I can empathize with Daniel, as I ,too, am self-employed. I run a small, one employee, woodworking business in my town. The only way that I was even able to accomplish that was to move to a completely different state and begin to start my life over.
As a result of my poor decision to commit my crime, I, too, lost everything. Family, friends, business, reputation, means of income, etc. My education is pretty much worthless now, and as those in power would like me to believe, am I.
I pleaded guilty, served every single day of my sentence (10 years), and as a bonus, the state of Iowa saw fit to tack on to my class C felony charge, a LIFETIME SPECIAL SENTENCE, complete with matching LIFETIME SORNA REGISTRATION. The “Special Sentence” now entitles me to live the entire rest of my life on parole supervision. Even though my original sentence was only 10 years. What a bonus! (I don’t live in Iowa any longer, but remain on my “special sentence” in my new state.)
In addition to my business, I started a related “Outdoor Flea Market” event, twice a month, which started out well. It was growing, and prospering every month, having at it’s peak approximately 40 vendors participating.
Of course, that was until someone decided that I didn’t deserve success, and started posting my information and status on Facebook and other social media, and going around during the event “notifying” my vendors and customers that the event was run by a sex offender. (God Forbid! Your children might be in danger!)
Within the next 2 weeks, my market fell completely apart, every single one of my vendors had left. in addition, print media stopped returning my calls for ad space, and then to top all that off, the local sheriff’s office was following up on “complaints” related to my market (which were all determined to be completely unfounded, and a complete fabrication).
I suppose that I am still lucky to be able to run my woodworking business. That is, of course, until someone else decides that I dont “deserve” to do that either.
As with a lot of others in this situation, my story doesn’t end there… no… This example is just the tip of the iceberg…
If this was done to anyone else, or any other group, it would be clear cut discrimination, vigilantism, hate speech, bullying, or whatever name you’d like to put on it.
It had better end soon, because as a group, we as individuals, can only take so much abuse…