Hello. I am a 49 year old gay MAP (minor attracted person) who is also on the registry. All right. I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that I molested a child. Wrong! But I do think that being a MAP has played a small part in what led to my being a registrant. And it all started with my befriending a man named Mike who is only a year or two younger than me. If I had never spoken to the guy, I am certain I would never be in the position that I am in now.
In either 2002 or 2003, I joined a social group for gay and bisexual men. I also joined a group called RISO ( Reasonal Integration for Sex Offenders). So even before having been labeled a sex offender myself, I had much empathy for registrants and what they have to go through. And I learned a lot through my involvement with RISO. I couldn’t imagine living life as one who is branded as a sex offender by the powers that be. The thought of it was very frightening to me. Anyhow, my involvement in both of these groups led to my befriending of Mike.
Mike had contacted my gay group in order to reach out and make some friends (or so he said) and he did not hide the fact that he was convicted of a sex offense. I, and the others from the group, made the decision to be friends with the guy. The other guys were Sam, Nick, and Lance. I got Mike’s contact number from Nick.
I and Mike hit it off well. We had much in common. And he made me laugh. I had no idea that he was in a mental health facility until he told me so himself. This kind of surprised me. He didn’t seem like a nut to me. In fact, he seemed very intelligent. He told me that he had been married and had a son. But he did not speak with this wife and son all that often. He also claimed to be a landlord which struck me as odd because you couldn’t possibly be spending time where he was and be a landlord at the same time. I should have known that something was fishy right then and there. But I continued to converse with this guy.
I told him that I was with RISO and he even participated in a RISO meeting so he could tell us about what had happened to him. However, prior to the meeting, when I asked him about his sexual offense, he told me that it has to do with having oral sex with a teenage boy. He told me that the boy had no objection. I thought that only forced sex was a crime. But discovered that I was wrong. And it showed me how messed up our sex laws are. I didn’t feel as if he should have been in that mental health facility. And I was willing to help him in whatever way I could with the understanding that we do nothing illegal. I thought I had made myself clear about that. I also told him that I too had that attraction. Big mistake!
In the beginning, we only talked about things like music, religion, and politics. We even spoke about meeting in person if it could be arranged. And then he wanted some special help from me. He knew that I had a laptop computer and he had some accounts that he wanted me to help him with. But it was more like he was helping me. He knew more about what to do than I did and directed my every move. It got to the point where he was having me do things with some nude photos. Some were minors. This made me very uncomfortable and I told him so. I also told him that if what I did for him were to cause me any trouble, then I was not interested in helping him. He was always able to reassure me that I would not get into trouble and that everything we were doing was perfectly legal. He could even cite the law word for word. And it sounded perfectly legit. He was a pro at that. I know how government language sounds and I know what it looks like. And he definitely sounded as if he was memorizing a government document perfectly. And there was no doubt in my mind that I could trust him. So I proceeded to follow his instructions. Even to the point of exhaustion.
One late afternoon/early evening while at work, I was called into the office of our company president. So I made my way to her office and there were two men in there with her. One of them flashed his badge at me and told me that he was a detective and that I was under arrest. They tried to ask me questions but I didn’t answer their questions because I knew my rights. They wouldn’t answer mine either because I wouldn’t answer theirs. I mainly wanted to know what I was being arrested for. But I figured it had something to do with Mike. I was taken to some government office downtown and they put me in a room with nothing but a table and chairs. They wanted permission to search my home and my locker at work. I would not give them that permission. So they needed a search warrant to do it. I was left in the room by myself with some bottled water that was offered to me. At some point, I had to use the restroom but my ankle was cuffed to the chair. I don’t know how, but I managed to get the attention of a guard and he led me to the bathroom and back. I started to meditate so that I could calm my nerves. After a while, another dude walks in and tells me that the search warrant was granted. They did not find anything of great significance in my work locker but they did seize some items from my townhome. I can’t recall everything that they took but it included my laptop computer, a letter from Mike, and a computer disk. I was eventually let go and ran into Nick and Lance who were also apprehended that day but charges were never filed. This is how I got home that day. One of the staff took me home and took Nick and Lance to their car.
When I got to my townhome, everything was a mess. I had to clean up the mess they has made. The only nice thing they did was fill my cat’s bowl with an abundance of cat food. Mike called later and wanted to know what was going on. Apparently, the authorities had walked into the mental health facility where he was staying and confiscated some of his stuff too. This confirmed to me that this whole mess most definitely involved Mike. I was not happy with him and let him know it. But I continued to speak to the guy. I eventually got a new computer and he tried to get me to repeat what we had done before. I refused. Eventually, I stopped speaking to him altogether. I just felt as if he wasn’t good for my mental health.
Mike had told me that they were trying to “build a case” against us and that they did. It was well over a year since the incident when the authorities ( one man, and one woman ) came back to my place of residence, cuffed me, and took me to jail. This time they didn’t ask me anything but I did ask them what this was about and it was because I helped Mike. Apparently, they just needed time to gather evidence and draw conclusions because they didn’t have enough of it the first time around. But my first concern was not about myself. It was about my cat. Who would take care of her? The man offered to have somebody come take my cat but I would never trust the government with my cat. Hell, I don’t trust the government with much of anything. And I refused his offer. So off to jail I went. (My father ended up with the cat later.)
I was put into the Sedgwick County Correctional Facility for about two weeks, and then I was transferred to Harvey County Correctional Facility where I spent a considerable amount of time. In total, I was in jail for almost a year. While at Harvey County, I met Mike for the first time. He didn’t let on at first that he was one of the guys I was sitting with during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But after he revealed himself to me, I let him know that he wasn’t going to like me very much after all was said and done. I had already told my attorney that I would be willing to testify against Mike. He just smiled back at me and said “Oh, it doesn’t matter. I am never getting back out again anyway.” And during my whole time there, he kept on trying to get himself back on my good side. And he also told me that he never meant to get me into trouble. But he did. He got me into the biggest trouble I had ever been in. And he wouldn’t leave me alone. He tried to talk me into having our attorneys work together. I had mentioned it to my attorney who didn’t think it was a good idea and so, of course, I was going to listen to my attorney. That’s what everybody says one should do, right? And I eventually told Mike that I would remain open to everything he had to say but when it came right down to it, It was my attorney that I would listen to. Now, understand something here. Mike was spending time at Larned State Mental Hospital when the incident happened. And he thought that if he was found guilty in the court of law, he would end up back in prison. And he preferred prison over the mental institution. But when he discovered that he would be sent back to Larned, his tune changed. And then he tried to talk me into not testifying against him. And he would get angry with me when I didn’t do what he wanted. So I finally told my attorney that I was very uncomfortable having to be around Mike all the time and he had Mike moved to a different facility. Mike wasn’t happy with me after that. And I couldn’t have cared less.
After Mike left, I was so relieved. I finally had room to think. And I realized that Mike was a very manipulative and self-serving individual. And a plea agreement was worked out between me, my attorney, and the prosecutor. So I agreed to talk to the prosecutor and let them know about everything that happened between me and Mike. Mike stalled the court dates quite a bit which is why I was in jail for almost a year. Very little of the stalling had anything to do with me or my attorney. Mike went through attornies like you wouldn’t believe. And, at times, he couldn’t decide if he wanted to represent himself or have an attorney represent him. The judge eventually made that decision for him.
On the day of my sentencing, I discovered how Mike worked. He would get a hold of several LGBT groups and reach out to others for “friendship”. He would reach out to people like myself who are willing to befriend all of the outcasts in our society. And then he uses us for his own self-serving purposes. As stated earlier, if I knew then what I know now, I would have avoided the man. And I would not have been where I am now.
Also, on the day of my guilty plea, I was told that I would probably run into Mike again and that he would probably try to speak with me again. That is exactly what happened. He attempted to speak with me (or about me) and I simply ignored him. He also got reprimanded for his attempt.
The judge sentenced me to five years of parole. My father took me into his place to live with him as well as my stepmother and her mother. (Also, for a time, my younger stepsister was also living there and was also on parole. My grandfather would have also been living there but had passed on before that could be arranged.) I was utterly relieved to be spared prison. Since I had spent almost a year in jail, it was considered time served.
While I was initially relieved to have been spared prison, parole was not exactly a fun ordeal. I was on house arrest for up to a year of my parole period and had to wear an ankle bracelet. The restrictions put on me were very difficult to deal with. And it made me very angry. I still resent it. I and my stepmother did not get along very well. And it wasn’t a stable household. It most certainly wasn’t like it was when he and my mother were still married. The stepmother could be nice and sweet one moment and then hateful the next. At one point, she had served my dad with some divorce papers. So my father had to temporarily move out with me and spent time in a hotel room while my stepmother and her mother packed up and searched for a new home. I and my father were in that hotel room for a whole week and we found a new place to live. My father patched things up with my stepmother and they remain a couple to this day.
Finding a new place to live was not easy because I only had so much money to offer for rent and a lot of the places that fell within my price range were not very well kept. And, of course, the fact that I am on the registry was also an obstacle. But we did find a place for me to live. Not long after I moved in, my landlord got a call from one of the other residents who mentioned to her that I was a registered sex offender. So my landlord called my father and asked him about it. Dad basically told her that I had been used. One morning, I saw my landlord doing some work on the premises. So I asked her if she needed to ask me about anything and she said no. No other residents have complained about me since. And my landlord never brought it up. Currently, I am still living in that same townhome.
I have been refused work a couple of times but am now working in retail. There is a website here in town devoted to local gossip. One lady, who shopped at the store that I presently work at, went on to that gossip page and mentioned that I was working there and that I was on the registry. She also mentioned that I should be fired and listed my name and address. But there were also some who spoke in my defense. Eventually, she had to take the post down because it violated the rules. And I am still working for that employer.
I had to take the SOTP ( Sex Offender Treatment Program ) after an evaluation was done, and I did not enjoy that class, nor did I feel that it was particularly helpful. I don’t know what the head of those groups considers themselves so I will just call them group leaders. The group leaders claimed that they held no judgment against us yet they would use the word “deviant” in order to describe certain sexual thoughts. And often sounded like our parole officers. They would have us discuss things and sometimes we would get yelled at if we didn’t say what they wanted to hear. And we had to go through polygraph tests which are full of flaws. On top of that, we had to pay for our forced “treatment”. If one was considered indigent, then the payment was not required.
In late 2018, my parole ended. It felt great to be done with it and I hope that I never have to be on parole ever again. But sometimes I feel uneasy. I am always worried about somehow messing up again and finding myself back in the same boat. And I have to visit the registry office every three months. Some of the things that I have wanted to do in life, I am not presently able to do because I am on the registry. And so many things make me nervous that used to not bother me. That is all because of the fact that I am now a registrant. What started out as a willingness to help others ended up with me being on the registry. So anybody who thinks that it can’t happen to them had better think again. Because it can.