Friday, November 16, 2012

TX - Woman works to help sex offenders

Original Article

11/15/2012

By Noelle Newton

A San Antonio woman has taken on a controversial role. She helps sex offenders--the guilty and the proclaimed innocent--without judgment.

"I'm lost. My life is in a shamble. I just don't know what to do."

Those are the words of a convicted sex offender. When everyone else shuts the door--Mary Sue Molnar extends a hand.

"You are my only hope. Please say that you can help me," Molnar reads from a letter. "Those are tough."

Molnar is with Texas Voices for Reason and Justice.

She and several other families started the group in 2008 after her son was convicted of sex assault.

"He was 22 and the girl was 16," she said.

Molnar's son is serving an 11 year sentence for the crime. He will be on the sex offender registry for life.

Her initial goal was to fight for a fairer registry.

"We all have children. We have grandchildren we want to keep the public safe. There needs to be differentiation between these offenses. They need to look at these cases differently than grouping everyone under the sex offender registry for life," Molnar said.

Molnar says the response has been overwhelming. She now has 500 members. She quit her part time job and converted a bedroom in her home to an office so that she can sit in front of the computer all day.

She got four phone calls during our 30 minute interview. When she's not on the phone, she is responding to letters. Sex offenders mostly ask for help with housing and finding employment. Molnar also offers counseling to family members of offenders. Every once in a while she gets a jaw-dropping case of innocence.

"She allowed me to speak and tell my story without interrupting me. At the end she said. I'm so sorry. That's a horrible story," said [wife name withheld], wife of an exonerated sex offender,

[wife name withheld] looked to Molnar for support several years ago. For two decades, she fought to get the truth out about her husband [name withheld].

"Every year that he had to register it was like someone sticking a knife in my gut," [wife name withheld] said.



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