AZ: A Scout for Teen Athletes Tries to Shed a Sex Offender Stigma

[ – 12/7/20]

Justin _____, seen here mopping the floor at a basketball tournament he hosted, is trying to escape the stigma of his criminal past. Will society let him?

Are there some breaches of trust one can never come back from? Or is there a point when the stigma associated with a crime does more harm than good?

These questions have renewed attention as our society scrutinizes its relationship with the criminal justice system. For the Phoenix high school basketball community, they are concrete ones.

Justin _____, 36, is a fixture in the world of Phoenix high school boys basketball. As a scout, he connects teen athletes with college coaches, writes profiles on their backgrounds, and reports from the sidelines of games. He’s one of two members of the “The Show Basketball” company, under which label he organizes tournaments where up-and-coming players can show off their skills. Local high school teams and private clubs, including one run by Phoenix police, are regular participants.

_____ has been a scout for about three years and performs a very important role for teen players: Being scouted can lead to college scholarships, putting someone on the path to the NBA and, for some, a better future for their family. In an Arizona Republic article last year, he boasted about his close relationship with three players who have since accepted offers to play at college basketball’s highest level.

However, under his legal name, Justin Allen Lee, he has a serious criminal history that includes a conviction for having sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl when he was 23, and which requires him to register as a sex offender.

Read the full article


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From the article: “That people can end up on the sex offender registry for their entire life for just one offense has led some to call for reform. Even prosecutors have recognized this is an an issue, depending on the offenses. Last year, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office backed a bill that would have expanded who can petition to get off the registry, saying research showed there was no public danger involved.”

I haven’t read the bill mentioned, but I’d be willing to bet it’s so restrictive it wouldn’t apply to 99% of Arizona’s registrants. And of course, that they acknowledge that there’s no effect on public safety should beg the question, why not abolish it en totem?

This is yet another example that the Registry, as it pertains to being anything other than punishment, is a canard; a diabolical misdirection; an unfettered lie. And, the more data there is to show the Registry does nothing toward what it “purports” to do, the more that data is flouted by individuals that drive the political agendas. The current pandemic provides unadulterated proof (as if any more was actually required) how ignominiously willing politicians/legislators are to subvert or ignore facts that fly in the face of their self-serving agendas. After the recent ban of outdoor seating in L.A. County, many restaurants took their grievances to court; a judge has actually mandated that the County provides the data that warrants shutting down outdoor dining; it will be interesting to see what happens at the next hearing. Two days ago, Governor Newsom was asked if there was any evidence to support the most recent Stay-At-Home edict; Newsom responded, “The evidence you ask? Very significant evidence, overwhelming evidence.” And that was it. No evidence was unveiled. The Registry is the cruelest of all falsehoods. And despite all the overwhelming evidence to prove its worthlessness, it still gets paraded around town in “The Emperor’s New Clothes” fashion. On almost a daily occurrence, the attempts to deliver crap and present it as gold remind me of a line that Chico Marx asserted in, “Horse Feathers”: “Well, who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?” I believe my own eyes. And will continue to pound away at those that hawk harassment via the Registry.

I hope he can turn things his way and stay above board in life.

Interestingly, right in the middle of the article is a headline about a story of woman sxually assaulted by member of the thin blue line in the same city as this gent. This member has a long negative history too. Again, stats say…