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PA: Sex offender: ‘I am not a monster’

[abc27.com 5/15/18]

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A man we will call “Tony” first sat down with ABC27 News in November to talk about what it’s like being a registered sex offender.

“There were many times I tried to commit suicide,” Tony said. “I am not a monster like people portray.”

The former combat medic and EMT says being on the registry for his child pornography conviction only prevents him, and others like him, from moving on with life and becoming productive citizens.

“When I first got on [the list], I was a mess,” he said. “I was homeless for about a year and a half because I was still paying child support and I lost my job. It is more of a vigilante law.”

“He would not be on any list if he did not commit the crime,” Dauphin County Chief Deputy District Attorney Sean McCormack said.

McCormack has been in charge of the Child Abuse Unit in the district attorney’s office since 1995.

“I think Megan’s Law is a good thing. It is very important for parents and the community to know who is living in your area,” he said.

“I would argue that they don’t have the right to know that,” said Theresa Robertson.

Robertson is a volunteer with the National Association for Rationale Sex Offense Laws, or NARSOL, which is against the current public sex offender registry.

“What we have done is created this list of people who are considered monsters,” she said.

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Join the discussion

  1. Anon

    I’m in the same boat. I was 19, used limewire, came across some videos, did it think much of it, next thing I know cops knocking on my door and I’m facing prison and the registry. I’ve never touched a kid like that or even though about it. And it’s not like I was in some secret CP order where videos are made bought and shared. I literally was a victim of collateral damage and now I have to deal with this bullshit the rest of my life

    • Facts should matter

      I’ve been stuck in the same swamp for 10 years! I can’t move on or move forward because I’m being bad-mouthed and made a spectacle out of on the Internet. Even if I did have a job, being fired would only be a mouse-click away.

      Why should we spend years and a ton of cash on lawyers to “petition” a court to prove what we and our families already know? That we’re not a threat!

      Megan’s Law is an exercise in futility and wishful thinking. It’s the most misguided and ill-conceived law ever.

    • Scott

      Story of my life. I was 19 when this occurred and I’m 28 now. I’m in Missouri which has lifetime registration. I can’t really move because I care for my elderly grandparents. I wish I could move on. My life is anguish 90% of the time. I never harmed a child. I never had a victim. How am I a threat? What happened to common sense in the legal system? If it’s on the internet, I can’t see how viewing it can be considered a crime. Why not make viewing images depicting violence or drug use illegal for that matter?

      The sex offender counselor I was assigned told me viewing CP was “just as harmful and serious” as having a physical victim. Absolute propaganda.

      • someone who cares

        Agreed Scott ~ So, is viewing violent movies where people are being slashed, shot, etc just as bad as committing the actual crime? Don’t think so. It is called entertainment for some odd reason. They know what people like to watch, but that does not mean that those people are violent or will act up on what they see on TV.

      • Anon

        Scott, I’m in fl so lifetime for me here too, and even if i move I’ll still be on it here. And I’m 29 now almost 30. Me and my wife were considering moving to another state, somewhere like Colorado, but after doing a bunch of research and finding out that even if I move to a state where I would be off of it that I’d still be on in florida we decided we will just stay here. I’ve got a decent support group of people who know and dont judge me including my employer and the pastor of my church. I try to move on but I’m reminded every 6 months, at Halloween, when cops do random check ups to make sure I’m still living at my house, or I get a new roommate with a vehicle. Anyone else can fuck up and make bad decisions in their lives, and move on, change and become a better person, and never have to worry about something stupid they did when they were young. But not me. I’m not allowed to move on. And something funny, the judge who sentenced me started on the record that in his opinion I shouldn’t have to register as an SO, but the law requires me to

  2. Gralphr

    The article has an idiot who claims people deserve such harassment due to their criminal conviction no matter how long ago it was but other acts of violence are perfectly fine. So it’s none of my business if the next door neighbor is known for stealing or producing meth in their homes, potentially putting my kids in danger. People need to face the fact the list IS nothing more than a new witch trials list meant to harass but with a wink it’s only to inform. Regardless of the conviction, if one stays out for so long and is crime free and off probation and parole ALL should drop off the registry automatically.

  3. David

    Good news item!

  4. David

    @ Gralphr: I agree with you. That jerk saying “He should have thought about that before committing the crime” needs to think before he speaks. Does he have any understanding of the concept of Ex Post Facto punishment being unConstitutional? What about when all these add-on requirements [read: punishments] are created many years AFTER the individual’s conviction?? That’s just all okay, huh??

  5. Josh james

    One thing I have noticed is that more public stories are showing both sides. This is a good trend. The more doubt created about effectiveness, constitutionality, fairness, costs, etc… The more likely people will start to reject the registry.
    As soon as research is thrown in the face of those supporting the registry, they tend to shutdown Ex: studies show recidivm rates are low and registry is ineffective at preventing new sex crimes. It becomes harder to justify the registry for them. We just need to keep up the work and fight battles when they arise.

    • B. Myers

      I plead guilty to my charge back in 2000. My “Plea Bargain” called for (10) years Registry. But in 2012 the then Governor (Corbett), enacted the SORNA Law, which in my opinion was like “Double Jeopardy.” With that Law came extension of time on the Registry (Life Time) for many registrants. That is in complete violation of the Constitution. I’m glad that they (Higher Courts/Legislation), are taking a real long hard look at this issue.

      • samehere

        I was 18 at the time of my offense in 1995 and there was no such thing as “Sex offender registration” when I accepted my plea bargain for deferred adjudication. One year later, I was grandfathered in. Now I am 43 and a RSO for the rest of my life. The real SOs are the bastards pushing these laws. These guys will never taster their own medicine. Let them be on the registry for the ENTIRE adult life and see how far they go!!

        John Walsh – Statutory Rapist
        Mark Lunsford – Child Pornographer
        Mark Foley – Pedophile

        The list is literally pages long: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_political_sex_scandals_in_the_United_States

        • Brian

          The difference is, they have money so laws don’t apply to people like that.

  6. FRegistryTerrorists

    Dauphin County Chief Deputy District Attorney Sean McCormack is wrong and obviously confused. If people had any right at all to know about “$EX offenders” then they would have the same right to know about anyone else who had committed any serious crime. Obviously that is not the case. It is shocking how clueless these government employees are. They think people are as stupid as they are.

  7. Rachel

    a loved one of mine recently was charged and put on the list and it breaks my heart. He is an amazing man and all because he “admitted guilt” by apologizing, he got hit with a crime he didn’t commit and has to suffer the public humiliation. I have learned so much watching him go through this experience and I’m thankful I can be there for him… but I know this must absolutely destroy others who don’t have that around. I want to get involved. I want to stop this.

    • Mike S

      Rachel,

      There are tons of fights going on but it sounds like that your friend is living in a post Muniz world and will have to wait for some real change to the entire system.

      One thing that you can do for your friend is go places with him that are away from his hometown. I cant tell you how much better and safer I always felt when my wide and I were 20, 30, 100 miles from home and walking around a city where no one knew me. Your friend will also probably hate living where he is an hate going outside of his house. So, stop by and cut his grass a couple times this Summer and answer the door when you are with hi.

      I wish I could say that I am speaking in hyperbole, but I am not. Also, he is going to get frustrated and might take it out on you, since you might be the only one in his support system, please be strong and take it and be a source of comfort, support and honesty.

      Good Luck!

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