ACSOL’s Conference Calls

Conference Call Recordings Online
Dial-in number: 1-712-770-8055, Conference Code: 983459

Monthly Meetings | Recordings (3/20 Recording Uploaded)
Emotional Support Group Meetings

Living with 290

Living with 290: SWAT Team at the door

In 2009 I sent several emails (thinking that I would remain anonymous) to someone under the age of 18. The emails did not contain anything even remotely obscene, threatening or overtly sexual. But since this person’s parent decided the email was “inappropriate” she contacted the police who initiated an investigation which included; firstly, identifying me through my computer’s IP address; secondly, the surreptitious placing of a gps tracking device on my vehicle; and thirdly, after assuming this person’s identity online, unsuccessfully attempting – for six weeks – to lure me into an illicit meeting.

After 2 months of this nonsense the police finally decided to arrest me using a S.W.A.T. team – a dozen men dressed up like ninjas with assault rifles. I was taken into custody and charged with dozens of assorted felonies and misdemeanors including stalking, contacting a minor with the intent to commit a sexual offense, unlawful contact with a minor, etc. I was charged with so many crimes (over 30 separate counts of multiple offenses – all of which were totally unfounded) that trying to post bail became an impossibility.

I sat in jail for seven weeks before getting to meet with a public defender for the first time. During that time my local newspaper ran multiple, titillating front page stories about my arrest and most of my friends bolted. Even my own family had a tough time believing that I wasn’t some kind of monster. After all, at that time they still believed the police had integrity and would never file unfounded charges against someone or ever tell a lie. We learned a lot about police and prosecutors in the months to come.

My public defender had eighty other cases to work on beside mine so you can guess how much attention I got from him. I was able to meet with him roughly once a month for approximately 15 minutes each time. My case dragged on through the months with the prosecutor dragging his heels regarding turning over any evidence they claimed to have against me (each time I appeared in court my local newspaper was quick to run another front page article). When I was finally brought to a preliminary hearing over 30 charges were dismissed by the judge as having no merit (although strangely there was no front page article in the newspaper reporting this).

Ultimately I fell victim to pressure from both the prosecutor and my public defender to take accept a plea agreement. My public defender laid out a horrible scenario for me – either plead no contest to a single misdemeanor count of PC647.6 (Annoy/Molest a minor), register as a sex offender for life, and get out of jail that very day or risk losing at trial – which he promised me would happen, and go to prison.

After getting out of prison, he informed me, I would not only still have to register for life, I would also be fitted with a GPS ankle monitor for the rest of my life. I remember thinking… “How can these be the only choices?” So I agreed to plead “no contest” to a single misdemeanor count of PC647.6. I was released that day after spending 495 days in the county jail. The next day the local newspaper ran a front page article headlined: “[My Name] Pleads No Contest To Child Molesting!”

When I was released I realized I had lost my home, my job, my car, my freedom, my friends, my dignity, my reputation…. I was also horrified to learn that the punishment was to continue though. I have a 5 year grant of probation to complete and I soon realized that the probation department was not there to help me re-enter society but to keep up the harassment I endured from inmates and jail staff as well while I was in jail.

Most recently there were no fewer than ten officers/agents comprised of personnel from three different county sheriff departments, the department of justice and the U.S. Marshals at my home to conduct a 3-county “sweep” of sex offenders. They were at my home for three hours, searching, asking questions, milling around in my front yard smoking cigarettes in full view of my neighbors. All of this for simply typing some questionable words on the computer to an underage person.

And because of California’s one-size-fits-all registry system I am grouped in the same category as someone who kidnaps and rapes a child from a darkened parking lot. I’m learning to cope as well as I can with my new life. At first the feeling was akin to waking up in the hospital after a bad accident and realizing you no longer had any legs. The adjustment is just as difficult and traumatizing. I’m hoping against hope for some positive changes to occur this year regarding the registry system.

I thank God I found this website and would like to thank Janice Bellucci once again for her selfless service to this cause. Sometimes knowing that there really is someone out there who can empathize with my plight is what gets me through the day.

Thank you for reading this.

- - - - - - - - -

View all user submitted stories about Living with 290. Feel free to add yours - as a registrant, family member or friend. Please submit any updates on your story via the comments section on this page. Please use the comments below ONLY for input on the story on this page. To add a new story, click here.
We welcome a lively discussion with all view points - keeping in mind...  
  • Your submission will be reviewed by one of our volunteer moderators. Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  • Please keep the tone of your comment civil and courteous. This is a public forum.
  • Please stay on topic - both in terms of the organization in general and this post in particular.
  • Please refrain from general political statements in (dis)favor of one of the major parties or their representatives.
  • Please take personal conversations off this forum.
  • We will not publish any comments advocating for violent or any illegal action.
  • We cannot connect participants privately - feel free to leave your contact info here. You may want to create a new / free, readily available email address.
  • Please refrain from copying and pasting repetitive and lengthy amounts of text.
  • Please do not post in all Caps.
  • If you wish to link to a serious and relevant media article, legitimate advocacy group or other pertinent web site / document, please provide the full link. No abbreviated / obfuscated links.
  • We suggest to compose lengthy comments in a desktop text editor and copy and paste them into the comment form
  • We will not publish any posts containing any names not mentioned in the original article.
  • Please choose a user name that does not contain links to other web sites
  • Please send any input regarding moderation or other website issues to moderator [at] all4consolaws [dot] org
ACSOL, including but not limited to its board members and agents, does not provide legal advice on this website.  In addition, ACSOL warns that those who provide comments on this website may or may not be legal professionals on whose advice one can reasonably rely.  
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Thanks for Sharing!!

Thank you for reading. And you’re welcome. Let’s pray that we see some positive changes this year not only in the state’s registry system but in the public’s perception of registered citizens.

If only Michael Jackson had had a public defender representing him, he’d still be alive today.

He’d have to serve 25 – life in prison the, no doubt be civilly committed as an SVP. But eventually he’d be released and have to “register” for the rest of his life.
But he’d still be alive.

If you can call that “living”.

Makes one wonder who THE REAL CRIMINALS are.

Also; all that because of false beliefs not grounded in any kind of fact, other than the twisted imaginings of some very sick, un American and dangerous people.

Your story is heartbreaking and I am truly sorry to hear how you were and are being treated. There may be an alternative place to live than California for you. It is not widely published but not all states require registration for your offense. I am happy to share some information and links if you would like. Feel free to email me: Even if you have to register in some other states, they all do not require you to be published on there web site. It was not clear to me whether your picture is on California’s public list.… Read more »

Thank you..

I would like to move elsewhere but if I’m ever to even be considered for a certificate of rehabilitation I have to have been a resident of California for the 10 years immediately preceding my petition. Otherwise I’d probably have already left the country by now.

This is the INSANE COUNTRY we live in the U-S-A which will create criminals just to divert attention from what is really going on behind the curtain…which is slowly opening to reveal just how deceptive and manipulative the United States government actually is! Peoples lives ruined…families torn apart…and in your case as so many (I dare say the vast majority of those of us forced to register) there was no victim and therefore, no actual “crime”. Clearly sex offender registration is a farce and a lie used to manipulate the masses by politicians (most of whom should actually be on… Read more »

We all make mistakes. Some are more severe than others. The biggest problem in California is that they treat all sex offenders equally. The punishment truly does not fit the crime. I was also put through the wringer by the media from KTLA to the Huffington Post. If anyone Googles my name all the news stories pop up. I remember going up the elevator at the court house and one of the deputies said I saw you on the news. Even worse, during processing at county jail my face shows up on the Channel 11 news. Fortunately I was sitting… Read more »

I don’t think the innocence project can help those that took a plea as that is an admittance of guilt. I think they mainly only help those that have never admitted guilt or have DNA evidence that can prove a false confession.

Oh got it. I was not aware of that. The story that made me aware of the Innocence Project was of the high school football player Brian Banks. He took a plea deal for rape. According to a website he was facing close to 40 years but took the deal for 5 years of prison and 5 years of probation. The victim received close to 2 million dollars from the district. After his release the victim in his case contacted him. She apologized saying she was put up to it by her mom. He recorded that conversation. In the end… Read more »

Recording someone without their knowledge is a Felony in California. So I’m not sure how he would have been able to use that. Guess I’ll look into the details of that case if it’s available online. I find learning real case law far more interesting than watching CSI TV shows.

You are correct about the secretly recorded video tape being used to get his conviction overturned. But I was unable to find out how the recording was legally obtained and used in court. Does anyone have additional info on this or know a link to the actual court transcripts? It’s not important, I’m just curious about how an exception to CA law can be made. I am glad to see that sometimes justice does prevail.

Double A – thanks for your reply. I can see that you’re familiar with being demonized, personally, in the press. In my case it wouldn’t matter if all the charges had been dropped. I live in a small community so the damage was done with the first news report. Also, I have been exempted from the public website but as I said before, the small size of my community means that everyone is aware that I’m registered regardless. I just appreciate that anyone is reading my story and having any empathy with me. I absolutely should not have done what… Read more »

It’s great that you are not on the website. But it’s unfortunate you have to register. I’ve read and agreed with many of your posts on this website. From what I’ve read in my opinion you are a very intelligent person. I’m sure you will figure out how to make lemons into lemonade. It maybe strange to think, but there might be some benefit from your horrible experience for not just you but other low risk offenders. If Janice never read Frank’s book on his experience, life as a registrant would be so much worse for all of us. I’m… Read more »

Double A –

Thank you for the compliment. Until I went through this experience I, along with apparently 99% of the populace, just assumed that anyone on the sex offender registry was a predatory child molester – a dangerous and psychopathic individual with incurable and insatiable sexual perversions. I know how wrong I was now, and how uneducated I was about the registry. I was unaware of how easily someone can find himself a registered citizen.

Sadly.. it seems when I try to educate anyone about this I see eyes glaze over and no one wants to hear it…

This is a perfect example of how overzealous cops and prosecutors overreach in arresting and charging people. The SWAT team is illustrative of this. They felt they had to send a SWAT team to arrest someone for some racy emails. Pathetic. Unfortunately your type of case, an offense committed over the internet, is considered “low hanging fruit” to cops and D.A.s. They don’t have to do much work for a conviction because as opposed to cases that result in a he-said/she-said scenario internet cases are well documented and they can play these types of cases up in the media for… Read more »

Robin, Thank you for sharing your story. I especially enjoyed the high quality wordsmithing. I’m going to steal this from you:

“I’m learning to cope as well as I can with my new life. At first the feeling was akin to waking up in the hospital after a bad accident and realizing you no longer had any legs.”

It exactly expresses my feelings. After 25 years, I’m getting along OK with my new prosthetics.

Thanks for the support and the comments everyone.

I have to say that another unfortunate by-product of this whole depressing business is the healthy distrust I have now developed for anyone having anything whatsoever to do with law enforcement – be they Sheriffs, District Attorneys, Probation Officers or Meter Maids. I used to think the police were our friends. I’ve learned the hard way that law enforcement agents are to be avoided AT ALL COSTS.

I will never again, in my entire life, place even the slightest trust in any official representing any law enforcement agency.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x