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By Joey Oneill:
17 years ago I made a horrible decision, so absolutely wrong that to this day it makes me sick just thinking about it. I don’t like to talk about it, I coward when confronted with it. I feel like I have to hide in the shadows and hope no one will recognize me. I’m afraid most of the time. This is how I feel today 17 years later; I pray to god that he takes me away.
17 years ago I had consented sex with a 15 year old girl, her parents didn’t feel the same way. I was convicted of 2nd degree sexual assault of a child. I have never done anything like that before or since. I do not want to get into the circumstances of what happened, I give you permission to get all of my court records. I would like to concentrate on who I’ve become since then.
16 years ago I met my late wife; she was a beautiful and caring person that was my soul mate. We were married in 2002 for 8 years, we were together for 12 and we lived at _____ for them 12 years. She passed away in 2010 of breast cancer. I continued to live at this address for 4 more years; the house was foreclosed on 2014. We add a good marriage and we loved each other very much. For the last four years I have helped run a fundraiser to benefit a local breast cancer victims, we have raised over $15,000. I participate in the dragon boat races which benefits cancer victims, I rock for a reason which is another benefit for cancer, and I grow my hair to donate to locks of love. I have not been in any trouble for over 15 years, not so much as a speeding ticket. I have for the last 17 years done everything they have asked me to do. My sentence was 4 months in jail and 4 years’ probation which was completed in 2001 along with all the groups they had me go to and all of the fines that I had to pay.
I could not afford the house after my wife died and the kids didn’t make it any easier. When I received the letter telling me, I have to vacate the house. I panicked and told the truth on my last report to the sex offender registry; that I was homeless and that I was thinking about moving out of state which is just over the bridge, I didn’t move out of state but I am still homeless. I did not know that I was required to report once a week, once when I became homeless, I stay with family and friends and sometimes in my car, I never stay to long cause I don’t think it’s fair to label my family and friends houses with my label (sex offender). I cannot find a job or a place to live because of this crime I commented 17 years ago. Things were getting bad and I needed help so I contacted the department of correction to see if they could help me with some housing. I had just applied for disability and for low income housing. I was denied housing because of my crime and I could appeal but I needed proof that I was better, and the only proof I thought I could get was from the department of correction that’s why I contacted them. First I contacted them over the phone and the lady in Madison WI, told me that she had sent a referral to the DA, because I was non complaint because I’m supposed to report once a week because I was homeless. So I asked her if I should go and turn myself in, the lady in Madison said no but gave me another number to call so I called and that lady was not going to be in for a couple of days. My phone ran out of minute so I decided to go talk to her directly to straighten this out and ask for help with housing. I went to the probation office to get ahold of the second lady but the police came and arrested me did not read me my rights or let me make a phone call, the next day I went to court and the referral said that I have to report all changes within 10 days and they don’t believe that I am homeless because I have had no contact with the police. Now I am looking at $10,000 fine and or 6 years in prison for something I didn’t know I had to do. For 17 years I reported and if I had known that I had to report once a week once I became homeless I surly would have done so.
I just can’t tell you how much this is affecting my life, how tortured I feel. I know what I did was wrong and I’m very ashamed and sorry for what I did, but it was a mistake and I have paid for that mistake over and over again. I am not suicidal but I am looking for a way out because I cannot live this way for the rest of my life. Every time I have to tell people that I am a sex offender I die a little inside. I have tell people every time I go for job interview, move, or if I want to date. The depressions is getting worse, I can’t seem to focus on anything else. I am normally a happy person but I can’t see the end of this and I have thought about suicide, I.ve went so far as to right a suicide note, and found a weapon to do it with. But want to live and fight, but I need help with this fight.
Please help me