Courage: Yes, sex offender registrants have it too

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This is a story of a man who, like so many of our supporters, has a past history that includes a sexual assault conviction and required public sex offender registration. Marty Weiss, a well-known former Hollywood child talent manager, has been a California 290 registrant since 2011. 

The media likes to portray sex offender registrants as one dimensional, and that dimension allows no room for change, for hope, for noble actions, for bravery. 

This is a story of all of these. This is a story of a man who, when faced with a situation in which another person was clearly in danger, took action with little or no thought for his own potential danger. This is not a story of a sex offender who saved someone. This is a story of a courageous man who also happens to have a sexual offense conviction.

By Marty Weiss . . . The following took place at approximately 3:00 am on Thursday, August 25, 2016. The incident began in the hallway between apartments 59 and 60 at my address in North Hollywood, California.   The name of the victim has been changed to preserve her anonymity and safety. Her attacker’s name has also been changed in the hopes that he may have sought counseling and might now be following a life free of harm to others and himself.

I was in bed when a loud banging startled me out of a light sleep. Another loud bang moments later caught my attention, followed by a distant sounding series of undecipherable comments. Following a few more bangs and continuous banter, I got out of bed and stepped to my door. Through the peephole, I could see a short man leaning his arms against the door to apartment 59, and I identified him as Henry, the ex-boyfriend of Allie who was currently living in that apartment.

Approximately six months prior, I had witnessed a loud argument between the two of them that culminated in her utilizing pepper spray to help kick him out. During that event, I stood in my doorway watching the progression. He had verbally threatened me if I did not leave.  I refused to budge and called the police to report the incident as it was happening. When they came to the locked doors at the front of the apartment complex, I let them in. They took my statement as a witness.

 Back to August 25, 2016:   Standing at my door, I could better comprehend Henry’s statements. He was slurring his words and uttering threats, pretending to talk to someone he claimed was there with him, someone he kept calling “my nigga.” He claimed more were downstairs and wanted to hurt her. “I’m stopping them. You gotta let me in,” he said as he kicked the door again.

I could see no other people through the peephole but had no idea if anyone else was in the hallway or downstairs.

Suddenly, screaming louder and shouting threats to Allie’s current boyfriend whom he believed might be in Allie’s apartment with her, he raised his right leg behind him and back-stomped the door. It broke free from its hinges and fell inward. I could see Allie alone inside, holding her phone to her ear. Henry turned back around and ran over the door and into the room. As she screamed, he grabbed her throat with both hands.

Although I had no idea if his intention was to hurt her, rape her, kill her, or a combination, I could not let this attack continue. I quickly unlocked and opened my door. I shouted, “Hey!” as I entered the hall and rushed toward her downed door.   Henry snapped his head at me, let her go, and raced toward me. I ran back into my room and slammed the door against him as he tried to charge in. I blocked the door with my foot and looked through the peephole. He kicked my door. Shouting a few quick expletives, he turned and ran out of view. I grabbed my cell phone and looked back through the peephole.

I saw Allie slowly approach the downed door, clearly upset, crying as she talked into her phone.  I left my room and, scanning the hallway, didn’t see Henry anywhere. He was gone.

Allie appeared in a daze and couldn’t answer when I asked if she were okay. I asked if she had called the police, and she said, “Yes.” I assured her that I would stay with her until they and her current boyfriend, whom she had also called, arrived.

When the police pulled up outside the apartment complex, I walked with her downstairs.

In front of the complex, we met the police and Allie’s current boyfriend. We could hear Henry from the police vehicle spouting how he “didn’t mean to.” Apparently, that confession, combined with the evidence and me as a willing witness, left no doubt regarding the overall situation and his guilt.

One of the officers asked for my identification. I retrieved my wallet from my apartment, and, back outside, handed my driver’s license to the officer and explained (per rules of my probation) that I was on 290 probation (CA penal code status for a sex offender). He smiled, blew it off, and asked me to describe the events of the night. Both the police and Allie’s boyfriend thanked me for my help.

Side note: To every person who ever posted on the internet that I should be put to death for my offense, try not to think about the harm that would have befallen Allie had your dream come true: physical assault, rape, mayhem, or even murder. Thank goodness, we will never know the true answer!   And before you suggest that it doesn’t matter to you, had that been your own mother, sister, or cousin rather than Allie, would you have wanted me to be alive or dead? We all make mistakes, some worse than others. I refuse to let any mistakes of my past define me. The rest of the world can if it wants to. I know that my true loved ones are proud of the life I have led these past few years and especially for my actions on August 25, 2016.

 

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