My name is not important but my story is. When I was 14 I touched a girl in an inappropriate place. It was my girlfriend’s younger sister and it was after my friend gave me ecstasy. It was the only time I ever used the stuff. Maybe it was peer pressure. Maybe I just wanted to look cool. It was the biggest mistake of my life. I did know what I was doing was wrong but did not know the extent of the consequences. I did know it was wrong but didn’t know I would have to pay with my life.
About three years later is when I finally got in trouble for it. That was when I was around 17 years of age. In the state of Oregon, they classified my crime as sodomy in the 3rd degree which in Oregon was like the second least thing I could have been charged with. My lawyer gave me two options; guilty or no contest. I felt like my own lawyer was working against me but I was young and didn’t understand things as I do today. I was sentenced to 3 years probation and 2 years of psycho-sexual counseling which I completed about the time I moved to Missouri.
When I got here I was on juvenile probation and they said when I turned 21 I didn’t have to register anymore. I have had multiple probation officers tell me I shouldn’t be registered. I have had Providence Sexual Counseling in St.Louis tell me I shouldn’t be registered. Now I’m almost 40 years of age. Twenty years later and still have to register at the highest level because Missouri doesn’t have third-degree sodomy. They just classify my case as sodomy which isn’t what I did so for me touching a girl in her private area when I was 14 I’m treated like a violent rapist.
I’m tired of all registrants being treated the same. All I want is to have my life back. I’ve never had another sexual charge and never will. I was a dumb curious drugged-up kid. All I want is to go see my kids play their sports, to be a supportive parent at their school games and in their life. But no, because of something I did when I was 14 not only do I have to continue to suffer my kids get to suffer too because I can’t be an active parent in there lives and their activities.
I believe that having the same people who arrest you for your crimes be the ones who pick how long and how often you have to register and who you have to report to. That in every way is a conflict of interests and I feel my civil rights have been ignored because if my life isn’t cruel and unusual punishment I don’t know what is. if a child falls off a bike does someone say you can’t even ride a bike again? No. but when I mess up as a child I get kicked off the preverbal bike for life. Something needs to change.
thanks to anyone who actually reads this. I know I’m screwed for life but something needs to change for our and our kid’s futures.