Just like a mother’s love, a “sex offender” is forever

By Sandy . . . Kirk Nesset. Luke Heimlich. Wes Heyden. Brandon Hester. Michael Cain. Alexander Collins. John Zamarripa. Peter Yarrow. Roman Polanski. Steven Striegal. Bruce Habowski. Jensen Seifert. Daniel Silverman. Roger Gilbert.

Do you know the names? If you know even one, you know them all.

They are all men who have had a career derailed, an honor stripped away, a name and reputation tarnished due to a past conviction of a sexual crime requiring listing on a sexual offense registry.

And now another is added to their ranks.

Adam Kimmel, Hollywood cinematographer, is on the sex offense registry in New York as a level one offender; this level in New York does not require public listing or notification. He has one actual conviction, in 2003, which involved sex with a teenaged girl. In 2010 he faced accusations from another teenager involving emails, touching, and kissing. Upon investigation, these charges were dismissed by the court.

Mr. Kimmel has enjoyed a brilliant career. Among his many, many film credits are Capote, Beautiful Girls, and Never Let Me Go. He was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and of the American Society of Cinematographers.

In November 2020, Variety ran a lengthy article detailing his criminal charges and accusations and his status as a registrant on the sexual offense registry.

March 17, 2021, Variety ran another piece announcing that the Motion Picture Academy “has taken action and removed him” and that his name on the roster of the Cinematographers Society has a designation showing him “withdrawn” with an addendum that he was a member “from 2008 until his resignation in 2021.”

And so he joins the ranks of those listed above, those who, upon completion of a criminal sentence, were told by society, “Go; don’t break the law again; become a productive citizen; contribute to your community and society.”

And they did.

And society, rather than saying, “Job well done,” decided that the punishment meted out by the court ten or twenty years ago was not sufficient. Because their names were etched in “The Registry” and they bore the designation of “Sex Offender,” judgment was passed that  they must suffer more punishment. They must lose the fruits of their labors, the honors they won, their reputations, and their places in the society of “Good People.”

Had they criminal records for armed robbery, for arson, for murder, they would be lauded as successes of the justice system, those who reformed and went on to fulfill society’s expectations.

But for those with sexual crime convictions, there is no such thing as a “Reformed Sex Offender.”

Because the registry says so, they are forever “Sex Offenders.” It is always present tense.

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