____ ____ met ____ ____ when their mutual friends introduced them at a local skating rink. He was 14 and she was 12.
Over time, the two became a young couple, going out on movie dates, hanging out with friends at each other’s houses, and attending school dances together.
Eventually, the high school sweethearts got married, bought a house, and had three children. They’ve been married now for 20 years.
But this otherwise happy love story has a sad twist: When Herbert was 17 and Candi was 15, her mother – on the advice of her stepfather, who did not approve of the budding relationship – called police and had Herbert arrested for statutory rape.
Under an extremely restrictive Alabama state law that does not recognize the teen romance, Herbert was tried and convicted – as an adult – of second-degree rape because Candi was also a minor.
The arrest led Herbert down a spiral of legal consequences that landed him in prison for over 15 years and forced him to register as a sex offender. Full Article