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As things stand, she’ll be considered a violent sexual offender the rest of her life.
She’s had to say this hundreds of times, and she knows how people tend to react. But she hopes you’ll give her a chance to explain this time.
A newspaper headline about the circumstances that led to her arrest, guilty plea and eventual placement on Tennessee’s sex offender registry described her as a “sex slave.”
Court documents show that a drug dealer physically coerced her and forced her by threat of her young son’s death to join him as he kidnapped his child. Federal prosecutors recognized the woman — whom The Tennessean is not identifying — as his victim.
She took a plea deal on federal charges of aiding and abetting kidnapping. Prosecutors wrote that they didn’t believe she should have to register as a sex offender under federal or state law.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation decided differently, and it now classifies her as one for life.
That means that when the son the drug dealer threatened graduates from high school, she won’t see him walk across the stage. She’s missed his football games. She can’t go back to school, and she can’t hold down a job.
It’s been a nightmare.