Monday, August 19, 2013

FL - Lake Worth Man Could Lose House Thanks to Sex Offender Residency Restrictions

Ex-sex offender could lose his home due to draconian laws
Original Article


By Kyle Swenson

"I really don't feel like I live the life of a typical sex offender," [name withheld] said on a recent evening on the back patio of his house in Lake Worth.

With his small frame crumbled in a deck chain, the 31-year-old hispanic guy puffs on an electronic cigarette while his 3-year-old son wobbles about the lawn. Upbeat and chatty, he's outlining his big plans for the backyard. "And you see over there," he says gesturing beyond a greenhouse to the tall cement wall blocking the lot from the train tracks. "We're going to put some couches right there and have a movie projector against the wall."

In truth, [name withheld] doesn't whether he'll be at his dream house in two weeks. When he was 18, [name withheld] had consensual sex with a girl he met at the beach. She had told him she was 17, but was actually 15. He was arrested and charged with lewd or lascivious battery. Eventually, [name withheld] accepted a withhold of adjudication, a legal option that technically left him without a felonious record but included three years of probation. Tagged to that stint was placement on the sex offender registry.

"If I was any other criminal my sentence would be done," [name withheld] says. "Say you're a prospective employer, and you're looking at my background, this doesn't come up at all on a background check. But if you do a Google search of my name, you'll see me on the registry."

It got worse. A 2007 Florida law allowed offenders in statutory cases like [name withheld]'s - known as Romeos - to petition off the registry. [name withheld] met all the criteria, except to save money he went for a pyscho-sexual evaluation from a different therapist than the one chosen by the court. A judge denied his request. According to the law, a Romeo only has one shot at escape.

Despite the label, [name withheld] has been able make a good living working small-time finance jobs, enough to move his family recently into the large Lake Worth ranch home. But after [name withheld] filed his new address for the registry, the phone call came from local police: his new home was 1,500 feet from a bus stop, a violation of Lake Worth's ordinance.

"I don't even know where the bus stop is," he says.

This week, check back with New Times for a longer, comprehensive look at the sex offender registry -- its effectiveness, its controversial logic, and the people fighting to both reform and keep the registry in place.


dlc said...

Making a man move from his home is wrong. I'm beginning to get really upset with these restrictions.

nathan rabalais said...

damn this is BS his 31 years old be commited the crime when he was 18 damn when will florida ever learn from there mistakes

JoJa said...

Sex offenders should be beaten to death.. you sick fucks.

o said...

Sick fuckin rape-o

Damian Garcia said...

Hello, I'm Damian Garcia from the above story. Thank you all for reading and showing your support. So far, everything is on ice. The Sargent that informed me that I was is violation is giving me 2 months (he feels sorry for me and my family), to get this back to court. My attorney is hard at work on it, and 2 news stations have interviewed us in our home and reported us in a good light. Thank you all again and please keep us in your prayers. SOI, if you like to pick up that story, google "illicit sex at 18 haunts a man", and it should come right up.

Sex Offender Issues said...

Thanks for commenting. We always remove people's names from stories so as to not spread it around the Internet. But I guess you don't mind if your name is out there.

In any case, thanks again, and here is the story you mentioned: