Justice or judgment: What will the judge do?

By Sandy . . . In 1999, a young man of 17 met a young lady of 16. The details of the development of their relationship are murky; some reports indicate they were not sexually involved on the day for which he was charged but were later. There seems to be no question about her willingness to engage in the encounter or encounters.

He was charged in Michigan with sexual assault, and, again, details are murky. The age of consent in that state is 16 – her age — so regardless of what actually happened, the charge was not a statutory one. One source says that the charge was a misdemeanor and that he was legally advised to accept a plea offer. According to his listing on the registry for Texas, where he now resides, it appears he was sentenced to 3 years’ probation, and his Michigan registration requirement appears to have been for ten years.

Several attempts to contact the county clerk’s office in Genesee County, MI where he was sentenced, in order to verify facts and details, have failed. An attempt to use the appropriate section of their website to search for him by name resulted in no records being found.

So, few facts are known. He moved to Houston, Texas from Flint, Michigan. The first indication of his being registered in Texas is in February of 2015.

Except for a few special circumstances, registration in Texas is lifetime, regardless of the charge or the situation. In moving to and staying in Texas, RoShawn upped his registration requirement from ten years to life.

This young man, now 36 years of age, would most likely have remained just another obscure person living a life somewhere in Texas, doing something to survive — often just barely – on Texas’s lifetime sexual offense registry, one among almost 100,000, were it not for two things.

One, RoShawn secured employment with a Harris County judge, 270th Civil Court Judge Dedra Davis, and secondly, he apparently failed to disclose his status as a registrant to the Houston Community College, which is a compliance violation. When he was arrested, placed in handcuffs for not answering a question on a college information form, he was apparently at the courthouse, and the effect on some elements of the media of the phrases “registered sex offender” and “Harris County judge” in the same sentence was similar to a shark’s at sensing blood in the water.

So many facts are not known. But these are.

Twenty years ago, when RoShawn Evans was 17, he was convicted of a sexual crime in Michigan. He served his sentence and was placed on the Michigan Sexual Offense Registry for the shortest term, ten years.

At age 36 he is living in Houston, Texas. He is, or was, attending college. He has at least two instances of non-compliance with registry requirements, the one that resulted in the current charges and one in Michigan in 2007.

He is on the Texas Sexual Offense Registry for the entirety of his life.

There have been no new charges of a sexual nature in twenty years. There is no evidence that RoShawn presents any risk of sexual harm or danger to the public. Every indication is that his offense was not predatory but rather the result of an unwise choice made by two teenagers who were one year or less apart in age.

He is on the staff of a Harris County judge and works at a courthouse in downtown Houston.

Whether or not Judge Davis knew of his status as a person on the sexual offense registry is not known. A voice mail message left on the phone of Judge Davis’ clerk has not been returned.

If she did know before she hired him, good for her. She is not just talking the talk of giving those who are convicted of crimes second chances and opportunities to redeem themselves; she is walking the walk. Very good for her.

If the media makes an even bigger deal of this than already has happened, then bad for them.

And if, in the next election, should Judge Davis run for re-election and her opponents use this against her, painting her as unable to be fair to victims because she is a proponent of sexual offenders, then bad for them.

Very bad for them.

Help us reach more people by Sharing or Liking this post.

Sandy Rozek

Sandy is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

This topic contains 6 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Ed C 3 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #53748 Reply
    Sandy Rozek
    Sandy Rozek
    Admin

    By Sandy . . . In 1999, a young man of 17 met a young lady of 16. The details of the development of their relationship are murky; some reports indicat
    [See the full post at: Justice or judgment: What will the judge do?]

  • #53794 Reply
    Avatar
    Ernest_Tucker

    I appreciate this forum Sandy.
    I was just released from the hallway house and met my PO. The first thing out of his mouth was,”You will take ownership of this or I will make your life a living hell.”
    I was wondering if others had had the same experience when they expressed their innocence and mentioned that they were still fighting their convictions?
    I have to go in for a psychosexual evaluation.
    I asked him if anyone had ever been diagnosed as normal. He said no.
    So how does this work?
    Anyone that has been convicted of a sexual crime is automatically sick?
    Seems a little slanted to me.
    Can anyone shed a little light on how I should handle this?
    Thank you so much.

    • #53814 Reply
      Avatar
      Ed C

      Thank you for another informative article, Sandy.

      By fighting, a person becomes a target, particularly if he is indeed innocent. I had two federal convictions through a plea agreement. The worst of the two charges (Mann Act) vacated due to actual innocence through a pro se 2255 motion. I was allowed to withdraw the second plea (possession) and risk reprosecution. Since I’d already served 9 years of a 10 year maximum and had lifetime supervised release largely due to the vacated charge, I had little to lose.

      Until I signed a plea last September, life was “difficult.” Because I wouldn’t accept responsibility for the vacated conviction, I was released from SO therapy, and refused reentry by my PO. The therapist was also concerned that I would “infect” the group with constitutional issues. I was always anxious to discuss the circumstances of the vacated conviction to gain any therapeutic value, but I would not allow the bully therapist to call it a crime. Though he had refused me therapy, my PO motioned to have me returned to the halfway house because he couldn’t adequately supervise me without therapy. That was coincident with reprosecution, and the prosecutor convinced a new judge I was a danger and needed to be held pretrial. I finally cried uncle after two months in a dingy county jail and signed the plea (time served, 10 years supervision).

      Yes, a PO can make life a living hell. Expect no sympathy from anyone. By asserting innocence, you will be labeled a “narcissist” having no remorse; which prosecutors will use this to paint you as John Wayne Gacy junior. Although you will take some tests, a psychosexual evaluation is largely subjective. If you are innocent, fight like hell, but expect no sympathy. And God love you for having the resolve to do so. The Harris County judge in this article is of a rare breed.

    • #53839 Reply
      Avatar
      Pamela

      I don’t know how you got as far as released from a halfway house still protesting your innocence. You beg forgiveness, you follow the rules, you do your therapy, and you make no waves.

      Your time to protest your innocence is both behind and way in front of you. Now? Now you buckle down, play their game, and get real smart real fast.

      Good luck. Time will pass. You can do your advocacy and protesting in the future.

      • #53863 Reply
        Avatar
        Ed C

        A valid legal fight is different from not accepting the fact of a conviction, even if it was undeserved. If he has no legal option, I agree with you completely.

  • #53803 Reply
    Avatar
    Dustin

    @ Ernest_Tucker:

    Most state statutes presume sanity when crimes are committed, and sanity is determined at plea hearings / trials. “Treatment” is further mandated in prison. So it SHOULD bear the question, after sanity has been established and “treatment” received regardless, how is it the courts mandate further “treatment” based solely on convictions for certain crimes, which their own statutes specifically forbid?

    Vitek v. Jones, 445 US 480 (1980) holds “While a conviction and sentence extinguish an individual’s right to freedom from confinement for the term of the sentence, they do not authorize the state to classify him as mentally ill and subject him to involuntary psychiatric treatment without affording additional due process protections.” (@ 481). Each state has its own laws pertaining to imposition of involuntary mental health “treatment” (federal law simply defers to the states). Willing to bet the “treatment” being forced on you fails to comply with a single one of the laws / procedures your convicting court is required to follow. There’s no point in trying to explain all that to your PO. By your description, he sounds like a God-complected, police academy washout, registry Nazi (a description that applies to most POs).

    If you have the means, you could fight this in court. Unfortunately, you’d have to start in your convicting court, and it’s very unlikely you’ll get a fair hearing there. Being heard at your state’s supreme court is also a long shot (particularly if you’re pro se), but must be attempted before going to federal court. It will be a very long fight, but well worth it in the long run. In the meantime, all you can do is play their game.

  • #53963 Reply
    Avatar
    Saddles

    Quoting from my sister that wants to justify everything whether she is wrong or right. Probation officers are just following the rules of the court but what mind know’s anothers mind. Sure my probation officer said to me that he was the boss of me for the next Ten years and they can make your life a living hell if you let them..

    Call a lot of this sex offender ordeal skeleton justice if you’d like but one should fight man’s justice with the real sword of justice and that can cut like a knife. Its all about principal.

  • #54158 Reply
    Avatar
    d

    I never had to admit guilt of the crime and I would not have. They had to accommodate me because I was innocent. Yes I had allot of threats by the people in charge but when it all comes down to the law compelled free speech is unconstitutional. My probation officer acknowledged that he though I did not break the law. The sex offender classes had to allow me to say I am guilty of wrong but not breaking the law. I am still fighting my case it has been almost 10 years since my arrest. I won my appeal but the supreme court said I waived the argument that makes me innocent like this is supposed to be possible. So now it is a PCR case because my lawyer waived my right to be free not me. There is no justice in Indiana the court does whatever they think the people want or prosecutor asks for. I will not cave and I will not back down. I have had to learn more about law then I ever wanted I hate it. I will no longer be satisfied by exposing my false conviction. I will not stop until all of the errors the court has made since my conviction are exposed. I have been keeping track and taking notes this whole time they are guilty and will be held accountable.

Reply To: Justice or judgment: What will the judge do?
We welcome a lively discussion with all view points provided that they stay on topic - keeping in mind...

  • *You must check the "I am not a robot" box and follow the recaptcha instructions.
  • *Your submission must be approved by a NARSOL moderator.
  • *Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  • *Excessively long replies will be rejected, without explanation.
  • *Be polite and courteous. This is a public forum.
  • *Do not post in ALL CAPS.
  • *Stay on topic.
  • *Do not post links or email addresses..
  • *Please enter a name that does not contain links to other websites.
Your information:





<a href="" title="" rel="" target=""> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <pre> <em> <strong> <del datetime=""> <ul> <ol start=""> <li> <img src="" border="" alt="" height="" width="">

Cancel
Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version