The Sex Offender Registry Has Changed Our Lives Forever

I am the mother of 4 adult children who have been the most wonderful part of my life. I and my husband are so proud of all of them. One of my sons, was diagnosed with diabetes, Type 1, at the age of nine. He never let this disease change his enthusiasm for life. He took karate classes, played tiny league football, and even took dance classes at his sister’s dance studio. His defense against his disease was to become, what I call, a court jester, always laughing, always showing off his ability to do difficult dance moves. He was a lover of life and people. My two youngest children were home schooled. They did not miss out on socialism with other children. We would take a break from school and take field trips to the zoo, playgrounds, or just a walk in the park.

Our lives changed forever when I got a call from the Police Department saying my younger son had been arrested for a sex offense. To say I was shocked would be a far cry from what I really felt. We were all shocked. We paid his bail, brought him home, and from that day forward, he was never really happy again, never laughed or smiled. He was arrested, tried, and imprisoned for 6 months for an incident with no violence, no intimidation, no force, and no sex. He, to this day, has never had a girl friend, never been on a date, and is a 40-yr-old virgin, accused of being a sex offender. While imprisoned, his diabetes was not attended to correctly, and he was not allowed to have his eyes checked for the retinopathy. He is still suffering from the medical staff mistakes treating his diabetes. His jail time was a nightmare. Since he is small of stature and non-combative, he was abused, mistreated by other inmates, and physically and mentally has never recovered. We, his family, have also been in a virtual prison, since he lives with us. Because of neighborhood notification, we have had our yard and cars vandalized, can put up zero Halloween decorations, and my son has to attend a “roundup” every Halloween to keep all sex offenders locked up for the night, but murderers can go wherever they want, “dressed to kill”.
I am so angry at what the registry is doing to so many of us. My son made a mistake, but did not kill or hurt anyone. It was a misunderstanding that led to a conviction and jail. My happy, go-lucky son is now a dark shadow of what he used to be. He sees no reason to keep on living, and I pray every day he does not lose this battle he is fighting, between the long arm of the registry, his diabetes, diabetic retinopathy, and I weep every day because I just want to see him smile again and be happy again, ans his entire family feels the same way.
Also, I forgot to mention that my daughter, who owned the dance studio, eventually had to declare bankruptcy and close her dance studio because rumors were spread about her brother; his mug shot was put on Facebook by a disgruntled student, and she has also been scarred forever. The registry has been compared with the Jewish holocaust Instead of a yellow star, sex offenders have no freedoms at all. Families all over the country are in virtual prisons.

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