I’m 43 years old so this story is from 21 years ago. I was a young man struggling with drug addiction. I was upswung at 13 years old in my home with my mom so needless to say I had problems.
At a party, I got involved with a minor sexually and at the time I wasn’t aware of the consequences that would destroy my life forever. One year after the fact her brother became upset with me so he told his sister’s school we had consensual sex. They called the police and the police called the Division of Family Services. I was interrogated by 6 officers from multiple police agencies for 3 hours until I just buckeled and told them what happened. It took that long not because of me they just liked to come in and out and tell me I’m going to prison for the rest of my life if I don’t cooperate. I told them what I remembered. I was on meth and alcohol at the time so my memory was not so good.
So I went to a 16-man jail for almost two years facing 28 years in prison. My face was on the local news for years as a child predator. Needless to say, this small country jail wasn’t a nice place for me. I fought all the time because the news is on all day in there. Finally, I took what’s called an Alfred plea which I’m told I was the only sex offender allowed to take that plea in this state at the time. It’s pleading guilty without a deal on the table. My lawyer said it’s my only hope to let the judge decide my fate. I know now that I shouldn’t have been told by my public defender who was a new female mother and she didn’t like me at all. The judge gave me mercy but told me after my 5 years were up the charge would be erased off my record.
Well, 22 years later I’m a Tier 3 offender which is the highest level of classification. The ironic thing about that is I have legal documentation from the state polygraph examiner and the head sex offender assessment officer for Missouri stating I am no danger to anyone and absent of all sexual characteristics that lead to offending but does that help? Nooo! It’s a worthless piece of paper.
Over the last 20 years I have been to prison 7 times for chronic homelessness because I have no family, friends, or anyone to help me. I can’t find a good job or go to school. I have children I’ve never seen because I’m a Tier 3 offender and my daughter’s mothers have used the registry against me since I won’t be with them again.
I had a family of many before this new tiering law. But now I have lost my mom and siblings and any friend I ever had. I tried to go to NA for my addiction but was pushed out due to being a sexual offender on the registry. I can’t even get recovery. Thankfully my faith in my God has kept me clean for four years now.
The police told me if I get into trouble again it’s a mandatory life sentence. All for being homeless? If you have no address to give them and can’t sleep outside now or on the street corner what do you do? My judge even asked the prosecutor in court what was I support to do and they don’t even know but they sent me to prison anyway.
This registry saves nobody but gives nosey neighbors a place to put their hate. The government wants to make you an outcast on purpose so that when they lock you up for some trumped-up registry charge there is no one to stick up for you. It’s a free seat at the prison for which the feds pay the state per offender. Missouri has 17 prisons and they are all full. This will never stop a person from offending. It will only hurt anyone who gets involved with an offender. Nobody will help you. Your life is over. True story.