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Living with 290

Living with 290: 8 years and how many left?

I decided to write this because I just graduated college. I have been fighting and fighting and fighting some more with this nonsense hanging over my head. I have been denied jobs because of my sex offender status, I have felt like killing myself, and I sometimes just feel hopeless.

I was convicted of a 289a1 or Penetration of a foreign object through force or fear. I was 20 at the time and I was at a party. I hooked up with this girl and the lines got blurred between what was consensual and not. Long story short, the cops called me in and the next day, like an idiot, I went in. When they told me what I was charged for, my mind went blank. I didn’t know what to see, so I blindly went with whatever they said. They used the testimony over the next couple of months.

I did 6 months in country and 3 years formal probation after that. And I registered as a 290 for the rest of my life. I have spent 2 whole years of my adult life not on this list and the rest has been under this umbrella. This was 2010.

After I got out, I was denied living back in my parent’s house for a few months, so I lived with my uncle for a few months. I tried going back to school, but it never felt the same. I took a few years off just to work and try to figure out what I wanted to do.

Three years went by. I completed probation without a hitch. I transferred to a 4-year university in the Bay Area and completed my degree in Geology. I swore to myself that even if I did nothing with my degree, I would still be proud of that slip of paper.

It has truly become my one fear that people will discover what I am. Immediately after getting out of probation, I wanted to commit suicide. Since then, I’ve flirted with just not waking up one morning or if I got hit by a bus, I wouldn’t care. I’ve got told off by Pastors, Managers, and Family Friends. And with this new law, I’m grateful for all the people who will be getting off the list, but I’m always saddened that I won’t be there.

I just graduated. I erroneously thought that 7 years had past and stated to apply in earnest for work. And it seems that damn near every recruiter used the registry as the easiest way to deny me. I was denied from a programming position, a lab technician position, even a part-time position. I am going to have to move back home to LA and leave my girlfriend, friends, and life that I tried to start up in the Bay Area.

I wish this had never happened to me. I know everyone here on this site feels this way, but I wish this would just stop. I am trying to work on expungement, which I feel is a long shot, but I have to take it. I want to leave this country so badly. It’s to the point where I just want to pack my bags and disappear in Europe past the 90 days.

I know what I did was wrong and there is not a day that goes by that I wish that I could take that back. I wish I could just move on with my life, but that doesn’t seem to be the case yet.

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  1. Matt

    Everybody who is in your position feels your pain. After working for two years, and earning huge profits, I was asked to resign last month when somebody I work with was advised about my history. My offense was 20 years ago, and I am not on the public website. At least not yet. But people still find out. People still know. And they will torpedo us every chance they get. My one suggestion: You’ll have to find a way to be self employed. It is not easy. You’ll have to work your ass off. You may fail. You mail fail more than once. But eventually, you’ll get where you want/need to be. If you’re self employed, you don’t have to answer to anybody. You don’t have to worry about getting hired or fired. You answer only to your customers, whomever they may be. Find something that you know how to do….or can learn how to do……then do it. Nobody will help you. It’s not fair. Get used to that. Nobody cares. We are scum. Get used to that hatred and shrug it off. There’s nothing you can do to change the opinions of others. Start small. Survive. I was self employed for 14 years. It worked, but it was exhausting. I was getting to the place where it was time to slow down a bit. I took a job in the bay area. When I first started, I was behind the scenes. I was a nobody with a solid paycheck and good benefits. It was perfect for a while. Then the fires happened and I was promoted to take on work related to that. I found myself out in the public eye. That’s all it took. Somebody recognized me. Two days later, I was out of a job. Today, I am restarting the business I closed two years ago. It’s the only way to survive that I am aware of. I wish you the best of luck.

    • MANUEL

      well that’s how the cookie crumbles I have been working (warehouse) at this job for about 17 years on one day one of the co workers good friend of my and ask me if I was a register sex offender he say I know but later he say i will not say nothing to nobody he say you are a good worker and a good friend i did told him that my boss knew about my case thank God that i have a good boss i just want to say we will struggle but we can’t give up i’m no longer on the register and no longer in the web site just have to have faith we did this to our self and we have to live with this but there is light on the other side of the tunnel be safe my friend

      • Gralphr

        I disagree with one thing which is you did it to yourself. What you did was put yourself in a position to face court and possibly a prison sentence. Everything else (harassment, near loss of citizenship rights when you’re not incarcerated) was done by society and the government. If you couldn’t find a job and was homeless THAT is not your fault, since you want employment but people are biased against you. Ex felons have to stop saying I deserve this or the discrimination is justified due to a long ago act. After all, other crimes are NOT treated this way overall. At a certain point, society and especially the government is to blame for your situation. The government continues to spread lies such as the recidivism rate, etc. When they know the truth which should be a crime in itself. If you broke the law, you can justify the punishment as far as incarceration but never the treatment post punishment since the punishment should have ended once you were released and off probation or parole. Honestly, I cant stand the government since these laws mirror Jim crow and nazi Germany laws (minus the gas chamber). Considering laws are constantly passed that people have to follow regardless of their conviction date, who’d to say the government cant one day say all ex offenders must report to their local jail or prison for a psychological exam and if you fail in their eyes, you’re locked away for life? After all, theres few who fight on offenders behalf, even when it comes to civil rights, and even the public generally feels offenders have lost their constitutional rights justly.

  2. mk

    I want to encourage you to not give up!!
    Keep plugging away.
    Congrats on finishing college! What an accomplishment.
    Just dont give up.

  3. NPS

    1. Congratulations on your degree.

    2. Do NOT move back to L.A. Southern California seems to be the most hostile to RCs when it comes to restrictions and its treatment during annual registrations. The Bay Area is the least restrictive; however, try not living in Santa Clara or Sonoma Counties. While not as bad, they’re the Bay Area’s version of OC. I’ve lived in San Francisco and San Mateo Counties and now live in Contra Costa County. There have never been any issues with harassment from authorities. (At least not for me personally).

    3. Get your 1203.4. It might take you off the public list (if you are currently on it). As for the job hunt, the new state law (which went into effect this year) says that criminal history cannot be considered and there must be an offer of employment BEFORE conducting background checks. Once that offer is made and any convictions discovered, the employer must conduct an individualized assessment as to whether the conviction has a “direct and adverse relationship” with the specific job duties of the position.

    4. You need to stop the “woe is me” mentality. Yes, you are entitled to your feelings. Everyone has moments of despair, but you cannot stay there. You obviously have some good happening to you. Focus on that and reach out to your support network.

    • Joe

      @NPS – Everything you said. Except that a granted 1203.4 has no bearing on the registration requirement or notification on the web site. 289(a)(1) is always full address disclosure, and it is not a wobbler (if one wanted to reduce it under 17b due to county jail).

      But I am curious…. @Original Poster – why would you be excluded from relief under the new Tiered Registry Bill? Any PC 289 other than subsection (b) should be Tier 1, meaning 10 years. If your conviction is from 2010, you can petition off as soon as the law goes into effect in 2021. Am I missing sth? Is there more to the story?

      In the meantime, stay strong and continue to show up stand up and speak up.

      • NPS

        I did not say it relieves registration. I said it might remove him from the PUBLIC list. There have been registrants removed from the site after expungement. It makes a world of difference being a registrant and off the website than being a registrant with your picture and address for everyone to see.

    • steve

      “2. Do NOT move back to L.A. Southern California seems to be the most hostile to RCs when it comes to restrictions and its treatment during annual registrations”

      This is not correct. I have been registering in SFV for 20 + years and never have had an issue with cops or registration (and never a home visit). LAPD is too busy handling real shit than to focus on us. OC or 909 that’s another story.

      • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

        I think cities are generally better. More people, more anonymity, cops with other things to do. I live in San Francisco and I would not want to be on the Registry anywhere else.

        • Tim Moore

          Although I love the open spaces of the semi rural area I live, I have to agree in some sense, many move out here not because of the beauty of nature, but because they are intolerant and afraid of others.

      • C

        Ditto. Registering in the SFV since 94. While not as easy as it used to be, and I’ve had a few home visits a week or two after renewal, knock on wood, I can’t say I’ve been harrassed by LE.

        To the OP, as someone else said, kudos for getting your degree, but you have to stop feeling sorry for yourself. If you are a healthy, able bodied young man, remind yourself that there are literally millions of people who would trade places with you in a New York minute.
        The next time you drive past a hospital, imagine the people in there praying to God for a miracle for themselves or a sick child. You think they are thinking, “Welp, I might have a brain tumor the size of a tennis ball that will kill me in six months, but at least I’m not a registered sex offender!” Probably not, eh?
        As someone told me at the beginning of my 8 years stretch in the joint, we can’t control your surroundings, but we can control our attitudes. So find a way to develop a more positive outlook and I swear you’ll be a happier person and good things will start happening all around you. Good luck!

  4. HOOKSCAR

    I am 53 and have spent the majority of my adult life on the registry. 20 years on it this year. You will not have a career unless you become your own boss. Be prepared for disappointment, and get used to it. Every day will be a challenge. Do yourself a favor, every day overcome all the challenges and look for solutions. We all know what the challenges are. It is up to you and you alone because no help will be given to us. You can just see in the ruling in Florida that any checks and balances, that are supposed to be the key to our democratic government, has all but disappeared.
    Maybe this can be the beginning of the end for the registry if it gets appealed to a higher court. One can only hope. Good luck.

  5. Eric

    A man in our SO group got hired as an engineer. He revealed everything in the interview. So it is possible. Not everyone is drinking the cool-aide. Some are smarter than that.

  6. USA

    Wow. Sorry to hear this. I had just finished school and acquired a professional license when I was arrested!! I eventually (22 years ago) plead to a Battery and did time in County. Somehow, I received Summary Probation. I eventually lost my license and went back to school (Graduate Degree). My charge was (especially with the new 2021 law) reduced to a misdemeanor and expunged. I’ve cleared background checks. Life hasn’t been perfect, but you could be in jail! Stay focused. I also suggest staying in the Bay Area!

  7. New Person

    If you successfully completed probation, then you automatically are granted 1203.4. No judge or DA can deny this. You can file this yourself and not pay for a lawyer.

    You will need the 1203.4 if you are going to apply for the CoR. The new tier doesn’t start until 2021, so you might be able to get off the registry, provided nothing in the CoR prevents you from getting off the registry. Just do research on it.

    I don’t know if your charge can qualify you for 17B felony reduction. That’s something you’ll have to research yourself.

    @ Original poster,

    I’m in a similar situation with you about being denied b/c you’re on the registry. I have my 1203.4, but being on the registry counts as an active mark on your background. Which doesn’t make any sense since your registration was initiated due to a conviction. Once your conviction was dismissed, then so too is the case as well as all the information/accusation about the case. Clearly, on background checks, the information/accusation remains alive and disseminated.

    The longer you’re on it and more jobs deny you, then psychologically it prevents you from moving forward as well as not become a part of society. In this respect, there is no rehabilitation being promoted by still being on the registry.

    That means you need to create goals and distractions for yourself. Your first goal is to apply for 1203.4. (Because you were given probation, then you were given the possibility of the 1203.4.) That’s a goal that cannot be thwarted. Research what 1203.4 can do for you, if it is able to for you not to be shown on ML’s.

    Research if you qualify for the 17B felony reduction. Unless, you were charged with a misdemeanor at sentencing.

    Then do research on the CoR. If you are eligible for the CoR and if the CoR allows you to no longer register, then starting lining everything up to prepare you to apply for the CoR.

    As for myself, I’m brainstorming on attacking 290.5 and 290.007. I’m using the Kelly v Municipal case as my basis.
    Link: https://law.justia.com/cases/california/court-of-appeal/2d/160/38.html

    It seems daunting a task, but Mike R is already attacking the registry on his own. Mine isn’t attacking the registry as a whole, rather, it’s attacking registry due to the neglect of the protections of 1203.4. So this keeps a glimmer of hope inside my head even when things feel hopeless often.

    Kelly v Municipal stated two things:
    1. Registration and re-registration are compulsory police reporting is criminal or quasi-criminal. This penalty should be released from a person who earned the 1203.4.

    2. A conviction denotes the need for registration and police surveillance. 290 specifies two registration requirements based upon conviction: 1) After judgment, in respect to the convict who has served his sentence or who is released upon parole; 2) during the suspension of imposition or execution of sentence (see Pen. Code, § 1203.1)

    Section 1203.4, because it deals with the probationer, has reference to his status as a convicted person during the period of suspension of imposition or execution of sentence.

    Kelly v Municipal used to get you off the registry. I only discovered this case in the past month or so. The last known use of Kelly v Municipal was struck down in 2014 because the registry was deemed not punishment and the CoR was a way off the registry. So although my brainstorming does sound bleak, there is a slight promise in my head. 1203.4 has protections and, in Kelly, states you’re only convicted during your probationary period. Once off, then you are also off the registry (case set aside; information/accusation dismissed; removed for all penalties and disabilities). The new law (290.5 and 290.007) and CoR violates the equal immunity protection and the impairing of a contract protection in the California Constitution provided in 1203.4 as decided by Kelly v Municipal.

    Then there’s the whole “the registry isn’t punishment” stance. Kelly provide legal description of the registry, which is compulsory police reporting. Compulsory police reporting was deemed criminal or quasi-criminal. Thus releasing one from such penalties/disabilities. Since the registry isn’t punishment, then compulsory police reporting now becomes involuntary servitude.

    “Involuntary servitude is prohibited, unless to punish a crime.”

    Also, possibly sue the state for disseminating my dismissed information/accusation to the IML. 1203.4 specifically sets aside the conviction and dismisses all information/accusation.

    Kelly v Municipal stated and proved that 290 isn’t special to supersede 1203.4. Thus, 290 must comply with 1203.4 with respect to conviction and 290 registration.

    ……….

    I don’t know if this will help you or mitigate some hopelessness. This is one of the ways I try to combat hopelessness. I’ve been scraping like this since I discovered CARSOL, now ACSOL. Several years of trying to find a weak link in the armor. I’ve help chime in a little to Mike R’s work. So hopefully, this idea of mine with 1203.4 maybe one of those weak links.

    But you gotta keep fighting against hopelessness… gotta keep moving forward.

    In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

  8. Gralphr

    I agree. 5 years in morano valley and not one visit. Only requirement was to register once a year. I also had a decent job working at a data center for a famous hospital.

  9. Counting the days

    Once you accept that leaving this earth doesn’t matter, it actually gets easier. You are by yourself, the “help” that is out there is basically a hug and pat on the back.
    I am self employed. Was a physical therapist, but now do personal training. I go by a single name and spend a lot of time running the hills with my dog. I haven’t isolated, but more like rejected this society. I recommend Buddhism.
    Find an overseas company that will hire you. Learn a new language, and you can have a good life.
    I figure a couple of more yrs and my sentence of being a U.S. citizen will be over.
    You have no family, no loyalties, no ties. Ca. is big, but the world is much bigger. Maybe one day we sit down together for a capuccino in Rome. Reality is an illusion. Expand your world.

  10. Original Poster

    Hey ya’ll,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment on this. I am going to answer a few questions.

    -My crime was a 289 a1. On SB 384, I am a lifer. On the old bill, SB 421, I would’ve registered under tier 2. Example: (M) The person was convicted of violating subparagraph (B) or (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 289. For this SB 384 I referring to: (Q) The person was convicted of violating paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) or subdivision (d), (e), or (j) of Section 289.
    So as I am reading the bill, I am under lifetime supervision. As it stands, it was a serious and violent felony

    -My crime is kind of weird. As of 2017, probation is no longer available for it as I understand. So I do have an opportunity to get it expunged. I am grateful for that. And I have faith that this tiered registration will not last very long in its current state. While Doe v. Snyder is nice and all, I feel like Millard v. Rankin is going to be tough to beat. I really don’t care what PC 290 says: its protections for a non-punitive scheme are absolutely toothless. Judge Matsch was a breath of fresh air; a trip to the Cop station is not the same as a trip to the DMV. I personally loved the intents-effects argument that was used. Yes, the intent of registration is supposed to be non-punitive, but speaking from personal experience, there has been plenty of punishment. Jobs that aren’t supposed to look at the registry do: I’ve had two employers pull their records from the site. I’m in the process of going through DFEH complaint on one because I never received a copy of a background check, save for an email that said that they found me listed on a DOJ registry page.

    -As most people can attest to this, I have a lot of anxiety towards this. Living up in the Bay during the whole Brock Turner scandal was harrowing. I remember coming back to my house from therapy, closing the curtains, and hiding under my blankets for fear that somebody would retaliate against me. You hear it all the time, so in my head I was certain that it was going to happen. Depression, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety have been the norm for me in the last 7-8 years. I know that I need to get out of my own head, but it’s still been difficult.

    – I did probation in LA County and it wasn’t half bad. Save for a handful of times, like my stepmother’s condo raided by SWAT, or being homeless for a little bit, my probation went off rather well. Aside from probation, I had one check-in with cops. I am moving back down because a) I’m burnt out from school and need a small break. Part-time jobs are way easier to find anyways b) I need to devote more time to expunging my record. When I spoke to a public defender on the phone, he made it sound fairly bleak. Ergo, I’m taking no chances. I have professors, my department chair, and my current boss writing character references and I’m sticking my diploma in with the packet. I don’t care if theoretically a judge and a DA can’t fight an expungement, but I’ll give them a reason not to.

    -Thanks again for your time. I haven’t been around for any of the meetings, but I will consider going to these meetings. Huge shout out to Janice and Chance!

    • New Person

      @ original poster

      1. Make sure you truly are eligible for expungement. As you stated, as of 2017, your type of crime no longer qualifies.

      2. If you do qualify, then 1203.4 is automatically guaranteed if you successfully completed probation. It cannot be denied as it’s law. I had an appellate specifically tell me that after a judge and DA wanted to deny me 1203.4. So my lawyer and I went back in again and stated it’s law that I be granted 1203.4. No judge or DA can deny it.

      You don’t need a lawyer if you meet the eligibility (part 1) and successfully completed probation (part 2). There is no petition needed or letters or such. You use that for 17b or Certificate of Rehabilitation.

  11. USA

    Well stated. I had a pc 243.4 (a) Felony Wobbler/Summary Probation. I filed the pc 17b on my own. The judge told me to come back in a year! Granted. I later just mailed in the pc 1203.4 via mail/never went to court! Granted! So, unless you try, you will never know. Plus, I imagine your tier can be affected depending (ie: sexual battery) if your plea is a felony or misdemeanor. The million dollar question I have is, what tier are you on if your offense is expunged? You can research this all online and it’s rather simple! Good luck

  12. OC RC

    Can someone please explain the 1203.4 to me? I hear this a lot and when I read it, it is pretty confusing to me.

  13. Someone who cares

    OC RC – here is what I know about the 1203.4 expungement. Anyone who went to jail and received probation can get an expungement. Some offenses, even if a misdemeanor, are excluded though and a Certificate of rehabilitation would have to be requested. Some of the offenses that don’t qualify are PC 286(c), PC 288, etc, etc. Just google exceptions to PC 1203.4 for a complete list. Some felonies are even eligible for a reduction to a misdemeanor prior to getting it expunged. Those are the felonies that are considered Wobblers, meaning they can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor. Now, a 1203.4, if eligible and granted, will still not relieve you of the duty to register. Only a COR will do that for now. Once the tiered registry will go into effect, a COR will no longer be available, I think. This is just my opinion and others are probably more knowledgeable

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