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Living with 290

Living with 290: Effects on a sex offenders family

My family has been going through a rough patch lately with law enforcement. My mom’s longtime boyfriend, the man that we have claimed as our dad. He has become such a part of the family and taught us so much over the years that we claim him as our dad. In October of 2018, we refused a search – he did not. My mother told them that if they wanted to search the bedrooms of my sister, brother and I – all of whom are adults, they needed to get a warrant. They had already searched the common areas and my stepdad’s area. The first time they ever came to the house, they said that they had no reason or right to search our personal bedrooms. We allowed the search in 2017 but under the advice of a lawyer, we told them to get a warrant. A few days later, they arrested my stepdad. This was the first of multiple charges they placed on him. Let me be clear, HE NEVER SAID NO. My mother said no. We locked our bedroom doors. We had the keys. He couldn’t let them in if he wanted to. But the warrant that was sworn out – it stated that he had refused a search.

My stepdad has been on the registry for nearly 20 years. He’s never been in trouble in all of that time. He’s never even had a traffic ticket. So there was some stuff he didn’t know. He didn’t know to report in after we got him out of jail. The result was them arresting him again on that and charging him with violation of probation again.

Dealing with these people can be traumatic. They have gone as far as telling us that if we don’t like our rights being violated – we should leave him. He couldn’t afford this house on his own – in July of 2017, he got the house and my mom helps pay on things as does everyone else. Aside from my stepdad, we all were in college. It was a practical way to live, at home and we had never had issues with it. We are the kind of people who go to work, go to school, go to the store and we come home. We don’t go out much.

During one of the many searches, they searched our animals ashes. Starting in September of 2015, some of our animals died from a virus. We lost three cats to the virus. All within months. September 2015; December 2015; January 2016. In July of 2017, we lost another cat to feline diabetes. And just last year, 2018 – we lost a dog to kidney cancer. Because it was never our intention to stay in this state – we had our animals cremated. We keep them in wooden boxes with a false bottom. Their ashes were in sealed bags. The probation officers came in and searched their ashes. Not only should that have been a health code violation but it was disrespectful to the dead and it broke our hearts all over again.

Having the animals where we had them, it was our way of honoring them. We have other animals that are still living – all of our current dogs are rescues. Two of our cats are and one has been with me since his birth nearly 12 years ago. When they come to search – we put them in cages for their safety and harness the dogs. They poked something through the bars of the cats cages and scared two of the cats so bad that they urinated on themselves. Our dogs, right alongside us were forced to sit on the porch. It was cold. My mom was barefoot and had shorts on. She has a heart condition. I was recovering from bronchitis at the time. None of us were dressed for the cold but we were kept on the porch for two hours in the cold. When we came in, the house was a mess. We had broken picture frames, some of my art supplies were broken. Drawers pulled out. This on top of the animals ashes being violated. They had flipped my brothers bed.

One of the next times they came to search, I had two safe boxes in my bedroom. This time they held us in the kitchen. One was empty and one had my knife collection. All of which are legal and are pocket knives. They asked for the keys which I had left in my jacket pocket on the porch. I went to retrieve the keys and I was escorted into my bedroom by three male officers. I stood at the foot of my bed with two at my left and one standing behind me. I was afraid to open the box with my knives so I asked if they really wanted me to open the box, when they asked what was in it, I told them it was my knives – all of which are legal. They made me move back while they searched my knives. I’d like to say something to explain just why this was so traumatic. A few years back, I had been stalked and assaulted in college. I don’t like to be touched or crowded, I also don’t like my space being violated. After their search, I had nightmares for weeks. It got to the point where I was afraid to sleep because my personal space – it felt wrong to me. I know that doesn’t make sense to most but it’s the only way I know to describe it.

I have had to sit at the kitchen table with my family while they search and have been forced to sit there and stay calm while a probation officer looks down my shirt. We all knew he was doing it but we were afraid to do anything. I’ve had to watch my stepdad almost hyperventilate every time he reports to probation because he never knows when they are going to arrest him again.

We were going to do something as a family but the area that the thing was in – it’s not an area we are familiar with. My stepdad was violated again and this time they violated him on the sex offender registry. The day before Thanksgiving, they revoked his bond. We didn’t celebrate. We spent three days waiting to hear something because they had him on a suicide watch. He’s still incarcerated. He’s lost his job and everyone pitch hits with the bills and such. They took away a member of our family and have made his life miserable because they say he’s a sex offender. He didn’t do what he was accused of to begin with. He took the plea deal because they told him that nobody would believe him, and when he said he didn’t understand his Miranda rights because he has a learning disability, they said he did understand and that if he didn’t take the plea deal, he’d spend up to 18 years in jail.

Because the public defender was not very good, he was afraid and didn’t have anyone to guide him through the process – so he took the deal. As we have been researching and reading, we find more and more cases in the state of Tennessee where they have done this to supposed sex offenders. It seems to be a pattern.

This has been ongoing and is still in process. There’s not a lot that can be said to ease what they’ve done and what they are continuing to do. I know we aren’t the only ones to be put in this position but in the moment when you have to sit there and you can’t do anything – it feels like you are being targeted. At the moment, we are being led to believe that because of who we love – who we live with, we have no rights. We have even been told that we are sex offenders. What kind of justice is this? Right is right and wrong is wrong and what’s going on is wrong. They’ve violated our rights and made us fear what they’ll do to my stepdad, and even to us or our animals.

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  1. Mp

    I am sorry. I am speechless. I am grateful that you stand by your stepfather. I pray for strength and peace for all of you. Thank you for sharing.

  2. C

    Can you tell us where this is going on? My God, what a nightmare. What you described sounds more like Waffen SS searching the homes of Jews in the 1930s. Sadly, it’s easy to believe these are American police officers and how people in positions of authority will abuse helpless people when given the chance. I’ll bet they high fives each other and had lunch at a local greasy spoon where they get free meals because they’re “heroes.”
    Anyway, my heart goes out to you, your family and your dad. You sound like good people to me and it’s those pig cops who are the real threat to the community.

    • dram

      Exact what I was going to say. Maybe its just human nature, cops will be as bad as they can get away with. There’s nothing but law to tame the raging beast.

    • Katie

      It’s happening in Greene County in Tennessee.

  3. Laura

    I believe I read your situation was in Tennessee. Sad to say that similar abuse by law enforcement on the family (including children young or old) has also happened in Orange County, CA. It unbelieveable that under the pretense “if it saves just one child” the abuse and trauma that law enforcement can and does inflict on the entire family and children. It wasn’t that long ago it seems law enforcement was trained to accomplish an assignment/task without being cruel. However it is now the “Blue Line” Mentality or Us against them.

  4. SR

    My god! What a nightmare! Have you spoken to a lawyer regarding having all your rights like this violated? I don’t mean your stepfather. I mean your and the rest of your families? You might have a major civil lawsuit on your hands.

    • Bill

      I’m so sorry the trauma that you and your loved ones have gone through but I’m grateful that you have shared your story with us because people have to know.

      More and more people are getting sucked into the Registry along with their families and loved ones creating second class citizens that can be victimized and have their constitutional rights violated because the government says it’s okay.

      More and more of these stories are coming out and one day our collective voices will deafen the noise of the ignorant. We will be heard and we will move this government.

    • Katie

      We have spoken with one but our priority is taking care of my stepdad right now. We can’t do anything until we leave or it’ll come back on my stepdad. Anything we do – they take out on him.

  5. ReadyToFight

    I’m not going to finish reading this post coz I’m already tearing up…..this is messed up. I feel so bad for this family, and angry to my core.

  6. TnT

    Here in Michigan my family has been victimized by law enforcement on many occasions, they have showed up many times too my home demanding too enter for one reason or another know you are not alone, one day this must change . I feel your pain and just know you are not alone and very please too see your family isn’t buying their B.S . its a shame they get away with these actions.total abuse of power Keep up the fight ! We will never except these unconstitutional laws that support this kind of punitive reform by power.

  7. C

    I was thinking about your circumstances as I drove to work and became incensed at the notion that the cops sent to harass your family because your dad is, in their eyes, a sexual deviant, are sexually assaulting you by leering down your shirt. Oh, the irony. They are truly pigs in every sense of the word.
    It’s hard to feel sorry for cops killed in the line of duty when I think of stories like yours or other cops like the one who body slammed a teenage quadruple amputee.
    Ugh!

  8. Harry

    Is your step-dad on probation or parole?

    • Katie

      He’s on lifetime community supervision. He just got sentenced to 11 months and 29 days of probation today.

  9. Count D.I.K.ula

    Your stepfather’s experience should be an object lesson for us all:

    1. Don’t talk to the police, do not submit to interviews. Ideally, you should never answer the door when the police come. You have NO obligation to do so.

    2. Don’t submit to unwarranted searches. Practice saying, in a mirror if necessary: “NO!” and “I’m not answering questions” or “I don’t give interviews.”

    Your stepfather is now paying the price for surrendering his rights.

    I think that it would be a good idea to add a tab to the ACSOL website entitled: “How To Deal With the Police.”

  10. w

    I think anyone that has to deal with this mess needs to get smart and be aware of what’s going on. Those who are fortunate to have the help of family or friends should try to help to those who don’t. People also need to realize that many cops are being trained to assume the worst out of registrants and treat every incident or visitation as some alien encounter. They only know “law” in the sense that to them “you’re guilty” or “you did something” and they just have to line-up what the next offense that you’re committing is. They are fed and subsequently feed into the narrative of registrants.

    A very simple principle we could all benefit from would be that “fair is fair”. But nothing about this system was made that way. 1,000,000 registrants will not stop 1 crime. It will instead harm 1,000,000 families and diminish their opportunity to reintegrate and succeed. This “administrative” policy is administrating a group of people with VARYING backgrounds, many of whom were probably productive and normal people prior to their offense. But now they’ll have to depend on the state to figure out what to do next. But they won’t get anywhere as long as the state plays BOTH sides and continues to contribute to the negative image in society AND pushes to see these people “step up and take responsibility”. They cripple a guy and then beat him for being crippled.

  11. Katie

    My stepdad is on community lifetime supervision. We just got him out today. He was locked up from the day before Thanksgiving until December 19th. He took a plea deal because it was bad.
    We have spoken with a lawyer but until we get him out of the county – it will do us no good. The county views anyone living with my stepdad as a sex offender. In addition, anything we do – it will come back on him. We can’t move until he has approval and we have the money to get him out and in order to move – a residence has to be set up. If we had the means – we’d be moving already.
    In the end, we’ve researched and we do what we have to but you never know what they want. It’s about what they THINK the law means. Not the letter of the law. We follow as best as we can – but it’s difficult to sit somewhere and watch what they do.
    I’ve run the numbers that are available online and calculated the percentage of RSO’s compared to the population and how many are on the registry and 1 in how many per state are on the registry. It was a late night project. If my numbers are right – about 16% of the population are on the registry or fall under Megan’s law. 1 in 383 roughly.
    Thank you all for reading this. I feel that the more people speak out – the more chance there is of having something done to correct the injustice.

    • Gerald

      Perhaps you could explain why after 20 years of never being in trouble this man was suddenly targeted for home searches.? Has he been on parole or probation for these 20 years?
      Otherwise, to my knowledge, being on the registry alone doesn’t allow searches (without probable cause) anywhere in the USA.

      • Katie

        Lifetime community supervision allows searches. He’s on the registry and monitored. It’s how they do it here.

        • Gerald

          Thanks for your reply Katie.
          Apparently your family has been duped by this inept attorney for giving you Bad advice in demanding a court order to conduct a legal search.
          It sounds as though he should have explained to you that interfering with officers attempting to do their jobs could put you in this situation.

      • Leo1234

        For approximately 20 years he has been on the sex offender registry. In the state of Tennessee they reserve the right to search your home at any time. In fact s/o’s are locked down between 11 and 14 days every October in the name of protecting children for Halloween. They are put on a curfew from 6pm to 6 am every day during this time. While I have learned that some states are much worse (making S/O’s come to the police station for Halloween.) I would also state that this law is just an example of what is wrong with the system. For 11 days they are not permitted to go to any type of Halloween party even if it is an adult party. My question would be what makes Halloween any different than let’s say Easter or Christmas? There is no statistical proof that these “Halloween” laws make any difference at all, except to the people and families that loose 11 to 14 days of their lives every year. When he lived with his cousin for many years in a neighboring county they did not search his cousins room, because to quote the probation officer “they had no reason to search any area other than his common areas and the person on probation’s bedroom.” I believe that for so many years the probation department has been handed free reign to do whatever they want. And if anyone dares to stand up for their rights or the rights of their loved ones all they do is yell Sex Offender and everyone dives for cover and assumes it is okay for them to do whatever they want because they are the law. I disagree, and I also wonder how many people have they done this too that have never come forward for fear of the law. Several states have already “awakened” and deemed the lifetime supervision is unconstitutional and I completely agree. What would happen in this world if every one who ever made a mistake was punished for the rest of their life? At some point there has to be a light of justice to shine through all the darkness that is surrounding us and anyone who is afraid to stand up.

    • AJ

      @Katie:
      “If my numbers are right – about 16% of the population are on the registry or fall under Megan’s law. 1 in 383 roughly.”
      —–
      I don’t which, if either, of your numbers are correct, but I can definitively say 16% does NOT equal 1 in 383; 1 in 383 is a little more than 0.26%.

      With about 1 million RCs and a US population of about 327 million, I would say the number is more like 1 in 327. Even that is nowhere near 16%; it’s 0.305%.

      • Katie

        Those are the numbers that were given to me. I haven’t taken the time to sit down and calculate the numbers. I’ve calculated other numbers but not those numbers. Quite frankly – I don’t care what the exact numbers are. Right is right and wrong is wrong. What’s going on is wrong and people act like it’s okay when it’s not.

        • Joe

          Trying to compare apples to apples. My numbers are a few years old.

          Facts
          – RSOs: 904,011
          – US Population: 325,719,178
          – US Population Male: 49.2%
          – US Population Adult: 77.4%

          Assumptions
          – RSOs are adults (although 20-25% of offenders are placed on the list as juveniles, as young as 10, in 8 or less years they will be adults. The most common age of offense is 14, meaning by the time those juveniles are placed on the registry they only have a short while before entering adulthood)
          – RSOs that are male: 95% (conservative estimate)

          Calculation
          -> US Population Adult and Male: 124,036,469 (325,719,178 x .492 x .774)
          -> RSOs Adult and Male: 858,810 (904,011 x .95)

          124,036,469 / 858,810 = 144

          ===> 1 out of every 144 (0.69%) American Adult Males is a Registered Sex Offender.

          Not even close to 16% but nothing to write home about.

  12. Katie

    We talked to multiple lawyers. There is not a precedent for cohabitation with a sex offender. That’s the argument.

  13. Renster

    Sadly being on Lifetime Supervision in your state permits warrantless searches(according to your post)

    The right decisions are always the hardest and your stepfather should make the very hard decision to live apart from the rest of the family in order to protect them. Sooner or later the police will find something on one of the other family members. The family will never win this one because of the Lifetime Supervision rules.

    If he loves the members of the family, he will leave them and not allow them to be harassed further because of him. People have sacrificed much more for far less.

    This is a decision HE should make and hopefully not corner the family into abandoning him. You can still love him and support him and vice versa… but he needs to live alone, forever. It is the right thing for him to do.

    • Will Allen

      Only corrupt, criminal regimes have $EX Offender Registries.

      What is this “lifetime supervision” (LS) nonsense? F*ck that every day. Does anyone think it is useful? I wonder. Obviously there are people living around us who are dangerous. Does anyone think it is helpful for us or keeps us safer if a dangerous person is on probation or parole even, let alone some BS LS? I have very serious doubts that it does. In fact, I expect in a lot of cases, it makes the person more dangerous and more likely to harm other people. When big government gets involved, the general public gets more at risk.

      And is it only for $EX crimes? I can tell you that I am barely concerned about $EX crimes at all when it comes to my family. Doesn’t worry me. I just don’t think there is much risk. I am a lot more worried about crimes that don’t involve $EX. Just about a week ago a couple of people went into a gated community near me and robbed a guy in his garage. Something went bad though because he ended up dead. I am about a million times more worried about similar scenarios than I am regarding any $EX crap.

      I don’t know what people have done to get LS but I’d encourage probably just about anyone to say the hell with that. I can’t imagine letting cops get anywhere near me these days. If that were the case, I am almost sure that I’d have to disappear. I’m not going to be “supervised” by any criminal regime in the U.S. or their law enforcement criminals. It’s not going to happen. They are public enemy #1.

    • Katie

      @Renster.
      Do you realize how insensitive that is to say about someone? “Live your life alone forever”. It’s responses like that that prevent things from being done. If everyone laid back and accepted things as they are, we never would have made any progresses in the country.
      They have the right to search HIS belongings and HIS space – by THEIR own words. This does not mean they can search MY belongings or those of my family. This does not mean that the can tell me to be quiet, this does not mean that they can hold me prisoner in my home when I have done nothing wrong.
      If people accept injustice, then it continues.
      I cannot express how your post made me feel. I love my stepdad and your post? Your post is basically saying he deserves to be miserable for the rest of his life. You sound just like the police and the probation officers who come in here. It feels more like we are being attacked than anything else.

      • Dave

        If someone says something they are experiencing you can count on a troll to tell you what you are experiencing isn’t what ur experiencing on this site. Lol

        I’m always shocked at the lack of manors from others and just down right rude comments made to others.

        @renaters comment is so over the top aggressive and insensitive it’s not even close to being thoughtful or just plain decent.

        Katie I hope things improve for you and ur family and I know it hurts. Things will get better and improve. I do believe things are changing.

        Many so called activist are trolls and will spend more time attacking those hurt than attacking those needing support.

      • R M

        @Katie: Bravo! (at your reply to Renster). Keep fighting for your rights.

      • Matt

        For what it’s worth, I didn’t take Renster’s comment that way at all. Insensitive? Perhaps. Pragmatic? Absolutely. You have a decision to make. You either have to give in and accept what’s happening to you and your family, or you have to fight back. And if you fight back, you have to realize (and it seems that you do understand this) that there will probably be negative consequences for your stepdad. It’s a family decision. But those are your choices. It seems to me that perhaps the best option would be to get out of the state you’re in. If I read your posts correctly, that may not be an option yet. But you probably should be setting goals as a family to get away from these people, these terrorists, as soon as you can. Between now and then, are there any other ways you can mitigate the damage to the rest of your family? I think that’s actually what Renster may have been saying. Here’s a thought: Do you have a back yard? Is it big enough to put stepdad in a little cabin or something behind the main house? What I am suggesting here is a possible way to clearly define which areas belong to whom. If he has a place on the property that is exclusively his, it may prevent law enforcement from entering/violating the space of the rest of the family members. Just a thought. I wish you the best of luck.

        • wonderin

          @Matt,
          Well said.

          Nor did I object to the intent of his message:
          Love should work both ways for the benefit of everyone. In this situation I would most certainly volunteer to vacate the premises to protect those of whom I cared about and accept a life alone.

          For instance, when I had my child there was no public registry but a year later I had a quandary. I couldn’t protect my wife & child from the effects of public shaming nor could I remove myself from our home without essentially abandoning them and leaving everyone even worse off, both emotionally and financially.

          Obviously, in some situations, one can only choose the lesser of two evils and in this case everyone is adults and freely chooses to endure the consequences so we can only hope some relief appears for all of us struggling to cope with injustice.

    • Leo1234

      Perhaps some people’s definition of love is different than others. To stand by someone in the face of hard times is not an easy decision either. However, just because the probation department is permitted to do searches without warrants does not entitle them to come in and submit the whole family to being held like prisoners. Furthermore, and I am quoting the probation officer himself on this one, they have no right to search other members bedrooms. It’s a funny thing to say to leave him or have him leave us because that is exactly what the police and the probation officers say. In the classes that he had to take they kept stressing how sex offenders should make every attempt to become productive members of society. Something that law enforcement agencies do not seem to want them to do, because they try to make their families leave them. Perhaps so they can continue their onslaught. Perhaps if every one ever convicted of a crime was treated with the same disregard there would be more outrage at this. Some laws already enacted cause families to be separated which causes homelessness, broken families, poverty and additional burdens. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion . Additionally I think it is a point of interest that there is no state law that permits the search of a cohabitants personal areas no precedent has been set, and I am quoting a highly respected TN lawyer when I say this. In addition the offending officer has been made to apologize for the desecration of our animals. It’s not enough but it is a start.

    • Joe

      Stepdad broke the law, and stepdad may have harmed someone. For that we, as a society, punish stepdad – with a term of incarceration and followed by a term of supervision. Obviously stepdad has completed his incarceration a long time ago. That his term of supervision should be longer than that of convicted murderer is lacking all proportion, but that is current law, apparently.

      Stepdad was not sentenced to a lifetime of misery and loneliness. Nor was his family sentenced to a lifetime of misery and anxiety. Why should they adjust their lives to appease laws that are completely lacking in constitutional basis?

      Instead of accepting these conditions Katie and her family, including stepdad, should spend their time, energy and resources getting these unconstitutional laws invalidated, instead of supporting two households. Getting involved on this site is the first step. Hopefully not the last.

      My opinion.

  14. C

    I think an interesting thing to do would be for her to print out this entire thread, all the posts and replies and have the stepfather read them.

    Let him see what offenders say, all the different perspectives and see what decision he makes.

    Anyone want to guess what he will do?

    • Katie

      Knowing my stepdad as I do, first he’ll cry over the reminder of all that happened. Then he’ll be angry that I hid being stalked and assaulted from him. More than likely he’ll be highly offended over the suggestion that he live alone for the rest of his life or live in the yard.
      Finally, he’ll get angry. Ask our opinion and then he’ll say as he as said multiple times before. “I’m sorry they do this to you. I love you all. So screw them, I’m fighting this,but you don’t have to stay.” At which point we remind him that we aren’t leaving him. He didn’t do what they said he did. He got screwed over because he had no one to help him.

    • Leo1234

      Just wanted to say a thank you to all of those who gave us such positive feedback and thoughts. My other half got to come home for Christmas, we were very happy. Of course he was the happiest I believe. The district attorney who was so adamant to have him plead to something he did not do that he dropped all charges related to failing to report with in 48 hours which would have been a felony because to quote the judge “they knew where he was because they put him there”. In addition they allowed him to plead no contest to the refusal to search and sentenced him to 11 months and 29 days probation. The only blessing in this whole mess is that the Sex Offender officer in charge of Greene County sex offenders got wind of everything the probation department has put us through and raised immortal hell. The probation officer apologized for what the “other officers” did to our animals, which will never be enough for what they did.. In addition his new probation officer that will be in charge of him for the 11 months and 29 days was completely mortified by the fact that they cost him his job of 14 years, desecrated our animals ashes, and advised us that she disagrees with lifetime supervision because it is barbaric to punish someone for life. I am grateful that there are still descent human beings in this world and want to thank you for listening to our story and supporting us. We are definitely looking at leaving Tennessee as soon as everything is over and we are able.

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