possibly put her mother away for perjury.

My husband had a great job of 7 years and when they found out he was on the registry they canned him. He has not been able to find a job since. It’s been 8 months. No one will hire him because he is on the registry. He is not in the same category as a rapist, but is treated as if he is. The registry needs to be revamped.

I used to think the same as the general public: “Oh, he’s on the registry. He must be a child molester.” I no long believe that. There are many men and women on the registry that are harmless and should not be in the same category as a violent sex criminal.  - Stacie in Nebraska

 

Standing by her man.

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21 Responses to “My Husband Is (Not Really) a Sex Offender”

  1. #1 |  35-year lawyer | 

    Public urination against a rural tree screened from the road will get you on the Registry. Be careful bicyclists!

  2. #2 |  William Anderson | 

    Thanks for posting this, Lenore. The USA has by far the most draconian and brutal sex “offense” laws in the world, yet anyone who might speak out against them while running for office cannot be elected, as this is an easy issue to demagogue. Doing right now longer has a place in American political life.

  3. #3 |  Deoxy | 

    This is actually a great case against prosecutorial misbehaviour, the ridiculous behaviour of the “family” courts (which encourage this sort of thing), and the ease of getting someone conveicted of a sex crime they didn’t commit.

    It’s actually not a very good case against the sex offender registry – the crime your husband was convicted of is EXACTLY the sort of thing the supporters of the sex offender registries want to know about, want to brand people for (and I don’t really disagree with them, at least is desire – the ability of the state to manage such a list is a much bigger problem).

    No, good cases are public urination (especially where no one actually witnesses what you did – what a joke of a “sex offense”), sex between minors-then-one’s-not-a-minor-then-both-aren’t kinds of situations*, and statutory rape cases… where the “victim” marries the original “criminal” and remains so for 20+ years (there are such cases).

    *Actually, due to the way time zones work, etc, it’s possible for the YOUNGER person to be statutorily raping the older person, though only for a day. Yes, that’s how silly the laws are.

    THOSE are good examples for this purpose, and there are plenty. No need to muddy the waters with other issues.

  4. #4 |  Deoxy | 

    *Actually, due to the way time zones work, etc, it’s possible for the YOUNGER person to be statutorily raping the older person, though only for a day. Yes, that’s how silly the laws are.

    To clarify, the person literally born first in chronological time can have a birth date of the day after the other person – legality and actual chronology differ, due to the way time zones are handled.

  5. #5 |  Burgers Allday | 

    What happened at the man’s trial? Did the daughter testify against him? Did he plea bargain?

  6. #6 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Balko said a few months ago the number of Sex Offenders had
    grown to 1 person in 350. So let me get this right, at the local
    Yankee game, of 70,000 fans, 200 are registered sex offenders? That’s so
    bizarre.
    No way this is sustainable. Which means either it will get harder to
    get on the list or employers/society will start to see it as a joke.

  7. #7 |  RobynHeud | 

    I don’t understand why this isn’t a good case against the registry. The man was accused and convicted of a crime he did not commit, which means , like so many other people on the registry, he is not a danger to our children. I want to know who I need to keep my kids away from, not about someone who has a bitter and vindictive ex-wife.

  8. #8 |  steveoconnor | 

    Trust me, employers won’t touch a registered sex offender unless they are desperate for help and pay minimum wage.

  9. #9 |  Mike | 

    The reason the sex offender registry is spreading:

    (cue ominous music) Judge Bleeding Heart freed a CONVICTED PEDOPHILE on a TECHNICALITY. Vote for Judge Law’n’Order to keep our children SAFE.

    Any politician who votes against registries commits political suicide. The attack ads write themselves.

    Destroy lives to no purpose, make communities less safe? Who cares? Vote for me!

  10. #10 |  Frank Koza | 

    Exactly, Yizmo (#6). It’s the same with persecution of smokers. Some of the first companies/government agencies to refuse to hire smokers, like CNN and the city of North Miami, quietly changed their policies that they’ve had in place for more than a decade as more and more companies jumped on the bandwagon. North Miami police department explained that they were turning away too many applicants with higher qualifications simply for the fact that they smoked tobacco.

    http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20080521/NEWS/628566764

    http://workrights.us/?portfolio=whose-life-is-it-anyway

    In today’s job environment, employers might be able to afford to be a little more picky with their ideology, but in a more robust economy, automatically excluding 20%-25% of the available workforce is a bit asinine. Drug war convictions and this sex-offender witch hunt make it all the worse.

  11. #11 |  MattT | 

    I agree that registries need to be completely revamped, or perhaps the concept is so prone to corruption and misapplication that it needs to be thrown out entirely. But these particular examples I find problematic, at best:

    The “slow witted” 19 year old is scary. If he victimizes a much younger person, is the trauma suffered by that youngster any less because of the “mental age” issue?

    When legal adults “date” minors, that is not statutory rape. Statutory rape is when adults have sex with minors.

    As for the report from Stacie – maybe things happened exactly as she says, but I don’t find this one-sided anecdote compelling in any way. The daughter who was allegedly manipulated is still making excuses not to come forward, which could mean many things. The daughters caught in this struggle between adults (at least one of whom has behaved abominably) are the only figures here who deserve unequivocal sympathy. And, I would add as a supporter of universal mental health care, access to counseling as necessary.

  12. #12 |  marie | 

    If he victimizes a much younger person, is the trauma suffered by that youngster any less because of the “mental age” issue?

    Or perhaps we could wait until this young man actually commits a crime against a person before we label him. Do you really find him “scary” because he was looking at illegal pictures?

    You are correct about this, though:
    the [sex offender registry] is so prone to corruption and misapplication that it needs to be thrown out entirely.

  13. #13 |  MattT | 

    @marie: L. doesn’t give many details on the 19 year old registered offender. Maybe this was one of those relatively innocent cases in which he was looking at images that a 17 year old had sent him of his or herself. But if he was a consumer of what most reasonable people think of when they hear “kiddie porn” he has already victimized minors criminally, if indirectly.

    I am not a parent, but if I were I’d be a “free range” one. As a parent allowing my children to play outside I’d want to know if a young man with the physical power and hormonal drives of a 19 year old, but the mental maturity and impulse control of a much younger person, along with an admitted sexual interest in youngsters, was about. The details of this case matter in balancing public interest against the rights of this particular young man, but after considering this and the other examples I find myself more in favor of reforming the registry system than disposing of it entirely.

  14. #14 |  Bergman | 

    All statutory rape is consensual. 100%. If it wasn’t consensual, it would not be statutory rape!

  15. #15 |  Gentry Semper Fi | 

    Not sure what this has to do with Free Range Kids but– This is so true, I’m aware of at least one other innocent on “The List” although the accuser was a family member (not an ex) the supposed offender, was falsely accused because he refused to lend money to the accuser.. The offender had to rely on a Public Defender who really put in no defense. After trial when it was found out to be false, the judge in the case “Refused to Reverse His Decision” and the offender lost an appeal to remove his name off the list, thus “Leaving it there for life”.. This has cost the true victom atleast 2 residences, some job oppurtunities, harrassment and cost the state money because they have to make periodic checks on an innocent person!

    Where theres 1 theres 100 Im sure

  16. #16 |  marie | 

    This has cost the true victom atleast 2 residences, some job oppurtunities, harrassment and cost the state money because they have to make periodic checks on an innocent person!

    It’s easy to sympathize with the “true victim”, I know. But why do we have anyone on the registry? It doesn’t keep anyone safer and it makes all the sex offenders much less safe. When a person serves their sentence, they should be allowed to return to their homes and a productive life. The registry makes this impossible for too many.

  17. #17 |  mr lizard | 

    I’m seriously expecting them to replace the selective service with an Unobligated Male ‘Protective’ registry. Kinda like a pre sex offender registry to track single dudes.

  18. #18 |  Deoxy | 

    All statutory rape is consensual. 100%. If it wasn’t consensual, it would not be statutory rape!

    You apparently have misunderstood something – a rape can certainly be both a forcible rape AND a statutory rape at the same time. In fact, any forcible rape of someone under the age of consent is both, every time.

    Rape is forcing someone to have sex with you without their consent. Rape is “statutory” rape if the victim* is below the legal age of consent – that is, legally unable is give consent.

    In general, if it’s forcible rape, we don’t care if it’s “statutory” or not, as that is irrelevant, so we don’t put that qualifier on it, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not statutory as well.

    *”Victim” can, in some cases, be the wrong ethical term, though it’s always the right legal one. A minor who intentionally and convincingly lies about their age (there have even been cases where fake ID was involved!) and has consensual sex with someone (indeed, in some cases, is the one doing the seducing) is hardly a “victim” – indeed, they are sometimes the ethical criminal. This is a very hard area of law.

  19. #19 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @6 – Like the war on drugs?

    @9 – The problem again, being “vote”.

  20. #20 |  The Real Meaning of Free-Range Kids | The Agitator | 

    [...] men. Lenore has written much about that awful situation and the real tragedy that the “all men are dangerous molesters, kidnappers, and rapists” mentality that the laws and bureaucracies have [...]

  21. #21 |  Stacie | 

    in reply to some comments about this case. The daughter that was manipulated into signing the statement, didn’t even know about it until recently…there was no evidence brought in except this written statement. The county attorney went after my husband when the ex gave him the typed statement that the daughter then signed. That daughter was taken away from her mother because the mother beat her and threatened to kill her with an old axe in the barn. The daughter that came forward saying her mother was trying to manipulate her into saying her dad touches her now lives with us and refuses to go back with her mother saying she is crazy. There is an open case against her mother now for child neglect and she has a felony child endangerment for driving drunk with the youngest daughter blowing a .29. The ex is a master manipulator and lier…We have been fighting for custody of the other girls for several years now. We have dug up enough stuff on the ex that we were supposed to go to court last week and once her free attorney that works with abused wives which of course she lied about also, quit on her because of all the documents and witnesses that we were able to get. Here’s something else to ponder….if you were the mother of the supposed daughter that was touched by the father would you really let your other 3 daughters have visitations with the father every weekend? I know I wouldn’t…so what does that show you? Also He was good enough to have all the girls for 30 days while she was in jail over Christmas last year…Believe what you want I know my husband, he is very loving and loves those girls and would never do anything to harm them. Actually she is the one doing disgusting things in front of those children, we’ve been told horror stories by all the kids. They are afraid of her and what she is capable of doing.

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