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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