If you have been accused of a sex crime, then you know that just the idea of being listed as an offender can be incredibly off-putting. People who don't even know you can make judgments, and that's not fair. This news story about a man who was accused and found guilty of a sex crime when he was a teen has been struggling with having this on his record for years, and he's spoken out about the serious nature of the offense even now that he's in his 20s.
The young man, now 28, described how he had touched his little sister's vagina when he was 12 and she was 8. While sexual exploration between siblings is considered a normal part of development and he believes it was misguided experimentation, he still faced serious consequences. He was placed in juvenile detention for 3.5 years. When he was forced to return to public school, sex offender registries were made public, causing him further humiliation.
Despite not being on public registries, the man still has to register according to the laws in areas where he travels. For instance, when he travels to another part of Texas, he may have to report that he's going to be there if he's there for more than 48 hours, depending on the area's laws. These laws vary based on location, making it hard for him to know what to do, leaving him open to making mistakes that put his life in jeopardy.
After a third strike against him for failing to register on time as a sex offender in his local area after moving, he was arrested. He was at the police station registering his move at the time of the arrest, making it even more frustrating. Now, he faces 25 years to life in prison, even though no new sex crime was committed and he had already served his time for his indiscretion.
Source: The Guardian, "Sex offenders registry may put man back in prison for offence committed as child," Anna Codrea-Rado, April. 16, 2015