My life is probably a lot different than most 24 year old's. For one, I am a registered sex offender, I had just turned 19 when I was incarcerated and I spent about 4 years in a federal prison. My crimes involved a computer, a website, and my teenage girlfriend. I know there are a lot of curious readers out there, most have no idea what it's like being a sex offender. One of the primary reasons I am writing this is to educate people, to let them know what life is like outside of prison as a sex offender. Many people think prison is the hard part, not always true for a sex offender, prison is just the beginning...
Anyways, here's my life story as a teen and how everything came to be as it is today.
When I was growing up I never had many friends, partly due to the fact that I was never allowed to go to school. Pretty strange if you ask me, well, I was home-schooled most of my life. My dad, being an LE(law enforcement officer) was very strict, he was also a very religious person. He always told me stories of how bad kids are at public schools and how he never wants me to grow up like those kids(a lot of help that did lol). So I spent most of my days at home on the computer.
At the age of 14 I had discovered this thing called pornography, this was back in the year 2000 when the internet wasn't as popular. It was mostly adult porn, maybe ladies in their 20's and 30's. But what teenage male wants to look at these older ladies when he can find females his own age? I used to use those file trading programs back in 2000 and 2001, it was there that I got curious and typed in "15 year old girl", low and behold, hundreds of images and videos were available to download. I started to download a couple here and there, then after a while I just got so addicted I spent hours just downloading teen pr0n. I never thought anything was wrong with it, I mean I was only 14 right? Is it even illegal for a teen to view other teens naked? The answer is YES! I mean this was YEARS ago before teen porn(child porn) was popular. This is back when you had to download it from Usenet groups, now it's on every P2P program you can find.
My addiction to this porn was so severe I decided to make backups in case my hard drive was wiped out accidentally, or I got a virus and I had to reformat. But I would use free web hosting services to backup my files. So it was basically a free website where I kept my stash of pr0n. Well I had told some of my guy friends about it and they were like, "sweet let me see", I gave them the web address, then they went and showed their friends, and word spread, then I became popular lol.
When I was 16 I was working at McDonald's, after working about 10 months there, I quit. Times were tough, I couldn't find a job if it meant saving my life. I was broke, my parents didn't give me money to spend on nice clothes, a car, or other material thing. So I decided to make money on my own. I wanted to do something that was easy, and was available online so I could make money from my computer without ever having to leave the house. After a couple of weeks it clicked it my head, "hey, why not sell the photos and videos on my free website." I already had plenty of HTML training, I knew a little bit about creating an e-commerce website so people could pay for services. After another couple weeks went by, I was able to charge customers to gain access to certain pages on my website that needed passwords. People started complaining about the slow speeds, and since this was a free web hosting company the website would run out of bandwidth for the day and people were screaming for refunds. So I had to act quick, I went and got a bank account, debit card, then purchased my own web space online for about $5.00 per month. I was charging customers roughly $10 for 1 month access to my website. I started off making about $800 per month, then $800 turned into $1800. My website grew and grew and grew, by the time I was 19 I had thousands of loyal customers and was making enough money to purchase a brand new Saab, pay for all my bills, and even pay for the rent. I had my own DJ studio, home theater system with a big screen TV, $10,000 computer system, THE WORKS.
Shortly after my 19th birthday, I had moved out of my parents house and into my own place, this is when things got sticky. One day I was on a social networking site, and one of my friends friend was visiting my profile, she sent me a message and added me as a friend. To protect her identity I'm just going to call this girl Jamie. So Jamie talks to her friend and says, "OMG why didn't you tell me your friend was so cute." Then my friend was like, "Hey Jamie thinks you're hot you two should hook up you're both single." I'm like, "Well I dunno we'll see." So after talkin for a few weeks she tells me to call her sometime and she gives me her phone number. I call her up and we start talking. After a couple of months she drops the bombshell, do u wanna meet me? I was really nervous because I liked her, she was reallyy pretty, the kind of pretty where guys would stop and turn around. Anyways, I after all, dating her is legal right? That's what many would like to think, but contrary to what many people think, if the state wants to prosecute the case the can and usually will, especially if one of the parents doesn't agree. But those were exactly my thoughts, it's okay to date her right? Even if we were to have sex she is consenting to a sexual relationship so it's okay? Nope! Although my philosophy is, if the girl makes her own decision and you don't FORCE it against her will, then I don't see any problem with it. There are some states where a 17 year old can become a registered sex offender for having sex with a 15 year old girl! Come on that's ridiculous! So after thinking it through and I made my decision, "so when do you wanna meet?"
February 5th, 2004
The night before the 5th, Jamie had called me and asked to pick her up at school, she was so excited, she told all her friends at school she had a boyfriend. She told me she was going to wear something SPECIAL on our date LOL. By special do you mean a short short miniskirt with a g-string and high heels? lol. After I picked her up I asked where she wanted to go, she immediately asked to go back to my place. So we arrive, and as soon as I close the front door she jumps on me, wraps her arms and legs around my body and starts kissing me. I'm like WHOA slow down I haven't even shown you around yet! lol so yea...here we go, after I showed her my bedroom you probably know what happens next. So after about 5 or 6 hours in the bedroom I ask if she wants to get something to eat, we go to the mall, hang out, then I drop her off at school around 2pm. For the next few days it was the same scenario, except during this period SHE came up with the idea that it would be "fun" to record us on my webcam having sex. So I'm like sure why not.
One day me and Jamie are chatting on AIM and she send me this message,"um...I think I'm pregnant." Well she accidentally left her chat open and her dad had read the convo(he didn't know about me and Jamie), her dad was pretty furious when he found out I was 19, being an ex-cop it's pretty expected, of course from any parent, except maybe Billy Ray Cyrus. But Jamie and I actually were trying to have a baby, she said she wanted to get married and have kids with me! She thought that if she got pregnant from me her dad would let me help take care of our baby, that way I couldn't go to jail. That...unfortunately didn't happen. I went to church with Jamie and sat with her and her grandparents almost every Sunday. She was cute, smart, funny, nice body, awesome personality, this girl was amazing! Or so I thought...
The next week I ask some of Jamie's friends where Jamie was at because she wasn't answering her phone. They tell me she never went to school, so I'm like HMMM. Later in the day Jamie tells me she was tired and didn't go to school. But I find out from someone else that she went to this other guys house. When I confronted her about it she said she went over to hang out and fell asleep on his couch that's why she never answered the phone. Yeah right. Well come to find out that the guy that she was visiting was bragging to everyone that they had sex. When I heard this I was so pissed off I decided to get my revenge...by making everyone know she was a wh*re.
February 19th, 2004
I get a call from my mom asking me why a bunch of cops are at their house, I'm like WHAT??? Why? What did you do? Then it came to me, they were looking for me. I didn't really panic though, I didn't really know how the whole process worked, they needed a search warrant right? That could take days...nope...more like hours. I didn't think it would be that serious. I fled to my ex girlfriend(not Jamie). An ex girlfriend that was someone I could trust. I told her about everything that was going on, and she helped me out. After several hours I get the courage to show up at my place and talk things over, but when I arrived at my apartments everyone was gone and my place was TRASHED. The U.S. Marshals and FBI were investing my case, they broke a bunch of furniture, took practically anything that was electronic, computers, dvds, PS2, DJ equipment, everything except my big screen TV. My first thought was...who the f*ck left this burger king bag in my sink!
March 19th, 2004 - Karma pays me a visit
One month after I had my possessions taken away from me, I'm sitting at home, relaxing, ready to eat a pile of fried chicken tenders I get a knock on the door, I look outside my window and I see a bunch of cop cars and unmarked police cars outside. I quickly call my mom and tell her I was getting arrested, I open the door and about 7 or 8 U.S. Marshals with their guns drawn push me against the wall and hand cuff me. In federal court the prosecutor claimed I was trying to flee the country because I was selling a bunch of my items on an internet auction. In the auction I wrote," going away for a while, I don't need this item". They tried to say I was fleeing the country, idiots, I was explaining why I didn't need this item anymore, I'm not going to put, "going away to prison for a while." That might scare away some buyers. As I'm sitting in court I'm thinking okay, how much time am I looking at? I have no clue because I never watch the news, when I first heard the prosecutor announce how much time I was looking at I wasn't feeling so hot. I was looking at a maximum of 40 years in prison for possessing,distributing and manufacturing minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. When most people hear that they're looking at 40 years they probably wouldn't be feeling so hot either. After a week in Federal jail I was allowed to be released under one condition, I move back in with my parents.
March 31th, 2004 - Karma misses me
I hear a knock at the door, I look outside the peephole and I don't see anyone standing outside, I figure someone is playing a prank, so I open the door wide open and who do I see? Two police officers standing in the corner of the porch. They put me in cuffs and tell me The state is charging me with child molestation. After getting booked into the county jail(I was arrested at 10am, I didn't get to see my bed until 10:30pm). I call my mom and she says everyone has been calling her nonstop because the media had gotten a hold of my story, they interviewed Jamie's dad, who was a security guard at Jamie's school. Now Jamie was no innocent teenage girl. She lost her virginity at 13 to a 26 year old man during a party. At 14 she already had 3 different sex partners. The media will make you look like the biggest scum when it comes to sex crimes. They were saying things like I had sexually assaulted her, made her do things she was unwilling to do, video taping her while making her give me sex and blah blah blah. They said she was my "victim" and I was raping her. The media's job Is to do one thing, get ratings(viewers). They will do anything to start controversy because they know it draws more viewers. After spending two months in county jail I was released with the GPS home monitoring system while awaiting my sentencing.
July 1st, 2004
I was attending a hearing at court for my state case when I become a little suspicious of these two men that kept staring at me. Every time I turned around, there they were just watching me. As I was walking down the hallway I hear this woman on her cell phone,"yeah the black guy is playing it off cool, but the white guy is actin' suspicious". I knew something fishy was going on, but what could I do? After my hearing, I'm walking down the hall when I hear someone call my name. I turn around and there are those 2 men who were staring at me, they pull out their U.S. Marshal badges, here we go again I thought to myself, I turn around and put my hands behind my back without having them to tell me what to do. This time I would have to walk through the city because the Marshals parked half a mile away from the courthouse,. From there I was taken to the Federal courthouse, back in federal custody.
Now I'm not going to tell stories about my life in prison, that's a whole different story. But I am going to tell you what it's like as a sex offender AFTER release from prison, everyone thinks prison is the hard part, I'd say say otherwise.
Jan. 24th, 2008
Here I am sitting in the prison laundry with my bag full of property waiting for R&D to call my name over the prison intercom to roll it up for release. The moment I have been waiting for for many years, that time has finally come. 8am. I heard my name, I couldn't believe it! Being released into society with normal civilized people! As I walked out those prison doors I met up with my mom and grandfather, then we went to the nearest shopping mall lol. I still remember my first purchase, I went to Hot Topic and bought a CD by Paramore, then I went to Quiznos for my first non-prison food. I thought life was all gravy, but little did I know...
One thing that is hard for registered sex offenders is probation, we have it harder than any other criminal, much harder than bank robbers, drug dealers, and even murderers. In my case since I was charged in both the state AND the feds, I have TWO probation officers, one for the state and one for the feds, whereas most people only have one or the other. Some of the conditions we have to follow:
No sex even with an adult unless I get permission(forget casual sex and one night stands).
No access to any form of pornography even if the models are of legal age.
Cannot talk to any minor(it is almost impossible to not talk to one, I mean you can't go to a fast food restaurant without one taking your order, or going to a mall and one of the sales reps are underage. And then how do you know if that person is underage or not, you don't. Basically what this means is I cannot knowingly be alone with a minor(offer one a ride in my car, or visit one that is home alone.
As of right now I am living with my parents until I get back on my feet, but let's say one of my relatives, a 4 year old boy, decides to stay over with his parents, it's 2am and I need to use the bathroom, I have to wake up one of my parents, have them come with me and stand outside the bathroom door while I take a leak. Now what does a 4 year old boy have anything to do with my crime? The only thing they have in common is they're both underage. The law is very black and white about it, they have very standardized rules for sex offenders on the registry.
I'm also not allowed to go to church.
When I first enrolled at the college I had to notify the president of the school about my crimes, then they post my picture and my name in the security office for everyone to see. They also notify the instructor about my crime in every class I'm attending. The more serious sex offenders(level 3), they have to stand in front of the class and announce to everyone that they're a registered sex offender and explain his/her crimes. I'm just glad I'm not a level 3!
I have to register with the sheriffs office every 90 days. My picture, address, and charges are all available online for everyone to see at the sex offender registry. My neighbors received a flier with information regarding my crime that also included my picture. They basically tried to make it sound like I was the child rapist or child molester who hides in bushes and hangs out at playgrounds waiting for my next victim. This lady that lives a couple of houses down the street yelled at her 10 year old son as he was walking past me while I was washing my BMW. She made him walk all the way around the neighborhood just so he wouldn't walk past me. Seriously, just because I'm a registered sex offender I am automatically a predator who preys on young boys? Does being a sex offender automatically make me gay?
You can forget about getting a decent job, the only job you can get as a sex offender is probably a hard labor blue collar job like in construction or at some factory packing meat. To make matters worse, every time you apply for a job you have to let the employer know about your sex offense before or during your interview, and most employers will either see you as a child molester/pedophile or a danger to their business.
For those of you over 18, next time you have thoughts about starting a relationship with a minor maybe you should take a step back and think about my story. I would also suggest researching your state laws regarding statutory rape. In Washington state it is legal for a 16 year old to be with a 20 year old due to "Romeo & Juliet" laws. In other states such as California, a 17 year old can't be with an 18 year old because they don't have Romeo & Juliet laws. Every state in the US have their own laws on statutory rape. Do some research, you'll thank me for it ;)