In 1991 I was convicted of sodomy and kidnapping. I was sentenced to jail time while I was in jail I did a program at the Oregon state hospital called 41B (it is now closed) it was a Cognitive therapy program. If you’ve ever seen the movie One flew Over the Cuckoo‘s Nest then you would know the hospital. I got out of prison. I did the parole I had to do. Then outpatient therapy but I found the programs to lack meaning they weren’t effective, people were in denial I was constantly confronting people about them being in denial. I was finally sent to a special therapist that would determine if I would re-offend or not< During the interview she told me because of my insight into my behavior that the chances of me reoffending are extremely low so low she herself would not worry about me but she cannot put that on paper because she couldn’t afford anything to come back on her. I told her I understood at that time but I really didn’t. (Many years later I now understand what she meant. Catch 22.)
I finally got off parole. I went to school had a successful career had a child and lived in many different states. I never had a problem that would require me to contact an attorney or the police. Every now and then I would get somebody that would make a comment and just go on about their way.
It’s been over 35 years. I moved to the East Coast with my wife. We bought a home in a very small town. At first everybody seemed fine. The houses are close together we have a cop that lives in front of us and one that lives behind us one would think you would feel protected and safe.
In the 2 1/2 years that we’ve been here it’s been hell. When we first moved in here one of our neighbors filled our boiler with coal. It was about an hour’s drive one way for us to come up and fill the coal every other day. They did it for the previous owners while we went through the transaction. When we finally took over they continued to fill it for a couple of weeks. He was the brother of the cop. I would be outside and the cop would pull up with his family. His kid would get out and literally run inside then his brother would say I wonder what’s up under that dress then they would both laugh. I finally caught his wife one day outside in the yard and told her I found that disgusting and that if I catch anybody spreading false information around I will sue them. Things got a little testy then. That’s when things started to go really south. Then it was like anytime I was outside they would just all of a sudden all the neighbors come outside. If I went inside they all went inside. No, it’s not illegal.
My other neighbor on the other side of me has a camera pointed right at my front door. I asked him what’s that for. He stood on his roof and yelled, “He broke it off in some Little boy!” I told him he didn’t know what he was talking about but because I don’t have it on video I can’t do anything about it.
Another neighbor called the Children’s Services Division or Children’s Youth Authority and said that I’m giving my kids drugs. So, the lady came out and the first thing she said was there are no kids here! I said yes, there are no kids here, and then she introduced herself. She should’ve turned around and left but she said the reason she was here was the day before Thanksgiving in 2021 and the day after Christmas of 2021 a police officer came to your door. I asked if I could help them? He said he was investigating a report that somebody at this address was giving kids drugs. I turned around and walked inside. I came back out and said to him. “you can leave.” As he proceeded to leave I explained to him that I was on Megan’s Law and that these guys have been harassing me.
I was outside one day when I saw one of the neighbors outside and asked him why they were sending the cops to my house. He said he didn’t call the cops. I was pretty angry. I was pretty close to his face he could’ve pushed me. Could’ve asked me to leave instead he grabbed me by my neck and shook me violently. So I called the police. They gave him essentially a traffic ticket to appear in court. I’m not sure how it’s done in every state but, that just seemed kind of odd I got almost a $200 ticket for yelling, and then he goes to court and gets nothing. To see a two-tiered justice system right before your very eyes is very discouraging.
When I did go to the state police about my neighbors harassing me they told me that I had to send them a no contact or don’t talk to me order in order for them to do anything because of the harassment law that’s on the books for Megan‘s website has no teeth in it. So I turned to my congressman’s local staff and they told me it was a local issue so then I turned to the national congressman. They told me it was a local issue they couldn’t help me. Everywhere I turned they kept telling me it was a local issue but then when I contact the local people they tell me the law has no teeth in it so they don’t do anything about it.
If Megan’s law or SORNA and the Adams Walsh Act are all about public safety then please explain the public safety aspect of the law. Are drunk drivers not a public safety issue, is not the guy/person selling drugs on the corner a safety issue for the public, to me it’s a safety issue when you have people being harassed that have served their time.
I moved to a state many many years after my crime (more than 20 more than 25 years after) I was homeless with my wife sleeping in a car and I forgot to register. They wanted to give me five years after 30 years! This is only a way for the government to keep a hand on a person. I haven’t done anything other than be homeless and they wanted to give me five years. I ended up doing 365 days for failure to register after 30 years of being offense free. Remember I had done my time 30 years before, went to school, had a job, had a child, and 30 years later you want to put me back in jail for what again. Something I did 30 years ago.
If you have state police that monitors the Megan’s Law website then it needs to be perfect! Why is there nothing on Megan’s Law website if an offender has had treatment? Since I’ve been on Megan’s Law the laws have gotten tougher and harder but no Solutions. Because we don’t have solutions we just lock them up easier.
I’ve always been open. I’ve always been honest. I’ve always been upfront about my crime. I’ve also been very open and very honest about what I’ve done treatment-wise. But, that doesn’t get recognized only the negative gets recognized.
One thing that I may add is that throughout my life I’ve never reached out to the police, senator, congressman anything like that. I’ve always felt that if people wanna know about me they should feel free to know about me but over these past five years, my views have really changed drastically when I have reached out for help basically to be told you’re not worth it.
How many prosecutors have charged a person for two or more things to get a conviction and guarantee that person will never be able to get off the Megan Law list. Then turn around and give a 5,10 or whatever prison term. If the person was so bad then why the light prison term. Megan law should not go more than the prison term. It should be part of parole or probation and while in prison they need to do some sorta cognitive behavioral therapy as part of the sentence. The understanding of one cycle is a big benefit to the community you put multiple people in a community that understands their cycle you get a better community because those people then recognize out-of-place behaviors for other people and themselves.
The therapy is rather cheap to do. It’s not hard to write a very detailed life history. Then go back and look for patterns from childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Now you understand where your behavior came and you need to learn a new behavior.
We take the time to help people relearn learn how to eat, walk etc. after a stroke, heart attack, car accident etc. so why would we not take the time to show s.o. a new behavior?
Thus reducing the recidivism rate creating safer communities and most importantly breaking the cycle!!
After all, isn’t the goal of the law to protect the public and inform the public? I have always sat in the background and not said anything but this experience over the last couple of years has really changed my mind. The laws right now don’t work. They promote violence, destroy people’s lives, and create more victims.