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Living with 290

Living with 290: What’s Next?

I started dating a guy 17 months ago. He recently told me he had a Federal PC290 conviction. Long story but he was in possession of 3 short videos on his PC (compliments of an adult step-child). He did 28 months. We both live in Orange County but different cities. Since he sometimes spends the night at my home his P.O. said he was required to go to the city I live in and register my address as a second address. He was told it was just a “paperwork” formality.

When he got to the Police Dept. in my city they treated him like he was first time registering. They were so clueless as to how it worked and what they needed to do for a “secondary” address that they had to call the DOJ to find out what to do. They did another DNA swab, etc. I figured my address would end up on the “list” and it did (which is fine). Only the police show my address as a primary address now and his as a secondary.

My question is “where are MY rights”? Shouldn’t there be something that tells me someone registered my address? What if my boyfriend hadn’t told me about his situation but had just registered my address? Doesn’t seem right. This is all new to me (and frankly, some of the craziest stuff I’ve ever heard of).

So, now the question is…if they can’t find him at his home are they going to show up on my door step? I have an adult child living with me and was hoping not to tell her until I had absorbed the whole thing but now I will have to tell her just in case an army of police show up asking for him.

I’m looking to educate myself. I’ve read the horror stories; but, I’m wondering if anyone has gone through a similar thing and can tell me what the outcome was?

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  1. ab

    He should not ever trust what his PO says as 100% factual. Yes, the probation officer will answer questions to the point where their probationer knows what would get them in trouble, but “a paperwork formality” is far from what registering a second address means. The way registration requirements are codified at the federal and state level makes not providing accurate information about residences among other things a possible felony….which is insane, but that’s the unfortunate reality.

    Next time your boyfriend goes in for annual registration in his primary city of residence the local police or sheriff should be able to fix the residency status of the addresses listed. Usually they will ask the person updating their information if everything is correct/if there are any changes and at that point is when your boyfriend can tell them which residence is the primary one. This should stop any law enforcement from showing up at your place first.

    Your rights are limited under the current circumstances. The only way to find out if someone registered your address is through the Megan’s law site and that requires action on your part. As mentioned previously him providing incorrect information could lead to serious trouble. However what you can and should do is not ever invite any law enforcement including his probation officer into your home. Actually if your boyfriend is not there at the time police might show up for a compliance check you have zero obligation to answer the door. Even if he happens to be there you still do not have to invite anyone in or answer the door. Now if you or the other adult living there does answer the door the only response needed is either “he stays here sometimes, but not today” or “he is not here”.

    As far as someone looking for him. First his probation officer will try reaching him directly via phone or whatever contact method has been established as working best. Trust me PO’s won’t aimlessly drive around or wait all day for someone to show up somewhere. If its extremely serious a warrant will be drafted and the U.S. marshals will help out if needed. Generally there are lots of things that occur before then and are not very rushed.

    The main reason anyone would show up at his home is either for the monthly home visit by his probation officer who is most aware of the situation or the maybe one time a year compliance check crew (generally local law and a few marshals who have nothing better to do than tag along). If the compliance crew does show up at your place and you feel up to correcting their mistake before your boyfriends next annual registration you could say your home is not his primary residence.

    I wish the laws were more logical and rational and something did exist for people to know if their place was registered. That being said your boyfriend would have been pressured by his probation officer to tell you and maybe was after a certain point. Here’s the deal; PO’s love opportunities to cover their own asses. So your boyfriend says “I’ve been seeing this woman and the relationship is at (whatever point it was for him to consider disclosing his situation to you).” The PO asks if he told you and he says something along the lines of he is thinking it is time. Or he got ahead of any questions and told you, then his therapy group (you want to hear crazy ask him about all those shenanigans of navigating the mandated treatment program), and finally his PO who told him to update the address.

    More importantly if your BF did not tell you and he was in an intimate relationship with you by the standards of most he would have waited too long. Even more so if he had been staying at your home with some frequency already. The best analogy I could make is if someone was transgender and had gone through all the operations and other treatments to the degree where it would take considerable effort by a medical professional to know something wasn’t quite biologically correct. Take this person and have them become intimate with someone else and then reveal that they are transgender. Very few people could take that information as insignificant after the fact of having sexual intercourse. Some (perhaps a majority) would feel betrayed by the deception or omission of fact. I can imagine you being rather upset if you had found out from another source besides your boyfriend after a given intimacy level had been reached.

    I unfortunately am not in the same position you are, but rather a similar one to your boyfriend. Despite also being convicted (okay I plead guilty*) of possessing illegal materials [both images and videos according to the government] on a hard drive, I have no sexual or relationship experience in my life. Yeah, it’s ridiculous to think of what might have drawn me into this mess, but the government didn’t care. They got a version of an outcome deemed favorable by their standards (I did 24 months). My story is very different from the majority of people and tragically many differences make telling all the details a worthless effort until lots of groundwork is laid by those daring enough to explore it. Then somewhere way beyond the current comfort zones is where I wander in circles waiting.

    * Contesting how the government defines things is sadly not an acceptable legal tactic/ strategy so playing by their rules was the only permitted option. I could argue until I lose my voice and then get tired of writing and finally typing about what’s actually what and why.

    Now the best news is you have asked for input in a very good place. There are incredible resources through this community for you and I hope if my comment is not as helpful as you were hoping, the insights of others can bare more fruitful outcomes. In closing it might benefit you to familiarize yourself with the general and special conditions of your boyfriends supervised release and continue ask him and anyone else questions because the last thing connected with all this crap needs is to be stumped or tripped up by convoluted obscurity.

  2. Eric Knight

    If you can afford it, I’d recommend first seeing an attorney like Chance Oberstein. He has given consultations for $100, a bargain compared to other attorneys who have less of a clue to sex offender laws in California. He’s also Janice’s main lieutenant in this organization, so you keep it all within the family.

    The reason I suggest using an attorney, at least as consultation, is that I believe in consultant/author Robert Ringer’s “Attorney to Attorney Privilege” rule he outlines in his iconic book “Winning through Intimidation.” In short, legal entities such as police react markedly different, and markedly deferential, to attorneys than they do to private citizens, let alone sex offenders and their families.

    In the future, though, should anyone register a second address, all one has to do is to do it with the PRIMARY registration officer, and not the PO. That is the OFFICIAL procedure that is mandated by PC 290 regardless of the PO’s “opinion.” However, we should have more input by registered citizens here who have listed secondary residences, and their own experiences with the process, which would be the most demonstrative of what actually happens. If there is a consistent pattern of abuse by the authorities with regard the the PC 290 statute, that is the time for CA RSOL to step in legally, as they have for other issues.

  3. USA

    From my understanding, if you search his name via the Megans website, it will obviously show him and the 2 addresses. If they where for some reason searching for him, they might very well come to your address.

  4. Aero

    He should of never put ur address I know u like him but that’s not ur problem his PO did not need to know all that he knows when ur on probation he’s got go home not every night but yeah he’s got be home so she can find home now he’s got 2 different law enforcement agencies on him and they do probation sweeps on sexofenders alot and if he’s on probation they can search any where he’s at or sometimes anytime they want its sucks you need to tell him to take it off ur house like now and if he really loves you and respect he will

  5. NotLikingCalifornia

    I’m on parole as a 290.
    My girlfriend lives in Orange County.
    We’ve been dating for 25 months.

    His PO was probably helping him out by directing him to register your address. If he doesn’t register it and they can show him as residing there (which can be done as simply as showing that he keeps clothing there) then he can go to jail for 3 years.

    As far as your rights, you really don’t have many. They don’t send announcements to homes stating that someone has used that address to register. If you discovered it on your own and it was incorrect, then you could report it and it would be fixed (probably … eventually), but the system is pretty screwy.

    And, unfortunately, yes both the PO and the police could show up at your house. If your BF is there, they can even search the areas he has access to. If I were you, I would definitely be telling my child, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that police might show up, and they aren’t always kind and considerate when showing up at a 290 residence.

    Finally, you really have to know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s not easy dating a 290 registrant. While he is on parole (or probation, as the case may be) then things will be particularly hard. Once that ends, things will get better, but they’ll never fully go away. I’m not saying to end it — I’d never want my own girlfriend to do that — but I am saying that you need to have both eyes open as you continue with this. Sounds like you’re trying to understand it all, which is both good and frustrating. Sometimes, there’s nothing to understand. You’ll stumble across things and think, “there’s no way that could be the law” and it absolutely will be. But, if there’s ever a good resource for all of that, CaliforniaRSOL.org is definitely the best.

    Best Wishes

  6. Robert Curtis

    Well I need more people to help me get these Boe-Zoes out of office. Call me people I’ll teach you how to and a skill as well. This is a war! The problem with our ranks is many of them seem to think they’re still civilians.

    This is an election year I’ll show you how to do some productive damage! I’ve already been in meetings with senator and assembly candidates and hitting the ground running…I need help here.

    I can put a dent in their armor but we together will MOW them completely down! Robert (949) 872-8768. With your individual help, Janice and the RSOL staff we will become that mosquito in the room that drives everyone crazy and make a big difference! Robert (949) 872-8768.

    • ValueGirl

      Robert Curtis – thank you for your reply. I have sent out some letters per RSOL, etc. (which I assume will never be taken seriously or read by the Representatives I voted for, there’s some irony). And, I am educating myself on my own rights as well as my BFs. I have spoken to Janice and will be going to the next L.A. meeting as I am looking forward to learning more and becoming involved in the fight (even if it’s frustrating to know the real truth about our laws). But, unfortunately, I’m not comfortable calling you at this point. The downside to all of this is that it is making me extremely and overly cautious while I learn more. You don’t really identify yourself, your agenda or your connection to this sad, messed up situation. And although I am ready to fight along side you, let me think over calling you for just a bit. Do you participate at the RSOL meetings in L.A.?

  7. ValueGirl

    Update: Thank you all so very much for your guidance. It’s hard to put all the details down and not miss something. I guess I neglected to say that both my BF and I are just over 50 years old. I am educated, strong minded and tenacious so I’m not worried about the fight ahead. The BF hesitated to tell me because he had lost two previous relationships when he revealed his truth (gee, can’t imagine why – being sarcastic here). The man I know is a good, hard working man from a great family who made the mistake of giving up his PC to Federal Officers because he knew there wasn’t anything on it (not the best choice but one that any law abiding citizen whose never been in trouble might do); only he didn’t realize a step-child (presumed) had downloaded CP. When he told me how they pressed him into a corner to plead guilty and the promises that were made (including not being on probation much less lifetime), well, I almost puked! Btw, I have read his paperwork so there are no secrets.
    Since I started researching this stuff I’m in complete shock at the injustice. Heck, the SO is so held down they can’t even fight for themselves! It’s really something out of the dark ages!
    Eric – we have an appointment to see Chance in a week and we are hoping for some guidance in getting him off the list. Apparently my BF had applied before but because they were unable to determine the age of two of the girls (teenager, not child) he was denied. I have also had the opportunity to speak with Janice on the phone. She is amazing and took a great deal of her precious time to speak with me. I am looking forward to meeting her at the next meeting!
    NotLikeingCalifornia- You are so kind and your words clearly come from living the experience. I have done a lot of research and sole searching. I believe in my guy and his status does not impact my opinion of him. I know that I am probably the minority and it would be a lot easier to walk away. But, in all honesty, whether he was guilty or not, it’s not for me to judge. What I know for fact is that he completed his sentence and should be free to pursue the same liberties as any citizen. How they have beat down a good person is a complete travesty. The number of obligations he has to meet are ridiculous. Zeuss, the poor guy is afraid to even have a life much less a sex life (cause gosh forbid you might actually be human).
    After researching, we realized he really had no choice but to put my address as a secondary (I think the PO really did have his interests at heart on that one). And, I am okay with that (although it was hard in the beginning). It also brings up all kinds of safety concerns for me, etc. But so far nothing I feel I can’t handle. I’m still up in the air about weather they can come into my home (sorry, but want to verify my legal rights with Chance first). For now, I probably won’t answer the door. His “Therapist” suggested I become a “chaperone” and that might make it easier to understand his restrictions. Only the “Therapist” and the P.O. (both have been asked) never seem to tell you how to go about it? Go Figure. So, I’m sticking with Chance and Janice and RSOL (California) to get my information. One thing I know for sure – Knowledge is power!
    Thank you again. It is empowering to know what other people have lived and can share! I will update after we see Chance! 🙂

    • D

      ValueGirl- I just finished probation in OC, and the process to be a chaperone was to have him set up an appointment mentioned for you with the therapist. The therapist then asks some questions to get to know you and your character. He then asks what the reason for the chaperone is, for me it was so I could be around minor relatives. But it could also be so you could go to other places together (church, movies, etc.) it would probably be good to understand this with his PO first. Also the therapist did charge me for his time.

      Next, the therapist sends his notes/report to the PO and you go meet with the PO and get interviewed by him too. Then they have you sign so paperwork to understand what your obligations are.

      • ValueGirl

        D – That’s interesting because I’m a little frustrated by it. Since I’ve been in the picture my BF has had four different Therapists. I asked the P.O. directly via email and he said he would check and let me know. The “regular” Therapist that left was the person who initially suggested it and said they would find out what needed to be done. However, I was under the impression it would involve classes that I would have to take and pay for. I don’t know how to help my BF stay compliant if the people in charge don’t even know. Very frustrating. Throw in that his case is Federal which sometimes adds more confusion. So your saying you had the P.O. and Therapist initiate and control the process?

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