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Living with 290

Living with 290: If I had been straight

My experiences with 290 have shown me that contrary to everything I have ever believed, our law enforcement and judicial systems are both corrupt and unjust. Allow me to share my story, albeit a bit lengthy.

I am an older gay male raised in a time when it was still considered mental illness. So I have not been open or out about my sexuality with the exception of some family and very close friends. If you were to meet me you would never know that I am gay. I’ve lived a fantastic life, working for some great companies, lived in several states, and enjoyed my life on the water as a professional. My boyfriends have all been young men between 18 to about 29. In the gay community there are a great many young men who love older men and contrary to popular belief we do not need to “recruit” or “groom” young men. In fact almost all of the fantastic people I have had enter my life have approached me.

At 56 I had no criminal background except for a DUI many years ago. That was my first brush with law enforcement and it should have been a lesson about what LEO’s think about gay men. On the night of that incident my boyfriend of 5 years (who was 27 at the time)and I had gone to one of the few local gay bars in our area. While he danced and drank I had a few beers and a hotdog and paced myself. When we left for home we were stopped just after leaving the bar. I was told I was being pulled over because my passenger wasn’t wearing his seat belt (which was not true). It turns out the local police were sitting across the street and targeting gays leaving the bar. This was confirmed by an attorney who had a flood of cases come to her from gay men all who had visited that bar or one of the others nearby.

I cooperated as I had noting to hide and complied with all the field sobriety tests they asked me to perform. The officer commented that I seemed fine but asked me to take a breathalyzer test to which I promptly agreed. I blew a .08 and figured he would let me go. But he decided to arrest me instead. Of course my boyfriend made a bit of a scene at that point so they arrested him too. I might mention when I was pulled over I turned into a store parking lot (private property) and parked neatly within the lines. My thought was they would tell me to take a cab home and the car would be left alone since it was off the public roadway. Unfortunately they had the car towed and impounded. Long story short, it cost me a fortune, I should have realized that LEO’s are not okay with gay people, and especially older – younger couples.

Skip ahead to July of 2012. I was employed on Santa Catalina Island working on the water. While I loved my job very much it was also a very isolated area operated by long term residents who were less than accepting of gays. I often heard their comments and jokes and internally laughed with the knowledge that here I was, a gay man, sitting there sharing beers and being accepted by them because they had no clue. The “town” was extremely small and there really is nothing to do there. My schedule soon became wake up, go to work, get off work and have dinner and beers, go back to my boat (my home), sleep, repeat.

While I did have a boyfriend on the mainland he had not come out to spend time with me. And even though I was surrounded by people constantly I felt so isolated and alone. I longed to be with one of my own kind. On a couple of occasions I had talked with a young man who’s family spent a lot of time on the island. Each time we saw each other we would talk. He told me he worked in the family business and there were issues with his mom drinking all the time. The attention was welcome but I didn’t think much of it until one night in late July.

After working one night I sat at the bar and enjoyed cold beers until they closed. I then moved to the inside bar. Seated at the bar was the young man and his mother. I sat down beside him and we started to talk as we had done before. He was drinking a rum and coke and complained that his mother bought the cheap stuff. We talked for a bit and I bought him his next drink with a top shelf rum. After some time he excused himself saying he needed to take his now very intoxicated mother back to their room and that he would return. While he was gone my mind raced a bit. He was really attractive, seemed interested in me, and was returning to spend even more time with me at the bar. The beers I had consumed certainly lowered my inhibitions and while I never have the nerve to be the first to ask I just felt I had to try.

On his return we talked for a bit and then I hesitantly tried to take the first step. I asked him if I could ask him a question without him getting upset with me to which he replied he had no issues, ask anything. I was still hesitant and said never mind. He insisted several times that I ask my question and said he would not have an issue. I refused to ask for nearly a half hour. After his constant prodding I sheepishly asked “can I touch you”. He looked at me and asked me to repeat myself so this time I said “can I touch you there”. Yes, a foolish question, I should have asked if he were gay. But alcohol does cloud the mind and so there we were. His reply was simple, “no, and why would you even ask me that”? I was mortified, I apologized several times. He said nothing else and just left.

I felt awful. Most young people are very accepting of gay people and I had expected a simple yes or no and then for conversation to continue. His leaving and being upset about it all really bothered me. In fact I made every effort the next day to avoid running into him. Not so much because I felt I had made a fool of myself but I didn’t want to make him feel more uncomfortable.

Several days went by and I still felt bad for making him feel awkward. He was really a great person and fun to talk to and I had no intention of upsetting him. Then, while I was at work one evening I received a text message from “him”. I was still feeling the guilt of making him uncomfortable and didn’t respond right away. After several hours I answered with a simple response, apologizing for being so forward and making him uncomfortable.

“His” response was that I had not made him uncomfortable at all. There were several more messages over two or three days, each of which I did not answer for hours, still feeling guilty of making someone uncomfortable. “His” messages were ones I have heard before. “My parents don’t know I’m gay”, “They would kill me if they found out”, “They have no idea I like older men”, etc. My first responses were that he would be okay and that he will work through it. But “He” kept at me.

At first my responses were just for support and understanding, but because of my past, and those I have met before, I let my heart step in and cloud my thinking. Then “he” turned the conversation to wanting to meet. At some point “he” says he is 17. I wanted to stop talking to him but it was too late. I know what it’s like to fear losing family and friends just to be yourself and coupled with my complete isolation from my own kind, I slowly gave in to “his” requests.

I never initiated a single conversation about sex. I only wanted to be there for “him” and help him get past all this. First “he” asked if we could get together in the upcoming weeks and I agreed. “He” asked what we would do and my response was always that there was much to talk about. That we could sit on my boat and chat about all that is happening in “his” life, about where the future will take things. It was always “him” that would ask about sex. I would give in and tell him it was all up to him, and what he wanted to do. I was more interested in talking.

At one point “he” said he was self conscious about the size of his penis and I assured him he should stop putting so much emphasis on the issue. “He” then asked if I had pictures of other guys his age that I could show him to ease his mind, to which I responded with an absolute no, I had no photos of young men under 18. “he asked more than once but I assured him I did not possess such photos.

This goes on for a few weeks until “he” says he is coming to the island the next weekend. He asks if we can meet a day or two ahead and I agreed. At some point he asks if I can pay for the ferry ticket over and again I agreed. I wasn’t totally comfortable with this but his family came over ofter and if they were going to let him come a few days early I figures what the hell. I must admit that during all this time I saw little things that didn’t add up. Tiny, minutia things like saying we met at the bar when we had talked several times before over a month and a half. Or saying he didn’t want his mom to hear us talking when he had already taken her to the rooming house and returned to talk to me alone.

So the day comes that he is to arrive. “He” texts me again saying he is on the ferry and on the way. I got my boat ready for his arrival, straightening up the main salon where his bunk would be, separate from my main stateroom. As I went into town “he” messaged saying he has arrived. I told “him” to walk through town and meet me in front of the bathrooms as I had to make a quick pit stop. When I came out of the building I started to head back to my boat and was about to text “him” to see where he was as I didn’t see him,

We all know what happens next. I am approached by 4 men and a woman and they ask if I am (name here), to which I reply yes. I am immediately arrested and taken away to a trailer where I am questioned by an SVU Officer and a Federal Agent. I tried to cooperated and answered their questions at first. The SVU Officer said they had a partial text conversation from the phone of the young man and that his mother had turned it over to them. He also mentions they understand there are always two sides to the story and that they just wanted to clear this up. I was totally honest and pointed out that I had not textd him first, that it had been he who texted me, unsolicited, and that I even had delayed responding over the first few days because I felt badly for making him feel uncomfortable. I even explained that we had talked several times before and then had met at the bar over drinks.

This is when the light comes on and I realize they are not interested in the truth. Now the SVU Officer says that he believes about 90% of what I am saying. Then he finally says, he was the one sending all the text messages to me the entire time. He has been lying to me the entire time yet I had been honest. This is when I decide there is nothing more to say. They asked for passwords to my laptop and I refused at that point. They had several agents going through my boat and all of my belongings. They took my cell phone also. For the first time I felt I was being totally lied to and that the system I always believed in was corrupt.

They had a warrant, which I asked to see but was never shown, to search my boat and to go through my laptop and phone. I figures I had nothing to hid and figure it will all blow over soon. What I didn’t realize is that my boyfriend, who was 19 at the time and had access to my laptop, had placed images on my laptop of guys he chats with and who were under 18. To this day I still don’t know what images were on my laptop.

I was sent via boat to the mainland along with a 20 year old guy who was the son of one of the long time residents and had raped a girl the night before. During processing I was told my bail would be $100,000.00. The young man who had raped someone was told his bail would be $10,000 So his dad shows up and bailed him out with the 10%, or $1,000.00 and off he went. Me, I needed $10,000.00 so was sent to Men’s Central in downtown LA. It took me a week to get my 84 year old mother to get me the $10,000.00 for my bail. I was smart enough to tell them I was gay at booking and was place in a dorm with others of my own kind. That surely saves me.

After release I had weeks of living on the street as I had left all of my credit cards and cash aboard my boat and even though I asked them twice to get my wallet they did not. They had impounded my boat, which was also my home, and I could not go near it or get anything from it for nearly as month. I had the clothes on my back and I would wash then and put them on wet and let them dry as I walked the marina. My mother finally paid for a motel room for me and I kept asking to get my stuff from my boat. After about 4 weeks I was allowed to pack one backpack of clothes and get my wallet. At least now I could support my self again. I went and got a replacement cell phone, get some food and started moving forward to defend myself.

I paid the first attorney $2000.00 and he did nothing. I was charged with attempted sex with a minor and possession of child porn. His advice was to just take a plea and deal with it. He didn’t look at any of the evidence nor did he seem to care what had actually happened. Funny, but you can’t sue an attorney for not performing no matter how bad they are.

I called a computer forensic specialist to see if he could show that I had never visited a site that has cp and that I had not viewed the pics that were on my pc. While speaking to him he sent me to an excellent attorney. This man read through all of the files. I got copies of the initial reports and it was eye opening.

First off, after the incident at the bar the young man and his mother had gone to my boss and just wanted him to know what had transpired. My boss brought in the town sheriff and that report showed again, that they just wanted to let them know what had happened. In fact, the report says they were asked if they wanted to press charges and their response was “no, nothing happened”. Truly nothing had. This should have ended right then and there. Perhaps my boss could have come to me and suggested being more cautious about whom I speak with at the bar, or even the sheriff could have spoke with me about the issue. But the sheriff decided to pass it to SVU, and they started contacting me as the young man I had talked to, never touched and walked away from.

It became obvious that my boss and sheriff had an issue with it being guy on guy. People hit on people all the time. There was no physical contact, and it was certainly expected that someone sitting at a bar drinking a rum and coke was of legal age. There was never a reason to take this past that point other than the obvious bigotry of the small minded people that work and live on the island.

In the SVU Officers report he went so far as to say that he did a full background check on me and could find NOTHING! Then he goes on to say that because he was unable to find anything in my background I must be considered extremely dangerous because I must have managed to offend for years without detection. REALLY? So if you live your life as a law abiding citizen who works hard and has had no issues for 56 years you must be a danger to society? I guess we need to arrest everyone without a record and accuse them of things they have not done. Sounds fare to me.

My attorney picked up on all of this and hit the DA hard. He pointed out that it never would have come to this had I not been gay. He showed them that the charge of attempted sex with a minor was total entrapment as they made the initial contact and that my responses were always non sexual until pressed over and over by the the agent. The issues of the CP on the laptop was also pushed. He told them I had not been the one to place it there.

When it came down to it they offered a plea, as they always do. They would drop the attempted sex with a minor but wanted the CP charge to stand. One count. 1 year with 60 day public service in lieu there of, 5 years probation, LIFETIME REGISTRY. My attorney told me to take it to trial and I was ready to do so, but then as we talked I realized two things.

One, I was not going to get a fair trial. It’s hard enough to find people that are gay friendly, but finding a jury that would also accept the younger – older nature of my dating would compound the issue. No one wants to believe that an 18 year old can be attracted to a 56 year old. Funny, because no one treats Hugh Hefner as a pervert for having 18 to 25 year old’s all over his mansion in swim suits. In fact many envy him.

And two, on the stand I would be asked to name who had put the CP on my laptop. After being exposed to all that was going on I was not willing to name my boyfriend and watch his life be ruined for a lifetime. I broke down in my attorneys office when he told me that this would happen. I cried because I could not destroy a young mans life to save my own. After getting myself under control I told my attorney to take the plea deal in order to protect my boyfriend. I truly believed that the judge would look at my past, that at 56 I had led a clean and prosperous life and that there should be leniency as this was my first offense.

So how did it end? Well, I took the plea. The court had no compassion nor did they weigh my past and it stood at 60 days of community service, 5 years of supervised probation, 12 months of counseling (which has dragged out to 2 ½ years and counting that I must pay for every week) and lifetime registration. It cost me nearly $10,000.00 in attorneys fees, the SVU kept all of my electronics (phone, laptop, camera, video camera, etc) even though there was nothing on any of those items with the exception of the laptop, and the Feds kept my $80,000.00 boat, which was also my home. I had 15 years of travel photos on my laptop and they would not copy them and send them to me. So I lost all of my memories as well.

I had a second attorney that was handling the boat and I was told that when the attempted sex with a minor charge was dropped I should be able to get my boat back. But the feds wouldn’t let go and while she was confident I would be able to get the boat back it would take another $4,000.00 on attorneys fees to even attempt to take them on. Why were the feds even involved? I was charged through the state of California and the feds never prosecuted me. The Feds kept my boat and sold it at auction.

I admit I made some bad decisions. I was willing to pay the price for being foolish and giving in to the constant requests of someone I though needed help. I crossed a line and I am not denying that at all. But I can not understand how I can be punished for life for such a transgression. To loose my money, my home, my belongings wasn’t enough? Is this not a payment to society for my mistakes?

My conviction date was 22 July, 2013. I am nearly at the 3 year mark of my 5 year probation. I’m 60 years old. I have met everything they have asked from me and never have had a probation issue. I’ve had the police and probation show up looking like they were ready for war, dressed in bullet proof vests, boots, and carrying enough firepower to take on a terrorist stronghold. They have gone through my home, my belongings, my phone and my laptop and have found nothing. I have passed a polygraph and I prove every day that I am not, and never was a threat to anyone. I’ve built up my own business, pay my taxes and even helped my foster son through some tough times.

I plan to apply for relief and a reduction / early termination of my probation. I will also file to have my conviction reduced and then vacated. All that is left is the lifetime punishment of registration. I hope and pray that people such as Janice and all the others fighting for us can get the system to finally see that the registry is extremely punitive in every aspect. My being listed has no affect on my chances of acting inappropriately again. My self worth and self consciousness more than regulate my behavior. Yes, I faltered but I hurt no one. Not one human was injured due to my decisions. Yet, unless things change, I will be an outcast in my own country for life. My picture and information placed on a public list so anyone can single me out to ostracize me, or worse, hurt or kill me.

My boyfriend went on to join the Navy. He’s doing great and I’m so very proud of all he has become. Had I not protected him he would have been yet another 19 year old who’s future was destroyed by looking at pictures of others who where close in age. I’m glad I protected him. I would not wish this life on anyone and to ruin someones life for 50 or 60 years would be cruel and unusual punishment.

I welcome all who wish to comment and will gladly answer any questions you might ask. All I ask is that you be respectful in your responses.

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  1. USA

    Wow! Well, it’s a bad story. Why was the boy at a bar? I’m not convicted of a minor offense, but I’m so careful.

    • Malcolm

      Thank you for your comment. I’m not sure why someone who was under 21 was drinking at the bar but I’m not totally surprised. I can say that the tiny tourist area where this took place has many issues indeed. You can walk by the dorm area at night where the seasonal employees live (mostly late teens and 20 somethings)and the entire area reeks of marijuana. The sheriff doesn’t inforce much unless it turns ugly. The police report never mentioned that he was seated at the bar and was drinking liquor when we talked.

      • J.B.

        Many adults are in our situation because they have met teens at adult bars. Teens in adult bars or even night clubs are nothing new. Many of them have fake ID’s passing for 21. I myself had one back in the 90’s along with many of my class mates and high school friends just to get into 21+ clubs when we were in high school. I have even seen in some occasions, parents leave their teenagers at night clubs as well. Those that do can easily pass for 21 by their looks alone. Trust me. I was even 16 and already had a full facial hair beard. My female best friend at that time was 16 as well and she stood at 5’9(without heels) and with a full developed body with a fake ID claiming 21.

        • Malcolm

          JB – I too had an ID that allowed me to get into the bars well before I was 21. I started shaving at age 13 so I certainly passes for being older. By todays standards I would be a victim of multiple “molestations” back then. What foolishness, I can’t remember one instance where I was a victim, nor can I remember one bad sexual encounter. They all were mutual and welcome. But then, we were responsible for our own actions back then.

      • curiouser

        Your story is frighteningly similar in some aspects to my own, including the dialogue of the LE involved, the entrapment, even the seizure of property unrelated to any semblance of the instant offense. Even including the presence of a federal representative, which I know is a common thing in these “task force” efforts. I would be very interested in sharing our experiences. If you are so inclined, please ask the moderator for my email.

        • Malcolm

          Curiouser – It was certainly an eye opener. After hitting on this guy at the bar and being turned down I wasn’t expecting any issues. I find it interesting that without any further provocation the SVU folks would actually take it on themselves to text my phone directly. I was minding my own business and had not contacted the guy since our encounter at the bar. How is it possible for them to get a warrant based on that behavior? But then it really isn’t about justice is it. I will contact the moderator and ask fore your contact info. I’ll be happy to discuss it and compare notes. Just a comical aside, the SVU officers name was Trap, how appropriate!

        • curiouser

          Very appropriate, and not surprising. we should talk

        • ValueGirl

          Malcolm & Curiouser – So my boyfriend has almost the same story (except not gay). Was entrapped via AOL messaging to pick up his 16 year old neighbor who was having family problems. He was so afraid when they picked him up (as most good law abiding people would be) that he said okay for them to search his home. His adult step-son had downloaded cp to his computer and he wasn’t aware of it. Three video clips that he’s never even seen. They dropped other charges and he took at plea for the cp (on his really expensive, bad attorney’s advise). Was also charged as Federal because the hard drive wasn’t “made in America”. Spent 33 months in a federal jail, lifetime supervision and registry. Before I met him I was like all the rest; now, I have a new understanding and it makes me want to vomit every time I hear what registered citizens have to live with! Your not alone!

        • DPH

          I AM Gay and appreciate your side and all the details it emplores to better understand, and yes, I compare to my own doings and why their are more GLBTQQ folks on here that are on the Registry like us.

          You are the first for me to read on here.
          I feel gravity for your situation.
          What you had gone through and now what we both go through, I was 22 at the time.

          Thank you again Malcolm for writing and letting all of us read your experience and how it came to be where we all are now.

          And all the loss you have suffered when you didn’t have much in the first place.
          No one really understands unless you ARE Gay to go through this. Again, Thanks.

        • ValueGirl

          Curiouser, btw, were you charged as Federal? Mind if I ask what attorney you are using if you like him???

        • Malcolm

          I’d be happy to share that information with you. Email me at the address I posted on this page.

        • curiouser

          ValueGirl, please feel free to email me at short answer, I pled to a single charge in state court. Wobbler, but MY over-priced and under-motivated attorney could not get me the misdemeanor version. Five years formal prob and lifetime Price Club. To put it mildly, I was unpleased with my counsel.

      • DPH

        Malcolm, S.Wiener is taking a step forward for most LGBT that “offended” according to the law and/or when they went witch hunting sessions for the Gay’s in parks and Bars and rest stops rest rooms, etc.
        Out of there way and task forces attacking the Gay’s searching for an easy out to make arrests.
        Especially when it’s so old. His bill is addressing this and hope that your’s will be inclusive to the Tier Reg. upcoming in Sacramento and Janice Team One working on it to pass. Your story, I assure you, back then is not uncommon, just not spoke of, go to SF Castro and find other offenders with similiar stories.
        Thank YOU Malcolm, for sharing your’s! Of course, some of us are still considered “Ill” by ignorant others and even though the Psycology Assn. help change that, uneducated others believe we are still sick.

  2. Friend of RSOL

    So sorry to hear this story. It’s heartbreaking how many people have been caught up in this dragnet and are suffering so much loss. Wishing you best of luck with your petitions for early termination of probation, reduction, and expungement.

  3. Jon

    Thank you for sharing your story. I know that it isn’t always easy to hold up your faults and shortcomings for the world to see. While I am not gay, I still sympathies with your position. I like you at the onset of my case believed in a just and fair system that revolved around the truth. I quickly discovered the opposite to be true. I just finished on April 1st my 5 years of parole that turned into almost 6. I am glad to hear that you have started to piece your life back together and that relief is possible in the future for you. I have had to learn the hard way that the system will abuse you in any way it can. At least you don’t have a child they can steal from you.

    I am sorry that you had to suffer this ordeal, or that anyone has to. That’s why things like this web site are so important. It gives us release, support, reassurance, resources, ideas and hope. Sometimes its enough to just know that you aren’t alone. I think you are exceedingly brave, not only for sharing your story. But for your decision to take the blame for the pictures. So many people I know wouldn’t hesitate to throw someone else under the bus, and would sleep like a baby after. I truly hope that the future pans out for you the way you hope. Thank you again for sharing.

    • Malcolm

      Jon – Thank you for your kind words and understanding. I don’t mind admitting my faults, we all have them. And I don’t mind sharing this story as I have not seen another gay man here in the site. I felt it was important to show the human side of how a small, bad decision can snowball into a debilitating life long punishment. If this isn’t punitive then neither is public hanging.

      It’s not difficult to protect someone you love from being injured for life. I, as most anyone who truly loves someone, would lay down my life to protect my partner. It wasn’t a hard decision. They would have punished me anyway and destroyed his life and future. At least one of us could walk away unscathed. He’s an incredible guy and I love him with all of my being. I would do it all again if I had to.

  4. anon

    Malcolm, Im gay also but dont really post here. Your welcome to ask the moderator and ask for my email (you have my permission to have it). Only thing ill elaborate on for now is my attorney told me If this were a STR8 case It wouldnt even be here. That shows the DA Railroaded me. Typical.

    • Malcolm

      Anon – Nice to know I’m not the only gay person on the site. Being gay ads a whole extra level to what happens to us for sure. If you look at my narrative you can plainly see that had I been straight and hit on a girl at the bar the sheriff would never have pursued it. My attorney, after reading the police reports and looking at the text messages said the exact same thing as yours. Unfortunately it only got the first charge dropped in the plea.

      When I was being released from Men’s Central in downtown LA I was placed in a holding cell while awaiting my clothing. They mark the window on the door with the 2 letters indicating you are gay and a sex offender using a grease pencil. Two guards walked by and the younger one asked the older what the 2 letters designated. His response was “he’s a child molester, a gay child molester”. They knew nothing of me or what had transpired to bring me to this place and time. Not all guards were like this but t certainly speaks volumes of what they think.

      I will contact the moderator to gain your contact info. Thanks for reaching out.

  5. anon

    WOW that does suck in SD Jail it isnt like that (jail wise) but they do know your charge on your card. they dont ask if your gay here but with any sex case you DO goto PC (Protective custody), But when I got to recep in chino prison, the standard intake… have you been sexually assaulted etc, I said no, and the a$$ cop says oh your the one that does the raping (as to why I needed to be SNY)… needless to say 9 mos later when I got out I wrote the a$$ cop a letter told him to be professional and who now is the bitch that cant reply back lol..

    But cause mine was with a boy the pub def told me right out if this was a 17 y/o girl it wouldnt even be a case.

    • DPH

      I know the feeling ANON, I had the same when I was caught the act. I KNEW that we would of been treated definately, I was back in the 80’s where they still hated Gays and wanted to NOT treat us fair. IF IT WAS A FEMALE we would of been cut loose. PERIOD!

    • Registered Resistance

      Anon, I’m gay also and, not surprisingly, my case was similar to yours. “X” was 11 months below the legal age of consent. Although he had come out to his family and friends several months prior to our meeting, there was a prevailing attitude that I had “turned him gay”. Ultimately, I spent four years in prison and have now been on this f##king registry for 20+ years. This needs to change….a lot needs to change! I’m really fed up with being the politicians’ and public’s whipping boy. And I’m especially fed up with the courts allowing these garbage politicians to continue heaping on more and more Ex Post Facto punishments. 😠😠

      • rod

        Boy are you right!

        • Malcolm

          Hi Rod,

          I wish you had shared more with us on what affected you but I can understand how intimidating this can be. As I’ve said before, and as many here have confirmed, being gay adds an extra layer of pain to all of this. I wish we had a channel on here were all of the gay people could post. Anyway, welcome and I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season.

  6. Othlion

    Make that three of us here. Such a sad story Malcolm. And you are right, if you had been straight, there would have been no issue. After dealing with many LEOs over the last 10 years I’ve come to the conclusion that they are almost all extremely homophobic.
    If you can, contact me ☺

    • Malcolm

      Othlion – Thanks for stepping forward. It’s nice to know there are more of us out there. I can tell you that the homophobia runs deep with some LEOs. Case in point, there are several police officers that visit me about every six months with my probation officer in tow for “compliance checks”. One of the three was looking at my laptop and saw pictures of some current young men I am dating. Mind you they are chest up shots and clothed. He starts asking me the age of this one, and that one and I tell him. His next response says it all. As he spins up into a lather he says the following:

      “Well, I don’t see that you are breaking any laws here, but let me tell you I don’t like it. You’re walking a very thin line here. I don’t care if someone shows you a fake ID, I’m going to arrest you. Even is someone is 18 and consents but then changes their mind later and files a report I am going to arrest you. If I see anything like this again I may have your laptop and phone removed and taken to our forensic unit for analysis. I’m considering doing it now”.

      Humm, not breaking any laws but wants to arrest me, will hold me accountable for false ID’s, and the icing on the cake, will arrest me even is someone is legal, No issues here of any kind, are there. So, after the second visit and the same tirade and threats I erased any photos I had of the people I love so much. Homophobia among the LEO community, naaaaa. Bias when making an arrest, naaaaa. Must be my imagination.

      Feel free to ask the moderator for my contact info if you care to keep in touch.

  7. David

    Me too, guys: I’m another gay guy who was prosecuted when a straight male wouldn’t have been. In fact, at the time of my arrest, I knew a fellow at my church – same age as me – who was dating a girl the same age as the guy I was with. Everyone knew about them, including her parents, but nothing happened to him and everyone seemed okay with it. In my case, the parents claimed I turned the young man gay ….. despite the fact that he had come out to them several months before he and I had even met.

    • Malcolm

      David – Thank you for stepping forward too. I feel much better now that I am hearing from other gay males here on the boards. While all registrants face a really tough time with LEOs, prosecutors and some judges, as gay men there is an entirely separate layer that gets laid out on top of the standard issues. It’s quite easy to see in my example and that of the others that have shared here.

      Feel free to ask the mod for my contact information if you would like to chat more about things.

    • DPH

      Me THREE David, I am also a David. And now four of us for gay to gay relationship that was just too young.
      Thanks for adding David, made my year their are more of us out there that are treated diff for being GLBTQQ

  8. Malcolm

    I was going over my original post and saw that I put in the wrong figures for attorneys fees. I originally put in placeholders and forgot to go back and enter the correct figures before pasting to this forum. The original attorney was $5000.00 and he accomplished nothing. The good attorney was $40,000.00, which meant I had to liquidate some stocks to pay for it all. And the attorney dealing with my boat said it would have cost between $30,000.00 and $40,000.00 to fight the feds and get my boat back. I had saved money for years preparing to take my boat cruising for 3 years. I feel I was stripped of everything, including my past and my future. I have no photos of all the other travels I have taken and I have no chance of ever leaving the country to sail to other ports again. But it’s not punishment.

  9. David

    Did anyone else see tonight’s 20/20 Barbara Walters interview with Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau? As you may recall, he was a 13 years old elementary school student and she was his teacher when she was charged with rape for having sex with him. That was 1997. Today, they are happily married with two grown daughters. And the Barbara Walters interview focused on their happy life together and their enchanting, lasting love. Seriously, that was the tone of the interview. So they do a happy interview on national prime time TV while the rest of us rot on the Registry? Oh, that’s right, it’s because her “victim” was a boy, she was an attractive older woman, and it was a straight relationship. *sarcasm intended*

    • David

      I seen and noticed that also. I also seen Confirmed and saw so much hypocrisy. Then senator Biden didn’t allow the other three women to be heard that also said similar things regarding sexual harassment as law prossesor Anita Hill.

      Biden did very little to try to protect Hill and at times seemed to encourage her attack. He controlled the hearings and I thought…. How appropriate you try to blame me for human trafficking with my nearly two decades old misdemeanor while you help protect a rich ellete good old boy club of sexual harassers to maintain power under the guise of protecting women. College sex assaults, women against violence act and now IML.

      This has become more about egos than protecting children. These laws are passed by egomaniacs self absorbed in fame more than protecting children.

      If I commit a crime nearly two decades ago and have a desire to be a better person. Why on earth can’t I? Why should every road block imaginable be placed before me in order to make me more unstable? So many laws designed to block positive progress I seek. Friendships are difficult to maintain, fitting in socially, employment, family stability and government sponsored laws designed to create poverty. How does this make society safer? It doesn’t and as I grow older I wonder…. How will I survive old age in such a hostile environment? In ten more years I will be off the registry if I live that long. Stress kills and I would venture to guess most registered citizens have PTSD. We just don’t have the luxury of living stable lives. Imagine being dangerous today but safe tomorrow. (10 years)

      Sure are a lot of David’s on this site.

      • Timmr

        We need to train ourselves to not give a damn about what people think of us. I think there is specific training on how to do that, if we can’t do it ourselves, and RSO’s could sure use a program like that.

      • TiredOfHiding

        You are totally correct about the PTSD. Most of us were not criminals until we got caught up in some twilight zone scenario that (more often than not in a sting of some sort actually creating “criminals”) and were just regular guys with regular lives and jobs.

        So when it happened BOOM!

        All of the sudden we are supposed to live what is tantamount to living on supervised probation for the rest of our lives! Suddenly we are treated like monsters and career criminals!

        Yes, I would think that if some in the mental health field would see enough of us to make an expert opinion that the damage and resulting stress from the label of “Registered Sex Offender” is truly cruel and unusual punishment.

        It is punishment that is designed to set up the RSO to fail and if not fail, to slowly cause mental distress and stress that could and will result in health problems resulting from that added and unnecessary stress.

        Lets sue them on those grounds. Anyone with me on this?

        • The other David.

          We all share our situation together. Gosh almost a million of us now. It’s almost like America tries so hard to fulfill terrorist vison of America. Did you listen to Sanders speech on poverty is a death sentence. If you are born in one of America’s poorest neighborhoods, your life expectancy is almost 20 years shorter than if you’re born in its wealthiest neighborhoods.

          Washington Post

          If this is true it is not inaccurate to say that sex offender laws are death by poverty.

          First it was illegal for me to live most places now I can’t go most places. Progressive laws toward straight out genocide.

          I tend to agree with Derek’s Twitter. Is that a crime? Having a opinion? So many vigilantes and so little time.

          I read now the same brain troopers that like the registry think it’s a great idea that we charge prisoners for medical care while incarcerated. I hope a new or old disease doesn’t pop up or we might be doomed by dumb legislators.

          Thank you Janice and crew for providing the only life line that keeps many of us alive. Hope!

        • DPH

          David #4 here, yes, Thanks to Janice, The Board, & Staff and of course the Moderator, so we can sharing all together of how suffer.

        • David Kennerly

          So, is this just a “David” thing? 🙂

          I’m not sure which number I am but I would like to think “1”, based upon likely age.

      • DPH

        Late on my part, but nevertheless David, stated well and SO True. David #5. Maybe the justices love putting Davids ‘to death’ from namewise via the Bible and punish all these Davids so injustly to feel better, maybe they think we are all Jewish or fought Goliath and payback is due in lengthy sentences.

      • David

        Another David weighing in…My conviction was in 1991 and the prosecutor was going to build a case on the fact that I was gay… i have posted my insane story on here just search for David but because I got 5 years probation and it was 1996 before I was off probation, therefore I have to register for life. Even though I was charged and took a plea bargain in another state where I do not have to register. The whole registration process is one big oxymoron you agree to a plea bargain of five years with no sex offender registry as part of your plea deal, yet you have to register in a state where you have never been convicted of a felony but you do not have to register in the the state where you plead out!!! Something has to be done or by 2100 everyone in the U.S. will be a sex offender!!
        I am so sorry that all of us got stuck in VIRTUAL PUNISHMENT!!!

        • David Kennerly, A Jumped-Up Pantry Boy Who Never Knew His Place

          It’s “virtual” in that it is said that we are not being punished (by the courts, everyone else just wishes it could be more punishing) yet it is as tangible as any cell I’ve ever been in. Our liberty, on the other hand, is not even virtual.

  10. 290J

    Malcolm, thank you for sharing your story. It definitely appears that you were dealt a crap hand. I’m a lesbian RSO (my story is titled “Maybe I shouldn’t have answered the phone…”) and find that I get told a lot of the time that if I were a man, my punishment would have been more severe, etc. blah, blah, blah. However, I’ve also been told that I was “grooming” my victim, simply because I’m a lesbian and she is too (she identified as such long before our relationship became inappropriate.) It’s a sad truth that homosexuals, especially gay men, have a stigma that they are all perverts and try to “convert” the youth. So it is easy for the LEOs to make ignorant assumptions and make a case that really isn’t there, just because of an ignorant stereotype. The blatant entrapment of your case really irks me. I’m sorry you’ve had to go through all of this and hope that you’re able to put your life back together and heal from this. Take care.

    • Malcolm

      290J – So true. Heterosexuals seem to think that all homosexuals are out to recruit others. They don’t want to believe that their sons or daughters are sexual beings who already know their sexual identity long before the age of 18. If little Johnny kisses the neighbors daughter at age 6 or 7 everyone says “awe, look, they are so cute”. But if little Johnny kisses the neighbors son at the same age they think he has no idea who he is or what he’s doing. If these same things happen when they are teens then it becomes even more of an issue. If it’s boy on girl then again, the parents are accepting and think it’s so cute. Can’t wait to see them at the prom together and so on. But if it’s between two boys or 2 girls the parents say they have no idea about their sexuality, or worse, that they are sinners condemned to hell. So, when some heterosexual comes along and asked “when did you decide to be gay” I usually reply with “I don’t know, when did you decide to be straight”? They usually say they never made a decision to be straight, they just are, to which I reply, that is was the same for me being gay. I just always knew.

    • DPH

      290J you had and are going through it too.
      Thanks for your comments…we’re all “Family” code word and now another group of us together, but harder to communicate and may be fewer in our S(ame)S(ex) relationships, and unfortunately under age by Calif. and U.S. Standards.
      Love is Love, but not legally. Just like someone stated earlier about the Playboy Mansion guru Hugh Hefner, I bet their was more than one underage at that Mansion over the years…he just didn’t get caught or bought his way out of an arrest/conv.

      Thanks again Sister for your thoughts and comments. My guy was 16 and lied about 18.

  11. Malcolm

    TO ALL WHO ASKED TO CONTACT ME DIRECTLY – I’ve sent a request for your contact info but haven’t received any responses so perhaps I’m doing it wrong. S0 anyone who posted here that want’s to contact me please ask the mod for my information. Mod, I have no issue with this at all.

  12. TiredOfHiding

    Indeed, just look how society is fine with the “dirty old man” making comments about and lusting over a 16 year old GIRL but just let some older men make comments about a 16 year old BOY and everyone is suddenly screams pervert and immediately thinks “sex offender”…talk about double standards.

    • Timmr

      Yes, if Hugh Hefner had a magazine featuring young people being as young as allowed, yet portrayed as even younger, hairless, smooth skinned and doe eyed as can be photo-shopped to leave not much for the imagination,and those models were male… well you get the picture.

    • DPH

      Yes, and most still do, as a Gay man I know this.
      Thanks for getting in on this one TiredofHiding too.
      It’s good to read about a smaller situation than most.

  13. dave

    Similar story here. It involved a 17 yo who had a profile of 19 on grinder. He was tall, shaved, had his own car and looked at least 21. After talking for a few weeks, we met and that was that. He told me upon meeting how he had hooked up the week before with a couple I knew. One of which is actually a Pasadena police officer. He contacted me several times after that wanting to meet again but we never did.

    Weeks later his parents discovered he was gay by going thru his phone. They contacted the police. I was tracked, arrested and charged with 10 felonies including possession of CP. (the pics he had sent me). Bail was set at $350,000 of which i posted.

    I was looking at 7 years in prison. I plea bargained to 1 year county, 5 years probation and a life time of registration. Fortunately I only served 6 months and have completed the probation.

    I had never been in trouble before. In fact I was known and respected in my community for my charitable foundation. That quickly evaporated as my case was in the newspaper at a time when TOPIX allowed anonymous comments. (They were extremely ugly)

    All I can tell you Malcom is that life moves forward. As time goes on, especially as you graduate probation you will slowly feel like a human again. I am thankful that I have a partner and a daughter that have stood by me before, during and after this life changing experience.

    • Malcolm

      Dave – Thank you (and everyone else who posted here) for sharing this with all of us. This is yet another example of how being gay places an extra weight on our backs in these cases. If someone presents a false ID, looks and acts the part, and pursues a relationship then how can we be held accountable to insure they are indeed of legal age. Shouldn’t the burden be upon them for falsifying a state document and making false statements? Are we now required to go to the town all where they were born and check for a birth certificate?

      In my case I fully believed that the young man was legal as he was drinking at the bar. When he refused my advances that night I thought nothing of it. When the text messages started coming days later I still thought he was legal until several days into it when he mentions he is 17. I faltered by not continuing to stay distant but then I hadn’t been the one to initiate contact.

      And just curious, but what happens on the majority of states that have an age of consent that is either 16 or 17? Do the feds hold their 18 standard and charge people with these same crimes? While I have no interest in dating a 16 or 17 year old it is easy to see why the AOC has been lower then 18 in most states. Many young adults are fully grown and carry themselves in a very adult manner.

      I am very curious though, what happened to the Pasadena Police Officer who also hooked up with this young man?

      Would love to share more if you are willing. As with the others I have no issue with the mod providing you with my contact info. (Has anyone actually received it?)

      • Moderator

        We do not have the resources / manpower to connect people, generally speaking. If you do not want to – understandably – post your contact info here we suggest creating a specific email address for this purpose. There is no shortage of free and temporary email providers out there. Thanks for understanding. Obviously, another good way to meet people is to attend a monthly meeting. ***Moderator***

        • Malcolm

          Thank you for clarifying that for me. I will certainly see what I can do to set up another email address to use here. My apologies the confusion, I had seen such requests before and made a bad assumption based on that information. Thanks again for helping out and for all the outstanding work you do here.

      • dave

        Nothing happened to the cop. He escaped scrutiny. The grinder kid’s parents never found out about him.

      • Erwin

        Different jurisdictions with different laws makes this a very complex issue, Malcolm. For example, next door in Minnesota, the age of consent is 16. As long as the adult is not in a position of authority like a priest or teacher. However it’s a felony to possess a pornographic image of a minor under 18. So a person in MN can actually go to prison & labeled a sex offender for possessing on their computer a pornographic image of a 16 year old. But it’s perfectly legal in that state to do the act in the flesh. That’s how stupid American laws are… need a qualified lawyer just to figure them out

  14. Malcolm

    Those wishing to contact me directly can use Kindly remind me which Dave you are, lol. Or at least which story is yours. Thanks.

  15. Michael A. Lewis Sr.

    I was molested by a male cop and a male family member. so you would assume that I would have a problem with gays at large. But I don’t. I see them as any other person. I have had many gay friends over the years and had no problems. I tell them upfront if You make any sexual advances towards me I will no longer be your friend. I am a very straight guy and am not interested in other guys. I really don’t see what the problem is with anyones sexual preference as long as they don’t force themselves on others. Being gay and being on the registry has to be very hard on you and I feel your pain. But not all straight people are against you.I chose to forgive my trespassers and not blame a whole group for their wrongs. I wish America could do the same.
    Michael A Lewis Sr.

    • Malcolm

      Thank You Michael,

      Nicely stated. Things in the U.S. have become better for gay people in general but there is still a lot of small minded people out there. I worked for one of the major movie studios from 2001 to 2011 in their IT department. These studios are supposedly quite liberal and have no issues with gay people. Not being “out” allowed me to hear all of the rude comments made behind the backs of those who were out and I saw more than one person get let go solely because they were gay. In my case I think it was more than obvious that I became a target because of bias against gays.

      Thanks again for being such an open minded person and sharing your thoughts with us. It’s greatly appreciated by everyone who posted in this thread.

  16. curious george

    I know you feel as though you were targeted as a gay man, but I cannot help to wonder if what happened to you would have happened the same if you approached a 17 year old girl. (you would know better having lived with it) the laws in some States are abominable and I think they do nothing to prevent real crimes against minors. Truth is the system needs their conviction records and we are all just sitting ducks!
    I am sorry for what happened to you and I hope that you can benefit from the tiered registry soon. Our lifes (husband and my two children) were ruined too by some overeager investigators, judge and DA who have ruined our lives accusing my husband and blowing the whole thing out of proportion. I tell everyone we are prosecuted for tax evasion, for fear of the backlash. It is a lonely road from which there is no coming back. I feel persecuted by the govt just for being his wife and fear for the safety of my minor children. I left the country and I don’t know if our family can ever be together again. He is a good dad and always there for us, alas we had to move apart to protect our kids.

    • Malcolm

      Hi CG. Thank you for your response to my post. I am sorry to hear your family is being affected so negatively and that your children are now forced to live away from their father.

      You asked if it would have been different if I had approached a 17 year old girl. First off, the person I approached was sitting at a bar drinking so I had no idea they were not of legal age. And at the time of that meeting there was no touching of any kind. Just a simple question and a response. No need for SVU and the rest to set up and start messaging me trying to move it forward. I was already embarrassed and felt bad for hitting on a straight guy.

      I will be the first to admit that I should have backed up when the person finally said they were 17 and I can not make a single excuse for not doing so. I let emotions control me in my isolation and didn’t stop it cold. I accept my fate for making a mistake but it should not involve a lifetime of registration not my beautiful sailboat being taken by the feds and sold at auction, especially since the feds didn’t pursue this.

      I also have to wonder how it is possible that in two thirds of the states the age of consent is some level below 18 yet you can get a lifetime registration for the same behavior in the other one third. So if I had lived in a state where the age of consent was 16 or 17 there would have been no crime. Yet because I’m in California they gave me a life sentence on a public forum as well as affecting my ability to travel.

      I hope that at some point enough people get affected by these stupid, inconsistent laws so that every family has someone affected by it so they can see how foolish it all is. Until it happens to someone you love no one cares. I know, because I used to think the same way. “Throw the book at them”, The are horrible people”, the whole thing. Why, because I was not affected in any way. I thought the judicial system was honest and all the people getting put on the registry were horrible rapist. I bought into shows like “SVU” that show the worst of the worst.

      Now I know they lump all of the people together no matter what the charge. There is no balance of justice. It has become a ridiculous quest to punish people in perpetuity for a single transgression no matter how repentant someone may be or what price they have already paid for it. I’ve paid an incredible price for my mistake. But I believe it to be out of proportion to what actually happened.

      And what of those caught by the inconsistencies of the laws? The legal age may be 17 in one state and 18 in the neighboring state. You could literally live across the street from someone who lives in another state. You fall in love with them, cross the street, date, eventual have sex, and BOOM, it becomes crossing state lines for sex or transporting across state lines for sex. How can this be?

      I’m not trying to make excuse, but there is nothing more inconsistent in the United States as the laws governing sexual activity (a basic, normal function that all humans possess at the most primal level). One state says 18, another says 14, another 16. How does one now what is right and wrong? And how can you try a 16 year old as an adult for certain crimes yet say they haven’t the ability to know if they want to engage in sex? How is sex damaging when it’s a normal part of life? (and before you say it, I do not mean with young children or rape).

      I know when I was 14 or 15 any sexual experiences I had were wonderful. Learning about my body, and those of others. Learning we are all different and accepting that. Learning what I enjoyed and what wasn’t as much of a turn on. None if it was bad. Everything I experiences was a learning experience and was fine. I agreed to all of it and have no regrets.

      I apologize for rambling but it’s been a while since I posted. And as time has passed (along with the election) I am seeing how foolish people have become. The whole PC thing has caused more issues than I can list and we can see if for want it is now. Everyone that is “offended” by anything wants to pass a law to suppress what they don’t like. They pushed an agenda that anything that they disagree with is evil. They took young adults who used to go marry at 14 and go off to was at 16 and decided they were “children” incapable of making any intelligent decisions for themselves. Unable to know their own sexuality. Unable to understand the joys and pitfalls of sex. What hokum.

      If you lived by their foolish ideology the human race would cease to exist because “sex is a sin, it’s dirty, evil”. I guess they will soon tell us that eating, peeing and pooping is a sin, dirty and evil. They are all a part of life just as sex is. Yes, there are limits and I reiterate I am not making excuses nor condoning child molestation or rape. What I am saying is stop making sex sound like murder. If it were not for sex none of us would be here, including the judges, law makers, police, DA’s, etc.. And if some young person is attracted to older, get over it. It is who they are. I’ve dated some of the most wonderful young men and they all chose to be with me. They contacted me. They love older men. If your son/daughter has a love for older don’t blame the older as if they did something to attract them other than being themselves.

      I’ll close by saying, to any one of the wonderful young men I’d dated over the years, and those that stayed for years as my partner, I love each and every one of you with all my heart. Each one of you were incredibly unique, beautiful, and hold a special place in my life forever.

      Forgive my rambling. Rant over.

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