My son is a sex offender NEWPosted on 11/26/12, 11:08 pm
My 20-year-old son was arrested about a week ago on charges of child pornography, both viewing and distributing (through a sharing file). It is very serious as they say he already has five counts and is expected to have more charges, He is currently in prison. His father (we're not together) and I decided not to bail him out because we are afraid that he will harm himself (he has been severely depressed for a long time) or run. Also we believe that time served in the small prison he is in will be better than the conditions at the state prison.
My heart is broken for my son. He has had a very difficult life but others stand in judgement of him. He is adopted and has suffered two additional abandonments (one when I was hospitalized for 3 months with severe depression) and finally, the effects of a terrible divorce following a 20-year marriage.
In addition, at about age 14, he began telling us that he was molested by an older boy when he was 7. More details have come out in the last year but it is hard to know if his mind is remembering things correctly. At 12, he began self-medicating with drugs and alcohol and was a full-fledged addict by about 14. He spent time in substance abuse programs, halfway houses and overdosed four times. Finally, at 19, his father brought him home to live with his grandmother. He did well there, remaining clean for 18 months, going to AA, etc. But he did not have a job and was extremely isolated at home with his grandmother. We now know that he sometime during that period at his grandmother's, he began viewing child pornography.
I know that my son committed a crime and must pay the consequences. However, it is hard for me to believe that the molestation, his mood disorder, his addiction (I think he just traded one addiction for another) and the isolation he experienced did not contribute in a major way to his foray into the world of child pornography..
All of the above either contribute to, or are a result of mental illness. Yet, I do not believe for a moment, that any of it will be taken into account. I do not believe he will receive the help he needs and that they will see to it that he get his medication.. I fear this his life is over at 20. I fear for his life when he gets out of prison. whether his sentence is long or short. However, I am trying to be hopeful for him, because if I don't have hope, how can he?
However, the truth is that I am so distraught that I don't know what to do with the pain that I am feeling, as the mother of a 20-year-old child whose life may never be the same, and for my son who is feeling my pain times many times over.....
I do have a wonderful therapist and she will not stand in judgement. But she has not walked in my shoes or yours.
I sent my son a letter with this saying: "At any given moment you have the power to say: This is not how the story is going to end" (author unknown). Perhaps this will help some of you.
Please, if you have words to help me deal with my grief, words of wisdom or just plain advice, I welcome it.
Reply #41 11/28/12 10:18pm
I found your post very helpful. I spoke with my son today (he sounded good:-) and he says he will give me his attorney's number on Friday if his father doesn't come through. His father and I really don't speak and he is not being forthcoming with information, which is really hard. But if I am able to get the number, then I will call and ask about character references, a letter from me about my son's history and a letter from my son. Unfortunately, the video would not work for us.
I am very pleased that your son got a reduced sentence. It sounds like your family and your attorney did all the right things.
Reply #42 11/29/12 1:11am
if it is any consolation, i am seeing a very strong young man emerge from the boy i knew. we did not have character witness', just me, a blabbering mother (i was suppose to get a call from the p.o. but did not).
they did move things along fairly quick. arrested in july, by late november the forensics came back. pled out -he knew they would find something but was not prepared for what they found, he really had no clue what was one there, so it was hard to say if the forensics was accurate or not. they found 300 images. one was a video he said he had no idea -but it couldnt have been that long if it was there wham! the videos start at 75 images and goes up from there. you will learn-300 images is not that much, though it is three times the amount he calculated. if i could have, i would definatly have shelled out for a private forenics analysis, which is the only defence you really have. our first sentencing date was in mid march. it was cancelled (no reason given). rescheduled in june but the judge had a stroke, day of the court! we were so ready to finally get it over but -cancelled for 6-8 weeks. they cancelled again...day before the third date only to call up the next morning and say it was back on for that day. had i left for work earlier, i would never have known, and missed it! shifty bastards! in a twist of fate, the d.a.(not the gusto grabbing young attornys so many get) actually verified my sons story and did not see 'deviant behavor', which was a sigh of releif. he did not go through a psych evaluation. but it doesnt change the guidelines much anyway, which is mostly derived from what is on the computer...pretty cut and dry unless they start playing hard ball. i can not believe some of the sentencing i am hearing like jmjh2001. i am so sorry. this is the reason we have to fight! get these guys home! SOONER! stop this sanity!
i sent my son (in county the duration -13 months by now) the best information i could find concerning his charge. not only two of Stabenows reports but also a rebuttal report on why some think the laws are not harsh enough and the testimony of Dr. Wollert to the sentencing commision. i wanted him educated on what he was up against.
i highly recommend you print out Stabenows paper, it is 30 pages long, (it really didnt pick up for me until the 7th page so stick with it). he covers the history, studies done by leading psychiatrists, sentencing guidelines and the birth of these inane laws. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers....
it is always bittersweet to see new people here, i am sad you are here but happy you found us, and want to welcome all of you here.-j-
Reply #43 11/29/12 6:54am
i just want to say thank you adam for joining this forum. i'm not an admin or anything, but normal people don't really care about us, how we live, or even how we think. you've taken your personal time to answer a few questions and for that i am thankful. my sister and my brother-in-laws are federal attorneys, and i really doubt they would care about 'us'.
once again thank you.
Reply #44 11/29/12 10:53am
Again, just want to welcome you both to this little bit of respite we call this group.
And, I'm overjoyed for both of you that your son got 18months instead of a super-long sentence.
I know 18months is still a long time, but given what you've read on here, I think you both considerer yourselves lucky.
Earlier, you stated something about the costs of incaceration ( canteen, phone calls, ect.)
I advise you to check out ConsCallHome.com----There are different options for you to sign up for. We opted for the 100min/per month plan for an annual cost of $114.00.
They set it all up: Your son will be issued a local number in the area code he is in, thus he will dial a "local" number that is translated into your home or cellphone. The charge for this is .6cents/per min, instead of the going rate of .23 to .27 cents/per min. the prison phone system charge. It works well, and its good to know he always has a way to call us--calls from Fed facillities are limited to 15min. each call.
Please keep us posted, and good luck on this arduous journey!
Jim from Jacksonville,FL
Reply #45 11/29/12 11:41am
I hoping to do this with phone calls once my son gets to Federal. I was doing this at a county prison and all was well until a new phone company took over. The local number no longer worked and I was advised that is was not legal and if I "owned" that phone number to send them a copy of my phone bill. They said call forwarding was not allowed (or legal?). Of course now we can't talk as much because the charges are ridiculous. I was going to purchase a tracfone where he is incarcerated but decided for the two months or so he has left there (according to lawyers) it's not worth it. I will file away that site for later - thank you!
Reply #46 11/29/12 1:26pm
Yeah..the county facilities are back-assward it is ridiculous!!!...Yeah, don't try to save sum money by getting the best deal for your son...but all means..use the crappy--drop-out prone internal phone system, and yeah...we will charge you TRIPLE of what you would of paid on the outside......just hang tight, write to him, visit when u can....again, i'm not saying Fed facillities are the Taj Mahal, but at least you have options. Good luck!!
Reply #47 11/29/12 2:08pm
I just don't understand why they discourage the inmates from talking to their families? Isn't it to their advantage to keep them happy??? I know they give them meds for that but my son wants to talk to family not take drugs! Seriously, how many families can afford the phone calls, commissary - not to mention buying stamps everyweek like I do. Then the gas to go every weekend for visits. You need another job just to fund these expenses!! But I love my son more than life and I will continue to do all this as long as I can.....
Reply #48 11/29/12 6:59pm
The way that inmates and their families are raped financially as far as the phone calls and the commissary goes is a direct result of the privatization of our prisons...odd coincidence, up until the mid 80's cp charges were typically misdemeanor crimes, not until the private prisons were brought back that the chargrs became the level of felonies they are now. In AZ possession alone is a class 2 felony, the only thing worse is murder.
Reply #49 11/29/12 7:27pm
I have a problem (actually I have lots of problems). Other than a phone call initiated by me right after my son's arrest and an e-mail from my ex about bail, he is not responding to my requests for information. He is an attorney (not criminal) so is handling any conversation with my son's public defender that pertain to legalities and that's fine. But I would like to be told what is going on. Because my son is no longer a minor, I do not have an agreement protecting me. I have called and e-mailed my ex several times with no response. I would like to speak with the PD myself about the possibility of character references, a letter about my son's history and even a letter from my son himself. I am able to get some information from my mother-in-law occasionally but that is second-hand and inconsistent. Despite our differences, common sense tells me that it would be much better for our son if my ex and I pulled together and presented the appearance of working together. Any thoughts on this?
Reply #50 11/29/12 8:19pm
YES....I am in the same boat. I am divorced and me and my son's father had to work together on this. We have been together with the lawyers, travelling together for visits, a couple of contact visits together, YES, YES & YES!! Put everything aside and pull together! You have to do that. We have not talked in years but this has made us be civil to each other and forget whatever differences we had. You have to do it for your son! If your son is still in a county prison, write the warden requesting (very, very nicely) a face to face with your son. Tell him how important it is at this time to speak privately with him (somewhat private..). My son requested through a "kiosk" to the counselor asking for this and was turned down flat - I proceeded to write the warden (kissing ass) a letter requesting same and it was granted! Don't give up - try, try & try again! It is very difficult to communicate with our children because we are warned not to say anything over the phone or write anything in letters - how the hell do we even find out then what is going on!!! My son is now 29 (turned 29 in prison in Oct.) so of course an adult but still needs his parents and family. My heart aches for you - you are probably in a worse situation with no communication with your ex! Our lawyers told us how important it will be to the judge on his family life - won't it look better if everyone is getting along??
This group is here to help those with loved ones who are convicted of sex offenses. This is a place where we don't judge because we are all in the same boat, regardless of the actual crime. If you don't feel completely comfortable posting freely on the main board because of the nature of your loved one's crime, feel free to post here because we all understand!