Reply To: Sex offender registries endanger the lives they’re meant to protect

Randy Highland

I have been on the registry since 2003, for a situation that involved the mother of my second oldest daughter. I was 30, she was 26 and we got ourselves into a situation where she got mad at me and told the police I tried to rape her, when in fact, I didn’t do anything close to that.
Here I am, fifteen years later. I got out of prison for thst situation eleven years ago, and off parole six years ago. I struggled to find and keep steady employment immediately after prison and I made a decision to become self employed by using construction skills I learned prior to getting arrested. It was EXTREMELY difficult to build my contact network, and over the years, it seemed that for every step forward, I would take two back.
Fortunately, about four years ago, I got connected with a very reliable contact who knew my situation bit didn’t care because I did good work and had a very good work ethic. A year ago, one of the places this guy would have me do work for got a handwritten letter from an anonymous source that they were using a “dangerous sex offender and I got barred from working for that source again. The guy that sourced me there continued to use me, but didn’t have enough work to keep my afloat financially.
A year ago, I started sub contracting through another company where I had two family members working and started making very good money. About six months ago, the company got an anonymous letter stating that they were using a dangerous sex offender and that if they continued, they would contact the local tv station that the business did advertising through. After conversations with the owner of that company and his business attorney, they decided to keep me, due to how good my work is and how professional I was working with customers in their homes. Another round of letter were sent to the company, this time through Facebook, but now the owner was getting angry with whoever was sending them and we are looking into ways of backtracking the messages to determine who is sending them and harnessing me and the company I do work for.
I am pretty successful now, even though someone is out there trying to under cut me by using the registry to “brand” me to the places I do work through. Fortunately, I have A skilled trade that I do very well and I made sure I made myself invaluable so I had a better chance to survive any attempts by “anonymous” ignorant individuals to cause issues or problems in my life.
I live in Michigan and I was convicted in 2003, so whatever Michigan changes their law to to exclude me from the detrimental 2006 and 2011 changes to the sex offender law will change my status immensely. I wanted to write that even though people judge and go out of their way to try to make our lives miserable, it isn’t necessarily up to them how we live our lives. It’s up to us.