Brandon and his wife, Marguerite, sat on the couch across from me in their dimly lit one-bedroom apartment in Bryan, Texas. Brandon looked down at his hands, resting in his lap, as he told me his story.
He was 11 years old when he was charged with sexually touching a 7-year-old playmate. She was a family friend and one of a group of children Brandon’s two teenage sisters were watching while their parents were out to dinner. A few days later, the police investigation began.
Despite his age, Brandon was put into the system as a sex offender. Brandon is 26 now, and like nearly all young offenders, he hasn’t committed another sex crime. But he has spent nearly half his life behind bars for failing to adhere to the rigid requirements that come with being labeled a sex offender. Full Article