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Living with 290

Living with 290: Maybe I shouldn’t have answered the phone…

Where to start with my story? I guess I will start with my conviction in February 2015. I was convicted of PC 647.6(a) and 288a(b)(2) and received 365 days with half and five years felony probation and lifetime 290 registry. At the time of my sentencing, I was time served and was released that day after seven months. At that time, I had the support of my family and was able to stay with my aunt and uncle, after losing my own place and job during my incarceration. There was some tension between my cousin and I, she couldn’t understand how I could do such a thing (to be honest, I couldn’t either as I have never been attracted to anyone that young (14) and actually find teenagers rather annoying). My cousin and I had been really close growing up and in our early adulthood so it is understandable that she was hurt and confused, but she ended up taking my crime personally, as if I intentionally committed my crime with the sole purpose of hurting her. Our relationship hasn’t been, nor will it ever be the same and that is unfortunate, but that is just another consequence to my actions. I slipped into a depression like I had never been in before and found it increasingly difficult to find work, and not only because of my felony, but because I was “over qualified” for most of the jobs I was interviewing for. As part of my probation, I had to attend a Sex Offender treatment program and luckily the therapist I found is amazing and really helped me to dig down to the core of why I had been vulnerable enough to not be able to refuse and appropriately handle the advances of a fourteen year old (who also happened to be my best friends daughter, which the seven month relationship was going on under her nose – I get the a-hole of the year award for that one). I eventually found an amazing job which I loved immediately in August 2015. Things were looking up for me, my depression was gone, I was working through my issues, I was smiling again!

Then the night of October 5th happened. Shortly before midnight, I received a call from a number I did not recognize. I normally do not answer unidentified calls, but something told me to answer. The person on the other line was hysterical and I could not understand what she was saying, let alone identify who it was. My adrenaline immediately started pumping, something was wrong. It took me a good two minutes to figure out who was calling me; my victim. The reason for her hysterics? Her stepfather had gotten her drunk, she blacked out and when she came to, she was naked in her mother’s shower, he on the other side of the glass door also naked and he was apologizing for what happened (I did not immediately get all this information from her due to her state of mind at the time, all I was able to piece together is that her stepfather had sexually assaulted her against her will while she was inebriated). She was scared and inconsolable and I was at a loss of what I could do. I tried to convince her to call the police, but she was too scared for that. She was home alone with him.

I know I should have called the police for her (and if one more person tells me that, I will scream – I know what I should have done, in hindsight) but instead, I hopped in my car and went and picked her up. I didn’t even make it to her street before I saw her running down the sidewalk, hair wet, wearing a tank top, pj pants and no shoes. She got in my car and she looked so terrified. I was able to convince her that she needed to go to the hospital. I drove her over there, the whole time she was hyperventilating and barely able to make coherent statements. She kept telling me just to drop her off because she didn’t want me to get in trouble. Well, I just couldn’t drop her off all alone, I stayed with her for over four hours at the hospital. The police came, then the detectives. Once she was given something to calm down, she was able to tell the detectives what she remembered of what happened. All the while, never telling anyone who exactly I was, just answering their questions to the best of my ability. After all was said and done, the police took custody of her to go get a sexual assault kit done and I left.

Later that morning, I was arrested at my job for violating the criminal order of protection after the detective figured out who I was. He flat out told me he thought she could have been lying about the whole thing to retaliate against her stepfather for turning me in the previous year. My jaw hit the floor; that thought had never even crossed my mind and just didn’t make sense to me. If she wanted to retaliate, why would she bring me in to it? I asked the detective as such and he just shrugged his shoulders.

Stepdad was eventually arrested, twelve hours after I was. I spent three months in custody serving the sentence for violating the protection order. I got only the 90 days due to the mitigating circumstances, otherwise it would have been longer. Well, that conviction automatically violated my probation. After serving the 90 days, I was transferred to the county of my probation (Sacramento) and spent 9 weeks fighting to not go to prison. My probation was revoked, but again due to the circumstance surrounding why I violated, the judge sentenced me to the low term of my suspended prison sentence, which was sixteen months. With actual time and good time, I was time served at the time of sentencing last week and did not have to go to prison. I am now on parole for three years and am wearing the lovely GPS monitor.

But I am in a pickle. There is nowhere for me to live. My uncle had to give my room to another family member so there is no room at the house and all my other relatives either don’t have room or have children in the home. My parole agent told me that of the shelters and transitional homes in the area that do accept registrants, they only take those with mental issues. I’m mentally sound so I am screwed. I don’t have money for a hotel and no one else I know can spot me some space. I also have my dog that I need to find a place for (which absolutely kills me, if I could, I would just stay in my car in order to keep him). Can I even technically be a transient while wearing the monitor? How would that work since I have a curfew, does anyone know? I can’t get my old job back, not because I was arrested there, but because I abandoned my position. I am in worse shape than I was a year ago, mentally. I keep trying to tell myself I will manage and I will get through it, but I am not able to convince myself of it. Luckily I see my therapist tomorrow, but that only helps for that hour I am on the couch. Everything that has happened in the past five months really has me questioning why I even answered my phone in the first place, and that is a horrible thought. She was in distress and reached out to me for help, I shouldn’t regret it.

Again, I know there were other ways I could have handled the situation that may not have resulted in all of this, but hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it? And because everyone can so easily say that I should have done something different, most of the family is upset with me (to the point where I had minimal contact with family during this most recent lockup) and I have been trying to explain myself… over and over and over again. I’m not eating, I’m barely sleeping and I just feel so totally lost. I take full responsibility for my actions. Though my victim was the one who came on to me rather aggressively, I was the adult and should have tried harder to dissuade her and tell her mother when she wasn’t backing down. I’ve hurt a lot of people and irrevocably damaged relationships. That’s my onus I must live with. I’m not a monster who preys on minors though some look at me as if I am (maybe that is just my paranoia).

Does anyone know of any resources in the Sacramento area I can look in to? I’m trying to find anything that can point me in the right direction, but with not knowing where to even start, it is difficult to get any answers. Any help would be appreciated. And for those who may be curious (because I was), it appears that stepdad has been convicted of 288(B)(1) and is still in custody. Thank you for reading, this turned out longer than expected!

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  1. NPS

    Thank you for your story. Yes, “woulda shoulda coulda”, but you have to move forward.

    I can’t really give much advice save one (only because I’m no expert or don’t have the experience). You mentioned that you are currently in mental anguish. I suggest having your dog licensed as an “emotional support animal”. All you need is a prescription from your doctor or therapist and take it to the county for the medallion. Emotional support animals are not the same as service animals; however, they do have the same rights as one. This way, you can keep your dog but not be rejected from housing even if they have a “no pet” policy. You also are not required to pay a pet deposit either. Hope this helps a bit. Good luck to you.

    • Timmr

      That’s good advice from NPS. My dogs and cats have made life easier by calming me down when I am on edge.

    • abolishtheregistry.com

      I agree, that is good advice, if it’s possible. My dog has been a great help. More than a few times, early on, I didn’t feel like getting out of bed. Having her pushed me to focus on something other than myself and my problems. Shes my best bud, goes with me everywhere, even work, when I was employed.

  2. JohnDoeUtah

    She sounds like a train wreck! Stay away from her at all costs. If she calls you, hang up and call the police to report the contact – she can be convicted of aiding in the violation. And, it could go that far if she continues trying to make contact. Even after she turns 18, I’d stay far away.

  3. USA

    No offense, but your story doesn’t make sense/or ad up! You stated that you lost your place while incarcerated and you where now living with your aunt/uncle? So, how did she just find your number? I don’t believe your story! What are you doing answering your aunt/uncles phone? Your story doesn’t make any sense at all and I believe your being dishonest.

    • 290J

      USA – At what point anywhere in my description did I state that I answered my uncles phone? Just because I lost my place doesn’t mean I lost my phone number.

    • curious george

      USA a bit more respect would be appropriate. If you have questions, why don’t you ask them instead of jumping to conclusions. People come to this site to be free from the accusations of the world……….. the tone makes the music eh.

  4. Harry

    There are somethings about this article that do not understand. With no contact order it is a 2-way street. As for me, which was nearly 30 years ago. I had attempts by victims, victim’s family and fake victim’s family’s tried to contact me while I was on probation. EVERYTIME, I relayed these contacts and attempts to my PO, ASAP. My PO would call or visit those whom were trying make contact and warm them that he will have them arrested and the one fake parent, he did arrest. The number one thing that everyone that needs to practice while on parole and probation is DO NOT HIDE A N Y T H I N G from the PO. I did not hide anything and I had a good relationship with my PO, even the jerks.

  5. MovingOn

    Yes you can be transient. You’ll just have to have to stay somewhere through the night (during your curfew).

    Next, you might look for a group home for sex offenders. Honestly, they’re terrible but they’re usually inexpensive and it is somewhere off of the streets for now. Your agent can probably tell you if there are any in the area.

    Next, you need to start making one thing better in your life at a time. You’ve dug yourself a pretty big hole with the conviction and then violation, and it isn’t going to go away over night. I remember being very depressed when I first got out of prison. I was in a motel and I really would have preferred to be in prison. But, one thing at a time. First I found a group home. Then a job. Then a girlfriend. Then a place to live on my own. Then started my own business. Now I’m about to discharge. I wouldn’t have even believed that it was all possible, but you need to have a survivor’s mentality and slowly work to make things better for yourself.

    Also, you need to realize that they’re going to be on you. It might sound to you like you did a noble thing, but in the eyes of Parole you’re going to be a 288 who had subsequent contact with a victim. They’re probably not going to make your life very easy for at least a few months, but it does get better.

    Good luck.

    • James

      Forgive yourself…you are a human being doing human things. You had feelings. She had feelings. What seems to be missing to me in all of…this…this…this…for almost everyone finding themselves in this place, is the very real complexity of the human experience, for you, for her…for people interacting with either of you.

      Let it go. I’m not saying what you did, and what she did as much as you, is right…it isn’t…but it is done. Stuff happens. It was bad stuff…people should be punished within reason.

      You life being laid to waist is too much…

      And so I stop…I too will leave it alone.

      Most of us have pretty complex stories, and it isn’t all us or on us…

      But it is done now.

      Forgive yourself, forgive others that trespass or tresspassed on you.

      Like a heavy balloon, let go of the damned thing.

      Likewise, I also wish you good luck.

      James

  6. G4Change

    When you read all that this guy who posted this is going through all because of a 14-year-old, it’s mind boggling.

    It’s mind boggling because there are many modern, Western countries where even today 14-year-olds can consent. Germany is one of them.
    Canada was until about 10 years ago.
    Hawaii (one of our own states) was until around 2001.

    When you think about it, we are just like Iran and Saudi Arabia. They also have draconian punishments for doing things sexually there which are not illegal in other countries. For example: adultery or fornication.

    The U.S.A. basically has its own rendition of Sharia Law! This is insane!!!

    OH, and if that 14-year-old “victim” goes to school and pulls out a gun and pops a cap in her teacher’s a**, you can bet that she will be prosecuted as an adult.
    What a crock of crap. She’s not old enough to proposition and have sex with a young adult, but she IS old enough to be prosecuted as an adult if she kills him.

    What the actual F*** ???????

    • Timmr

      In addition to rebuilding a life, you must also get active, join others in fighting these laws. Otherwise, you will be surprised by what the government can do. Let’s go back and take a look. Those convicted of a sex crime long ago, rebuilt their lives, became community leaders, only to have Megan’s Law apply to them retroactively. The economic security, the community connections, the sense of well being destroyed and have to be rebuilt. Then there were those who had a chance to get their conviction expunged taken away by new legislation. Then we have successful businessmen and women who find themselves unable to travel to important business meetings abroad. We have those building a family with someone from another country separated from those they love. We now have those who escaped the persecution of vigilantes threatened by new legislation to have their lives turned backwards by re-posting their information on the internet. I probably left a lot out, but the point is not to ever let down your guard. Living this way is very stressful, but we must not resort to unhealthy addictions or escapism — which will come back and bite us. We need to develop stress management strategies, emotional support groups, exercise, eating right, meditation, prayer, enjoying what we have right now, whatever keeps one in a right mind. Most important, though, is having a purpose. We will need it to face the next threat. I hate war. I would rather comply, get along, move on, sink into the vast void of space and disappear. But our lives are threatened and every legislation session could produce a new attack on whatever life we have built. This will be the situation until the majority gives up this war as a failed and wasteful adventure in revenge, just like the war on drugs.

  7. USA

    I totally agree with James/G4! Neither one of you read what I clearly stated, but you must be right! It’s all the 13/14 year old girls fault! My 13 year old is immature/not reliable/hormonal/not capable of making rational decisions and makes very poor decisions, but in this case, you both (grown adults) are the victims! Even though we have laws, the laws here in the US are wrong/even though everyone is aware of them! I just feel terrible for you both! You guys typify the typical perpetrator. It’s their fault. You both need counseling. I read his story and it fell apart in seconds. Poor me. Guys, get help

    • Timmmy

      I think they are referring to being victims of the government draconian laws.

    • Kelnothiding

      its people like you that make it hard for anyone to try to tell there story , just so you try to find holes in it , like all of us are good at writing ?! and trying to tell a story that needs to be told ! you just shot this guy down! hell I seen witch hunters with more tact , we need to stop doing that AT least I am not like that guy thing, your no better than anyone else , you just write fancy , seem to be affiant ! much more than ( I) , you just a bully , you write and spell much better than I do , so its not as hard for you to put facts down on paper as it is for me and many others , I am earley alztimes , so if I was to sit down and try to do my story it may seem as if there maybe unintended holes in my story , so your one of those folks that one would need to be face to face , so you can do a Q&A , nor do you know all of the facts , but all comes down to What ? 13 or 14 is just that they are a child , so its ok on the whim of a judge the same 13 or 14 to deem 13 or 14 to be tried as adult and be put in prison to be offended by someone in prison , you cant have it both ways , wow I am sorry everyone but , the bullying (Seems)Wrong ,

    • 290J

      It appears that USA is just a troll and has absolutely no 290 life experience. No need to take anything this person says to heart. I am sure we have all dealt with far worse adversity than what USA seems to be throwing our way. I am no way offended by this person, this person only knows what I have chosen to share, this person does not know me nor the complexities of my circumstances.

    • EnemyWithin

      I have read that overuse of “/” before.

      Is that our psychotic friend from Davie Florida?

  8. USA

    Good luck Kel! Your story makes no sense as well!

    • kelnothiding

      USA ,, your just a hater , so I will never be able to understand you , no one owes you the Q&A , if you wish to just come here and try to harm peoples feeling just because it makes you feel more powerful then have at it , its strange how victim s have every outlet , to get help , say what ever they want to say , don’t even matter if what they say could have many holes in there story’s , and they should tell there story in anyway they need to IF it helps them better cope with there on going struggle in life , well I don’t care what you think , we as offenders become victems in the aftermath of the things that some of us really did /or did not do , we need the help and support of others to see what its done to us and our family , and try to heal , we have no one to talk to , we have no safety net to help us move on , and many have Zero friends to talk to , so how is it that we are able to grow and learn of our true nature , I am sure you don’t care that any of us have any kind of an outlet to sort out our feeling , or our true rights for that matter , at least I am not hate driven , I am willing to reach out past all of your hate and anger , and try to help , rather than damage what has already been broken

  9. NPS

    290J and Kel. I believe you are both fairly new to this site. USA is notorious for starting arguments and criticizing others simply because there is a difference in opinion. He is a textbook example of a bully. There’s always one in every bunch. I’ve already had my run ins with and I’ve simply just ignored him. Most have. Just don’t respond to him. Just as an FYI, USA has stated on numerous occasions that he supports the registry since it has kept him on the straight and narrow. One can infer, then, that he is among that less than 1% population who will reoffend. So don’t take his comments seriously and don’t take them personally.

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