Mr. Weiner, THIS is what life as a registered sex offender is like

By Josh Gravens and Jennifer Long….

Mr. Weiner, … While you could teach me about being a politician, I can teach you about being a conscious citizen. You know all about being a policy maker; I can tell you the part that you don’t know: what it is like to be on the receiving end of bad policy, policy only looking to score political points and with exactly zero research to back it up.

Do you remember those committee hearings you attended on the Adam Walsh Act (a failed attempt to standardize the complexities of sex offender registration)? Hopefully you paid attention, because sex offender registration laws and compliance with such laws are far more complex than simply avoiding sending nude pics via the wrong phone app. You helped make sure that, over the past decade, registration laws became some of the most draconian laws known to man.

For starters, should you fail to comply precisely with any single registration requirement, you will receive a new felony sex charge. In many states, it is a felony sex charge to misunderstand often confusing or vague registration laws. The assumption is that you are now as dangerous as your alter ego once made you sound (Mr. Danger) — although research has shown no public safety benefit to the registry (in fact, the opposite).

Let’s say that you decide you want to part your hair a different way, or for some reason you want to get blonde highlights, or you grow a beard for No Shave November. You will be required to appear in person at a registering authority, which is usually a police department, to update your information. These rules vary across the country and range from a required update within 24 hours to seven days. Again, failure to notify the police of your new beard will result in a felony charge, possibly even prison time.

Why do I know all about this, you might ask? I grew up on the sex offender registry. Why was I registered? For two incidents of touching my sister when we were kids (I was 12). As you have developed your political career over the past two decades, those same decades saw my childhood and now adult life drowning in joblessness, inability to find any place to live, intense terror for my own and my family’s lives, and countless educational and life opportunities taken from me.

Read the remainder of the article at the New York Daily News.


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28 Thoughts to “Mr. Weiner, THIS is what life as a registered sex offender is like”

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  1. Grace

    Once you know the truth, you are never the same. I spent my entire career in education advocating for children. People ask me what i am going to do when I retire and I tell them advocate for sex offenders and those in prison.

    1. Echo

      awesome, good for you!

  2. Echo

    so he has to register as an SO in NY…. i will be interested to see if he is sentenced to prison time like a regular citizen would be or if he will be let off the hook and not have to go to prison……

  3. The AWA law firm

    Hastert, Foley and Weiner….sounds like a jailhouse law firm now (even though Rep. Mark Foley had no criminal charges levied against him because nothing incriminating was found, he’s probably thanking his stars nothing was)

    1. AWA renewal time

      Read this recently –

      The reauthorization of the AWA is scheduled for the House this coming week. Time to contact your member of Congress and let her/him know you urge her/him to vote no. If I recall correctly, the same sponsor (Sensenbrenner of WI) failed last Congress, but things are a bit more “rabid” now than then.

      Anyone seen John Walsh lately?

      1. Jude

        Thank you AWA Renewal Time,THAT is news that should be all over this and other sites to encourage people to write letters. There is a terrific example right here under the “Take Action” tab > “Lobby Handbook”.
        I am composing mine now with tweaks to make it more personal. Thank you for having it there to help get me started.

  4. jamie Brown

    I am also on the list, my crime was 30 years ago, before the registry,with a girl 3 months shy of 18, I was 25 The court and politicians stirred fear in the community, The rate to reoffend is so low its laughable, ive not committed another crime since yet I will pay for life. They say its not added punishment,
    who are they kidding. People need to wake up, This is unconstitutional and they now it. you never know when you also may make it to the list, Ask Anthon Weiner

  5. david

    Josh: I’m so sorry. Why does a 12 yo touching his sister mean lifetime on the registry? Isn’t it somewhat normal for siblings to have sexual experiences? Thanks for all your hard work speaking out on these issues.

    Mr. Wiener: Welcome to our (not so little) club. Hopefully you get some help and make the best of this calamity. You certainly aren’t the first man to behave badly online. Perhaps you can find a way to do some good, using your fame and experiences…

  6. Rso/gps for life

    The children of Anthony Weiner may likely suffer severely. “Registered sex offender”

  7. emil

    How about other people like Bill Clinton, John Podesta and his gang in DC?

  8. Joe123

    It is a beautiful thing when a human being can understand that they can advocate for Both, children’s safety (nearly all of which depends on good parenting) as well as advocating for the ‘2nd tier citizens’ on the Registry, most of whom do not belong on there.

    1. sandy

      Joe, no one belongs on a public registry. It is damaging to individuals and to society, does nothing to further public safety goals, and is supported by neither research nor experts in the field.

  9. The irony is bittersweet Mr. Weiner.

  10. Maestro

    The sad thing about situations like this where a politician gets caught up in a sex offense, especially one involving a minor, is that the politician who gets a taste of his own medicine (the S.O. laws) can’t do anything to change it because once you fall from the grace of your career/reputation, your former fellow politicians won’t hear you anymore. We ALL lose our voices when he get criminal records. No one wants to hear a “criminal” speak on anything. Whatever we experience doesn’t matter.

    For our government officials and legislators to get a taste of the laws and ordinances they keep passing, they’d have to have a few of them act out a “mock” sex offender registration for 30 days and see how it feels and how truly difficult it is to try to live a normal life under such dictatorship. But none of them will ever try it.

    I recently made a comment in another article in which I took a moment to pretend to think like a politician on sex offender laws. And a few days later – look at this. LOL

    1. Colleagues have moved on already

      His fellow House colleagues from NYC already are glad it is over so they don’t have to read about it anymore. There was an article on it last week. He has no Congressional friends publicly.

  11. Rso/gps for life

    They don’t want him speaking out against the registry punishments. Do you think Mike Tyson is bound by International Megan’s Law the way we all are? If he was he’d take it to court and they do not want that on the record. Do you think Anthony Weiner has the same severe, restrictive debilitating probation that we all have? Maybe for the first year. The famous sex offenders would bring down the AWA and they know it.

    1. Mike Tyson does have it the same

      Yes, Mike Tyson is under the same since he conviction has him registered in Las Vegas. He may not want to take it to court or does not have the same issue when traveling overseas others do thanks to IML.

  12. Dave

    Welcome to the hell you helped create Mr. Weiner!

  13. T

    Doesn’t it seem that the sex offender registry has continuously contributed to the US mass incarceration problem? because if a registrant is released from prison and he/she is trying to change his/her life to make it better, all these crazy laws are making it incredibly difficult for registrants to follow in order to try to change their lives. The more SOR laws that are getting passed, the more difficulties a registrants will have in order to comply and the recidivism rate will rise only because a registrant is left with nothing and in destitute, while the public is conditioned to the myth of registrants being the most evil people and that they can never get help to change their lives around.

  14. Mom

    It is breathtakingly easy to destroy someone’s life by accusing them of a sexual offence and virtually impossible to defend yourself if you are the accused. In colonial times, public shaming was a typical punishment for minor crimes. People were placed in stocks and left there for a few days so citizens could make fun of them and throw things at them. Now we use public registries instead of stocks and the shaming never stops.

  15. Dan South

    If there wasn’t so much Notoriety about Weiner, NOTHING WOULD HAVE COME TO IT! THE LAWS DON’T APPLY TO Law Enforcement or Big Government! OR Their Friends or Families. They ONLY Apply to the U.S. CITIZENS Paying Big Governments LAVISH LIFESTYLE.

  16. RP

    I hate to say it but this is a perfect opportunity to reach out to him, humanize him and assure him he is not alone. To remind him that he has a recognizable name and he can promote change to the laws. He also has contacts and those in power that know him who know a Anthony that is not a monster. We are fools if we don’t reach out to him. Anyone know how to reach him?

    1. Great idea

      I say this is a great idea and one that should be explored fully by those in the NY area. He may not want to face it yet, but the sooner the better. Doubt he has any friends in Congress though that are willing to help, but never know. He may not fully understand just yet since he has not had to fulfill is legal obligation on the outside, but that is something he can get to know now.

  17. Tim

    If he has connections, he will probably get special treatment and get to register over the phone or privately, instead of facing the humiliation of going to the sheriff’s office in front of 20 people there for a CCW permit like the rest of us are required to do.

    1. Registry Rage

      He will probably somehow forego having to register.

  18. hershel

    I will say this as being convicted of a sexual offense. I have travel the past 7 years as a Safety Professional throughout the USA, will on parole and never had an issue to where it would stop my progress. I have been out for 10 years and I am still progressing to the top. I live a peaceful life. Who I am and who I have always been speaks contrary to the conviction render unto to me unjust-fully. I don’t mind being judge by the so-called perfect people that condemn us. I receive as a blessing according to scripture. One thing you have to do is move pass what happen and what people think. You have to tap into the true essence of your being from its original state. Brother I have retired police officer, pastors, female cops that I have met and when I tell them my conviction they be in disbelief. If I can do it so can you. Hold your head up my brother.

  19. hershel

    We all need to come together and unify for change. Registration is not a program of protection. There is no program that can stop anyone from harming anyone. Everyday there are reports of such case and they had no background so society can’t be protected. Registration is a money maker presenting an illusion of protection. If you have paid your debt to society and you are truly a productive citizen I am for you. But if you are a sick person you need to ship back to prison or death. I have no heart for anyone who offends in any kind of form or fashion. I’m serious about unifying for change in the law. There is power in numbers

    1. NH Registrant


      I think you may have worded that wrong. If someone truly is sick, then they need help, not execution or exile. They need to be somewhere where they can get the help they need. These days, that’s not a prison. Prison-based Sex Offender Treatment is a con game meant to keep people in prison longer to pad budgets. Heck, the entire prison SYSTEM is a con game. I know first hand because I’ve seen its intricate workings. If someone maims or murders someone else – sex crime or not – then YES, they need to go away for a while to be actually TREATED for their illness. If they enjoyed it and will do it as many times as they want, then they need to be kept locked up for life, period. I met VERY FEW guys on the inside (in the “treatment program”) that enjoyed what they did and would do it again in a heartbeat. Out of the hundreds of people I encountered there, you could count those people on one hand. Nearly all the people who ended up in prison did something stupid that they regretted. Bad judgment call, etc.

      So, I’m not for execution or exile at all unless they meet the criteria I mentioned above. Most people who committed sex offenses need treatment and a very good support system that ISN’T being PAID to be their support system (therapists).