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23 yrs. ago: 5 yr. suspended sentence; today: still being punished

Editor’s note: J.B. is the owner, publisher, and editor of a small newspaper. She first came into my life at the point in her story where she was forced to place a sign on her newspaper office at Halloween stating that no candy was available at that place. She contacted me in response to a press release regarding the sex offender / Halloween issue that NARSOL distributed last year to media in all the states. We have stayed in touch ever since.

By J.B.

I have an extraordinary employee of 18 years.

23 years ago he made a mistake with a 16-year-old employee who had a crush on him.

There are no excuses; I am just setting the scene.

My employee — we will call him J — was charged, and under an SIS — suspended imposition of sentence – he was given 5 years’ probation. He had to attend sex offender classes for the five years, and at the end of the five years, after successfully completing the probation and treatment program, his case was closed. And he was free again to go on with his life. That’s when he came into my employ.

About 9 months later, he was told he would be required to register as a sex offender on the internet. He said, no, I have never had to register; my case is closed.

A new law had been passed in Missouri that anyone having a sex offense charge after 1994 was required to register on the sex offender site.   So, he did. The information has periodically been incorrect for the 17 years he has been on it.

Three years ago, our county received a grant for a U.S. Marshal sex offender sweep.

J had moved up rapidly in my business and was a manager.   Work-a-holic J spent many nights working at the office; so did I and so do I still.   The sweep took place on Monday and Tuesday. Thursday is our day off from work. Thursday afternoon a deputy came by the office looking for J. This was two days after the sweep. A young employee who was new was really tormented by the deputy who kept asking her questions about J’s residence. She didn’t even know where he lived; she hadn’t worked for me that long. Long story short, a warrant was issued for his arrest because he wasn’t at his residence nor was he at work. Now, he had been at work from Saturday through Wednesday night, but no one ever came by or called for him.

He had an attorney, and it ended up with J, who is by now 70 years old, receiving 5 years probation, sex offender classes again for 5 years, and 200 hours of community service. Do you know how long it takes to perform 200 hours of community service while holding down a full time job?

J has a very bad heart and had surgery four years ago.   He also has bone-on-bone deterioration in his knees.

J has not had so much as a parking ticket in all of these years. He made a horrible mistake, paid for it, and 23 years later is still paying for it.

J’s parole officer this time has earned the title “the P.O. from hell.” I have never known anyone to be so mean, rude and, degrading as this person. J can do nothing right. Everyone in the office has watched him do absolutely everything she asks of him, and nothing suits her. If she can humiliate him, she will. If she can degrade him, she will.

After the sweep, he moved into my office and rents a room there. It is a large office, and he has his own room, bathroom, kitchen, etc. The P.O. made me put a sign on my front door of the office last Halloween stating that there was no candy at that residence.

It is not a residence. It is a business. His room is in the back of the building, and his car is parked in the back, and his entrance is in the back. I would have had no problem putting a sign at the back door. But it had to be at the front.

She made him take a lie detector test two months ago.   He failed one question. She went ballistic. Of course, the polygraph, the sex offender classes, all of this costs money, his money. She demanded that he tell her who he was thinking about when he failed the question regarding children. His crime was not with children, unless you classify a 16 year old a child; I don’t. He told her he would never have a thought like that about children. She told him to write a name on paper and bring it to him or she was throwing him in jail. He was devastated!

He talked to the local authorities concerning the issue. They advised him never to be bullied into saying anything that wasn’t true.   So J wrote a note stating that he felt she had coerced him and threatened him with his job, and he was not writing anything on paper that wasn’t true. She was very angry and told him she would see him in court.

Lawyer time again. They told J. she could not have him arrested or take him to court over a lie detector test, that it is too difficult to prove what someone is thinking.   She was so angry that she put an ankle bracelet on him for three months.

That’s where he’s at now. His probation is over next July. We are all so fearful she will try to stop him getting off probation. No one understands this. J. has done nothing wrong for 23 years; he has led a very productive life, has been out in the community, and it makes no sense.

When he went to court three years ago, he had 42 letters of recommendation from our senator, representative, local mayor, councilpersons, business people, clergy, fellow employees, and people in town that grew up with his children and played at his home and adored him. One of the letters was from a senator who is the brother of the prosecuting attorney!

How about that!

This topic contains 27 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Maestro 3 weeks, 6 days ago.

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  • #21766 Reply

    Manassas not good for RSOs

    I am aware of a man, An RSO, who is was “violated” and has been in solitary confinement in Prince William County, VA since mid-May 2017. Hasn’t seen a court room yet. He was released from a civil commitment in April 2013 and placed under supervised probation. His probation people have largely been antagonistic to their charges. His violation is, IMO, due to nit-picking and didn’t take into account his job and successes since being released.
    He does not have resources to mount a legal defense and his free lawyer is ineffective. The man is danger of losing everything he has achieved in his four years out. He was not charged with a new crime, just technicalities. He’s in solitary because of liability issues, a criminal might injure him – he’s there on the “civil” issues. Unless someone is a clear and present danger to the community or is likely to reoffend then they ought to be left alone. There is a difference between monitoring or checking on someone and going all out to make them fail.

  • #21734 Reply

    Saddles

    I like this article as it makes one understand a bit more clearly, I also liked Mary Elders comment when she said what about second chances. While I’m not too much in favor of Halloween anymore I am in favor of all people doing the right thing. Yes I had a polygraph test that was out of the blue and I failed the test because I mentioned to the one giving the test that I was on face book. And yes I had to go to court over it, because my P. O. said I disobeyed him. (Think about it one wouldn’t of been in this situation if one hadn’t lied to you in the first place in some of these sex encounters.)
    So that being the case I went to court and my public attorney didn’t want me to even speak up but I did and I told him God believes in second chances. I thought this was a court of law. There are two things one can do under the sex offender registry. Either build yourself up or build yourself down. Why do you think some people are willing to help in this matter. As for the law you have to speak up for yourself and others if that is the case.
    You see people it is the courts that are pulling on your strings and if you all want to say ” I’m mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore” than its up to you”.
    It sort of upsets me to even read all these comments as most all those on the sex registry just want to sort of give up.
    Even one of my friends said to me don’t worry about other people worry about yourself. Now if that’s not conceited I don’t know what is. Now NARSOL has limited resources they can do in a lot of this. Now we can all go with biblical view’s or humanistic view’s which is better.
    Sure people like to have fun on Halloween but nobody likes people to watch their back every minute or would they like to know their thought process also. Even my P. O. ask me that he would like to know my dreams and sure I know where he was coming from on that. Than again maybe we all should wear ankle bracelets so they can know were we are 24 -7 or maybe they should put a chip in our brain so they can know our thought’s at every moment and just send us back to court. Actually Halloween is no different than any other day whether you give out candy or not that is not the point. People we will see positive change to all this. Either you can be a slave to the state or a slave to your own mind but forcing one’s authority on another is what they are really doing If its all about obeying than why did Eve eat the fruit. Think about it.

  • #21690 Reply

    Eric

    I was on probation for 18 months and was violated due to a failed polygraph. I had contact with a minor. In church a minor held my hand during the our father. I told my therapist about it. He told me not to worry. I didn’t, my PO did. Spent 18 months in jail after serving a year on probation. Laws need fixed

  • #21626 Reply

    david

    What would if we, the American people, knew of a country where it was a crime to be somewhere “other than work or home”; was meted out punishment for failing a polygraph test (a non-scientific device with zero credibility); and threatened with jail or worse for possessing CANDY on HALLOWEEN??!!!

    I’d call a country like that a POLICE STATE. Wouldn’t you?

  • #21628 Reply

    MARY EDER

    My Son in in prison on a sex offender charge. He was totally honest with the officers that came to our house, he had been on some chat sites, ended up on a sexual fancy chat room. This was involving, a very bad stressed, lonely time in his life, (still should not have been on the site). He has ADD and as possible By Polar, we were losing our home to the bank, he had lost his job, etc.. It did not include him trying to meet, (he had become over weight, no money to do anything), no one was judging him, until the chat person was an officer.

    He pled guilty, because he did talk with this person online and sent her pictures, (someone had sent to him), she requested from the ones sent him. (ADD you don’t think about getting rid of anything, even gum wrappers ). When they raided the house, there were no tapes, discs, pictures, movies, etc., except what was on his lap top. He had found a job and was just starting to show signs of feeling good about hisself again, they arrested him at his place of work. They did not let him out on bond, We had a court appt. attorney, we had no funds at the time. The attorney allowed us to have a lie detctor, and for him to be tested by a 22 yr experienced psychologist of both in patient and out patient. He was interviewed and tested for over 7 1/2 hrs., the psychologist came to his sentenceing, He said that, N. was not a sex offender or sexual predator, etc.,
    but was (and he had, had every trick in the book tried), one of the most honest persons he had ever met. This was to the Judge, she said that the Federal law Required the minimum, sentence, so no matter what he has to sever 62mn!!
    During his time, he completed a program called ADAP, and had earned a year off of him time, but the state of Florida
    did not allow Federal Sex Offenders in their halfway housing, but in order for him to get the year to finish, he would have been released to a halfway house, to take a short program called TDAP, then been released September 23, 2017.
    We have tried getting him in another state, but Probation any here, so far is not allowing him to get out and finish, They should not have allowed him to take the program if not allowing him to use it, he mentored several other prisoner and taught classes on how to get jobs.

    Never having been in trouble in his entire 32yrs, passing the lie dector test the psychologist, we are still trying to find him a job and halfway house to enter in another state. Now when he get out 12 yrs of probation and registering as a sex offender for the rest of his life, IS THIS JUSTUS, HE DID SOMETHING WRONG AND HAS PAID 5YRS SO FAR,
    AND HAS TO PAY FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE! WHAT HAPPENED TO SECOND CHANGES??

    HIS MOTHER

    • #21689 Reply

      Maestro

      Here in CT before you get officially sentenced, a probation officer does what’s called a PSI (pre-sentencing investigation). And no matter what the probation officer determines and tells the judge in the ending comments of the PSI (good, bad or indifferent) the judge is going to sentence you according to the guidelines which means at least the bare minimum AND probation with suspended time hanging over your head if you violate as well as SOR.
      So it’s pretty apparent that these PSI’s are a waste of time and state tax money.

    • #21691 Reply

      Eric

      I’m so sorry to hear about your son. I hope changes are soon to come.

  • #21629 Reply

    Mickey

    What state is this in? To call a relationship with a willing 16 year old (whom one can marry in any state of the union with the consent of one parent, at which point the offending conduct is kind of required) a mistake – let alone one that shapes the rest of one’s life is nothing short of bizarre. ‘Murica!

  • #21630 Reply

    will

    Its all about the money!

  • #21619 Reply

    no hope

    Unfortunatly this is a story we are reading at least once a week
    law enforcement will take advantage of those they know who cant defend themselves
    i don’t understand why he was arrested or given another 5 years probation for not being at work or home
    if he was not on probation he can be anywhere he wants outside city ordinances he should have been fine
    there has to be more to this story
    if the author is truly an employer have them spread the word of what happened to other employers and maybe we will at least have gainful employment after everyone see’s how ridiculous these laws are

    • #21632 Reply

      Roy McAteer

      Is anyone ever going to understand that what this gentleman went through is a strict Bill of Attainder issue.

      • #21823 Reply

        WC_TN

        This may also be an issue of strict liability laws where the element of mens rea is irrelevant. Mens rea is Latin for criminal thought or more commonly known as criminal intent.

  • #21621 Reply

    Tony

    My crime happened in 1995, I’m 76 now and also had a P.O. from he’ll. I wore a monitor for 21/2 yrs. P.O. told me I shouldn’t be walking the street. I did 13 yrs. in prison, been out 7 yrs. and haven’t had any problems with the law but live in fear of them coming up with something. I’m free with shackles.

  • #21615 Reply

    GA Reform

    It’s truly sad that society will continue to punish long after the court sentence is finished. With the interest in reform that is going on, it is so counterproductive to see someone who is doing everything right get persecuted by the people who are “supervising” him. They are supposedly keeping the community safe but who is keeping the people they supervise safe from them?
    The authorities should be using J as a poster child for what formerly convicted people should be doing in order to return to a productive life & prove themselves. Instead they waste the opportunity & reinforce the negative stereotypes of offenders that has made it so difficult to get support for common sense reform. So sad!

    If J has letters of support from elected officials then this should encourage them to work for reform even more.

  • #21613 Reply

    Andy

    Since when is failing to be at home or at work a crime?

  • #21608 Reply

    Darrin S

    That’s just plain scary. Even when you do everything right and follow the law, you’re still at risk. Terrifying. And the registry is not punitive? Wow.

  • #21610 Reply

    A mom

    So unconstitutional. Hope that probation officer does not meet up with Karma. To J, don’t give in to her bullying. You have paid your price 10 fold. I agree, 16 years old is not a child, then or now. Hugs for you J. hold your head up.

  • #21603 Reply

    Maestro

    And people want to challenge my argument that probation is unnecessary. Smh. Really?

    • #21625 Reply

      Jeremy from Indiana

      Since this comment is directly referencing me, I will respond, Maestro.

      I never actually challenged that argument. I agree with you that it is unnecessary; however, that is not what most of us looking to reform the registry are fighting. My argument is that is another fight altogether and is better suited for another forum that includes all types of convicts that deal with those supervision measures.

      As for this case, “J” should have never been convicted of a second crime of violating the registry just because he wasn’t at work or at home. I’m assuming his first 5 years of probation went fairly smoothly. Yes, he dealt with a lot of stuff he shouldn’t have dealt even if he was on legitimate supervision (which he was not). Probation and parole officers should have exact details and rules that they cannot alter to fit their own agenda. The Halloween BS they keep pushing is a registrant specific fight, so I do agree with that fight on here. Polygraphs are junk science and never hold up in actual court. I failed one in the brig and one after I was out on supervision. My PO was smart enough to know there was nothing she could do without a confession to wrongdoing though. I agree that the PO’s should not have full discretion on what they do and don’t allow. That’s a fight worth fighting, but it’s not registrant specific which is what the people in this organization are fighting.

      It seems our debate is about debating different things. You constantly debate the wisdom of parole and probation in general while I only debate the registrant specific aspects such as questioning why a registrant is on supervision in the first place for violating an unconstitutional scheme. Fighting probation and parole in general is even more difficult than fighting the registry as long as it is part of a court ordered sentence. If it is not, or is the result of an unconstitutional law against registrants, or imposes additional restrictions on registrants; I’ll be fighting that right beside you.

      My argument rests on the principle that if we demand too much and let the scope of our fight creep away, we will not win any fights. This is the same as those who condone fighting for too little, such as “only the worst of the worst should be registered”. I’m just asking that we focus on the fights specific to registrants… all registrants, but not the fights that fit all criminal classes, at least not here.

      • #21657 Reply

        Maestro

        Jeremy from Indiana,

        I’m almost too shocked by your reply to counter-reply.
        Are you even remotely serious?
        If it weren’t for the fact that you’re also a registered person who has experienced probation, I would pose the question: Have you any idea the way probation officers treat sex offenders? Even those of us who simply did something stupid and meant no actual harm to anyone? Did you not read this story?
        This man’s probation officer is how many probation officers are and they are commended for it by their superiors.
        And the ones who “pretend friend” us are just doing a more subtle attempt to try to find us doing “something wrong”.
        But my point here is that the probation dept treats us the same as the general public.

        As for “parole”, that is something EARNED while in prison. I do not have a beef with parole. Let’s be clear on that.

        • #21728 Reply

          Kendal

          I guess, with all the talk about the PO from hell, I will tell you there at least used to be some good ones, cause I had the PO from heaven. She realized that I made a mistake, that I was willing to pay for that mistake, and was working my tail end to make restitution for my actions. Our monthly meetings went something like “Hey how’s it going” “Oh pretty good” “great, well see you next month” She never visited my house, or my work, even though my boss knew all about me and wouldn’t have cared. I was even able to go on a three month tour with Youth with a Mission, across the Mid Eastern US. Then when I had served just over 4 years of 5 years probation, she took it on herself to move the court to release me early.

          So I do agree that the purpose of NARSOL is and should be pointed more to the registration, not that probation laws don’t need to be changed, but as the other guy said, you pick your battles, and fight the ones that will do the most good.

        • #21751 Reply

          Maestro

          Although I would love to see probation terminated as a whole for everyone on it, you’re all missing my point about SEX OFFENDER PROBATION.
          You don’t see any probation conditions for drug dealers that they can’t go to a park or “loiter” at a school (if one of their siblings happens to go to that school), you don’t see drug users/alcoholics told that they cannot view any type of sexually explicit materials (as if someone under the influence of drugs/alcohol won’t try to sexually assault someone after being ‘turned on’)
          Etc, etc, etc.
          And it does NOT make sense to have us follow these conditions while on probation only to be able to go to parks, schools, movie theaters when we’re off probation. And the P.O.’s excuses for why we can’t do such things is RETARDED and illogical.
          Not only has the legislature corrupted the original idea of “probation” but it seems to me you’ve all bought into what it is now vs what it was originally meant to be.
          So yes, if you’re going to fight the registry, you also have to eventually fight the way in which sex offenders are treated by the probation DEPARTMENT as a whole. What’s the point in doing ANYTHING positive in life if a probation officer or their supervisor determines that you should be violated and re-destroyed like what happened to the man in this story?

          IT HAS GOT TO STOP! Period.

          Your former P.O. could have been the “P.O. from heaven” in your opinion, but trust this – any “screw ups” that you would have made would have in turn made her have to violate you. Remember, they want to keep their jobs and they MUST follow a procedure.
          When you went on that mission tour, that permission had to be granted by the P.O.’s supervisor/boss first.
          These people are NOT your friends.

        • #21767 Reply

          Fred
          Keymaster

          They shouldn’t put people in prison either, because when they get out they can do all the things they couldn’t do while locked up. It makes no sense! What is the point? Prison is stupid and useless!

        • #21796 Reply

          Maestro

          Ok Fred,
          You’ve done it. You succeeded in truly pissing me off.  So allow me to “school” you ONE. MORE. TIME.

          When you break a law that requires prison time, you do your prison time and OBVIOUSLY you can’t go anywhere and do anything …DUH! That’s the point of prison.
          If your crime CAN CARRY UP TO 10 years in prison BUT the judge, DA and defense attorney come to an agreement that you should only do 2 or 3 yrs for the crime then let it be the 2 or 3 years and be DONE WITH IT! What part of that can’t you seem to understand, Fred?
          Let me explain it to you another way;
          DA tells your attorney you’ll get 2 years with 10 suspended and 10 probation. You say “hell no! Tell him give me 5/6 years with NO probation” and chances are THEY’LL GRANT THAT REQUEST.

          Then you walk out of prison SCOTT F*ING FREE. ….

          THAT PROVES THAT THERE IS NO NEED FOR PROBATION AND THEIR LAME EXCUSES ABOUT HOW YOU “NEED” TO BE “HELPED” GETTING BACK INTO SOCIETY! All that is a CROCK OF HORSE CRAP. Period!

          And there you have it, Fred. Does it make more sense to you now?

        • #21803 Reply

          Fred
          Keymaster

          But the sentence was not 2 or 3 years and be done with it. The sentence was 2 or 3 years, plus probation or if you prefer more years in prison. That is the sentence. What part of that can’t you seem to understand, Maestro?
          If you would rather have 5/6 years in prison instead of 2 years and 10 years on probation, ask them to send you back.

        • #21800 Reply

          Robin
          Keymaster

          Good Lord, Maestro. There’s absolutely nothing in Fred’s response that should invite an assault on his intellect or capacity for understanding things. He’s making a salient point. He’s actually extending your own arguments further than you’ve taken them. And, with regard to incarceration, he’s right. The whole damned system is a sham….not just probation!

        • #21812 Reply

          Maestro

          Robin,

          My final comment on this topic in this thread:

          Probation is a sham, at least the way it’s been bastardized from its original intent.
          Probation was simple; Stay out of trouble and be productive.
          Now it’s: Don’t do this, don’t do that, you can’t go here, you can’t go there, you can’t shop at a mall, you can’t go to see a movie, you can’t be sexually stimulated (how dare you be human!), etc, etc.

          Putting someone on probation and telling them they can’t own a computer or smartphone or go to a mall or movie theater is NOT PROTECTING ANYONE. If that IS protection, then why doesn’t EVERY STATE give automatic LIFETIME PROBATION?

          Look what probation has done to the man in this story. He lived years being productive and crime free so please tell me how probation is so necessary to help him and others be “safe” and him to integrate back into the society he was already integrated into for years?

          Probation is a waste of time and tax money. And it’s a load of horse crap when it comes to SEX OFFENDER conditions of probation. They use EXCUSES, ….EXCUSES.

          Example:

          P.O. – You can’t go to the mall because what if there’s a young teenager there and she’s wearing ‘short shorts’ and you find her attractive and approach her and she’s under age?

          Me – And that can’t happen when I’m off your stupid probation? And that can’t happen to ANYONE who has no prior criminal record? Why don’t we just shut down the malls then?

          Probation isn’t useful when it’s contradictory. Can’t own a computer now, but on the day your probation ends, suddenly…this miracle happens and you’re CURED of that illness that made you find a young girl attractive. Now go buy all the computers your little heart desires.

          What!!!??? That makes NO SENSE. Period. Not to mention that in many states it’s the PROBATION department that causes people to be HOMELESS.
          When I got out of prison, my parents offered to take me in so I could find a job and save money to get my own place. Well, PROBATION, those lovely helpful people said “No! There are KIDDIES in the neighborhood”. The same little kiddies that have been there when I stayed there after my divorce the year prior to my offense. I didn’t bother any of those little kiddies.
          So end up homeless in a shelter (only 1 locally that takes people with sex offenses) and tough shit on you. Why? Because we are probation and we’re helping you intergrate back into society.

          Some of us had never gone through the court system before and were NOT AWARE of how it worked. Nor did we know that there WERE other options such as taking more prison time to get out of having to do probation. Some of us LEARN THESE THINGS AFTER THE FACT. Just like I learned what the conditions of probation would be AFTER I TOOK THE PLEA, NOT BEFORE.

          10 years of being told when I can wipe my own ass and with which hand. GTHO with that.

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