23 yrs. ago: 5 yr. suspended sentence; today: still being punished
Editor’s note: J.B. is the owner, publisher, and editor of a small newspaper. She first came into my life at the point in her story where she was forced to place a sign on her newspaper office at Halloween stating that no candy was available at that place. She contacted me in response to a press release regarding the sex offender / Halloween issue that NARSOL distributed last year to media in all the states. We have stayed in touch ever since.
I have an extraordinary employee of 18 years.
23 years ago he made a mistake with a 16-year-old employee who had a crush on him.
There are no excuses; I am just setting the scene.
My employee — we will call him J — was charged, and under an SIS — suspended imposition of sentence – he was given 5 years’ probation. He had to attend sex offender classes for the five years, and at the end of the five years, after successfully completing the probation and treatment program, his case was closed. And he was free again to go on with his life. That’s when he came into my employ.
About 9 months later, he was told he would be required to register as a sex offender on the internet. He said, no, I have never had to register; my case is closed.
A new law had been passed in Missouri that anyone having a sex offense charge after 1994 was required to register on the sex offender site. So, he did. The information has periodically been incorrect for the 17 years he has been on it.
Three years ago, our county received a grant for a U.S. Marshal sex offender sweep.
J had moved up rapidly in my business and was a manager. Work-a-holic J spent many nights working at the office; so did I and so do I still. The sweep took place on Monday and Tuesday. Thursday is our day off from work. Thursday afternoon a deputy came by the office looking for J. This was two days after the sweep. A young employee who was new was really tormented by the deputy who kept asking her questions about J’s residence. She didn’t even know where he lived; she hadn’t worked for me that long. Long story short, a warrant was issued for his arrest because he wasn’t at his residence nor was he at work. Now, he had been at work from Saturday through Wednesday night, but no one ever came by or called for him.
He had an attorney, and it ended up with J, who is by now 70 years old, receiving 5 years probation, sex offender classes again for 5 years, and 200 hours of community service. Do you know how long it takes to perform 200 hours of community service while holding down a full time job?
J has a very bad heart and had surgery four years ago. He also has bone-on-bone deterioration in his knees.
J has not had so much as a parking ticket in all of these years. He made a horrible mistake, paid for it, and 23 years later is still paying for it.
J’s parole officer this time has earned the title “the P.O. from hell.” I have never known anyone to be so mean, rude and, degrading as this person. J can do nothing right. Everyone in the office has watched him do absolutely everything she asks of him, and nothing suits her. If she can humiliate him, she will. If she can degrade him, she will.
After the sweep, he moved into my office and rents a room there. It is a large office, and he has his own room, bathroom, kitchen, etc. The P.O. made me put a sign on my front door of the office last Halloween stating that there was no candy at that residence.
It is not a residence. It is a business. His room is in the back of the building, and his car is parked in the back, and his entrance is in the back. I would have had no problem putting a sign at the back door. But it had to be at the front.
She made him take a lie detector test two months ago. He failed one question. She went ballistic. Of course, the polygraph, the sex offender classes, all of this costs money, his money. She demanded that he tell her who he was thinking about when he failed the question regarding children. His crime was not with children, unless you classify a 16 year old a child; I don’t. He told her he would never have a thought like that about children. She told him to write a name on paper and bring it to him or she was throwing him in jail. He was devastated!
He talked to the local authorities concerning the issue. They advised him never to be bullied into saying anything that wasn’t true. So J wrote a note stating that he felt she had coerced him and threatened him with his job, and he was not writing anything on paper that wasn’t true. She was very angry and told him she would see him in court.
Lawyer time again. They told J. she could not have him arrested or take him to court over a lie detector test, that it is too difficult to prove what someone is thinking. She was so angry that she put an ankle bracelet on him for three months.
That’s where he’s at now. His probation is over next July. We are all so fearful she will try to stop him getting off probation. No one understands this. J. has done nothing wrong for 23 years; he has led a very productive life, has been out in the community, and it makes no sense.
When he went to court three years ago, he had 42 letters of recommendation from our senator, representative, local mayor, councilpersons, business people, clergy, fellow employees, and people in town that grew up with his children and played at his home and adored him. One of the letters was from a senator who is the brother of the prosecuting attorney!
How about that!