Friday, June 26, 2015

Historic Day

Hello all,

Most of you have probably written me off by now, and that would be understandable.  Although I am not working as an advocate for reforming sex offender laws any more, I am still interested in the cause and still occasionally keep tabs on what is going on.

Today, June 26, 2015, is a historic day, a day that will be remembered forevermore as the day that gay marriage became legal in all 50 states.  This is definitely a landmark day, a day I wasn't sure we'd ever see come.  But, alas, here it is.  Love has finally won.

I think I heard that the gay rights movement has advocated for equality for 40 years.  Think about that for a moment.  40 years is a very long time.  Think about what it was like for gays 40 years ago. They were treated like scum, beaten, bullied and tortured and they faced incredible hardship just trying to live their daily lives.

Does that sound familiar?  Is this the way sex offenders and their families are being treated today? Will it take 40 years for the sex offender laws to finally be changed?  I sure the hell hope not, but if we can use the gay rights movement as an example, the reform sex offender laws movement will likely take a very long time.

It may seem hopeless.  Just like the gay rights movement seemed hopeless for the last 40 years.  But, perseverance pays off.  If we never give up, if we keep trying, eventually things will get turned around.

Certainly it seems possible now, and my heart is still with you, and always will be.

I still feel bad that I had to hand over the reins to someone else, but I never really felt like "leader material" anyway, and as I said in previous posts, the stress of my advocacy work had become overwhelming for me and my family.  I just needed a breather.

I also needed to find a way to get ahead on my family financial situation, which had become pretty dire when I last posted here.  I was very worried about my husband's truck and how we would get a new vehicle when it finally died.

Then, a miracle happened.  Last December, a new client with a new job fell into my lap.  Just in time, too.  We finally started to recover financially, and promptly went out to purchase a new (used) vehicle for my hubby, and we have been slowly wading out of the depths of our debt ever since.  It's going to take time.  We have a lot of things that need fixing around the house, too, things that have been neglected for far too long.  But, at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and seeing that there is one is important.

Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel gives hope.  Somewhere along the line, the LGBT movement began to see lights at the end of their tunnels and now look at the results of all their vision.  I have hope that one day, we'll see lights at the end of the tunnel and see changes made to sex offender laws, something I still hope for and always will.

The RSOL conference is this weekend in Dallas, Texas.  I wish I was there.  I wish I could celebrate with everyone there.  I am sure many there are excited about today's win.  In some small way, a win for the LGBT community may eventually pave the way for a win for sex offenders and their families.

The important thing is never to give up, lose hope and never fail to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It's there, even if it is very faint and we have to squint to see it, it really is there.

I can see it.  Can you?


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's a Good Day

Hi all,

Quick update here.  The court order has been signed and filed.  Yesterday, my hubby's registry listing looked like this (without the areas I blurred to protect his privacy):

And today, it looks like this:

So, YAY!!!  Now I just gotta go through the process of getting his registry listings removed from those other, second rate sites that like to pretend they're legitimate sex offender registries.  I expected the process to be a tedious one, but I only found him on two.  So, I submitted my request to have him removed from one, and the other requires a lawyer to do it, so I gave that task to our lawyer.  Still have to get the local LE to change out the Bad Men posters all over town, but we are getting there.

All's well here otherwise, life is basically normal.  I am buried with work (for which I'm grateful.) I have dental surgery coming up, Thanksgiving with my family and then another trip to Florida to visit my mother who has been very ill.

That about sums it up for now.  Best wishes to you all for a happy Holiday season.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Long Overdue Update... Clearer Skies Ahead

Hello all,

I come here today after more than a year of absence to give you an update on our family situation.  As you may or may not know, I had to step away from my advocacy work due to financial strains and stress to my health and my family.  My financial situation is better, but only marginally so at this point, and may not last as we just got word that my hubby's 14 year old truck is on it's last legs.  It seems there is some problem with that thing that resembles a metal plate of spaghetti under the hood that makes the truck GO and consumes that nasty smelling stuff we pay an ungodly amount of money every week to feed it with.  I know nothing of automobile engines and plan to keep it that way, but the repair that is needed is far more costly than what the truck is worth.  So, for now, we are limping along without a clue as to what to do when it finally expels it's last CO-2 emission and dies.  We wonder when that will be?  We cannot afford any car payments at this time, not even a small one.  We've cut back on all our bills, trimmed to the finest hair, corners cut until they're rounded, and yet we continue to struggle every day just to keep a roof over our head.

I know, it's not your problem, and I didn't mean to lay all that out on you.  Lord knows, if you're here reading this, then it is quite likely you are in the same pickle or at least in a similar one.  But, this post isn't meant to depress you, rather it's meant to give you hope.  Something we all need, right?

Some time ago, more than a year ago, I posted a video on YouTube where I was explaining to my young daughter how Arkansas was trying to pass a law to eliminate a sex offender's ability to petition for removal from the sex offender registry after 15 years.  (The video has since been removed from my channel).  Her reaction to learning that her daddy might never be able to get off the registry was heartbreaking.  Fortunately, the law did NOT pass, and we were free to pursue the petition.

Still, we had to wait until we scraped enough money together to hire a lawyer, and we finally did, in May of this year.  We filed the petition and a few weeks later were informed we had a court date on August 1.  Our lawyer set to work putting together a solid case for our success.  We gave her a list of five witnesses to testify on my hubby's behalf.  One: my BFF from NY, a university professor who suffered significant childhood sexual abuse. Two: a family friend who is a very successful business person who also works with the US Marshalls interviewing sex offenders during compliance checks.  Three:  My father in law, who is an ordained minister who happens to know his son very well.  Four:  My hubby himself.  Five:  Me.

My BFF flew in from NY the day before the hearing, God bless her for that!  Friday, August 1, 1:30 pm came and we all, dressed as nicely and professionally as possible, stepped into the court room.

Some 15 minutes later the judge entered.  At first I didn't even know he was the judge.  His hair was not combed, and he had a ruddy and tired looking complexion.  He sat at his bench, literally holding up his face with his hand the entire time.  Some of the time, he appeared to be sleeping.

Our lawyer did her thing, and did it well.  Everything was going well, really well,  Hubby was on the stand and she asked him several questions.  Then, the prosecuting attorney had just a few questions for him, and that was it.

The last witness was the family friend who works with the US Marshalls.  When both lawyers were through questioning him, to our great surprise, the judge had a question of his own.

It seems the judge was having trouble with something my husband had said when he was on the stand, and wanted someone else to clarify it for him.

The troubling statement my husband had made was in response to the question, according to the court transcript:

"As far as having your daughter's friends over to the house, has that been an issue?"

To which he had responded, "I usually leave.  It's not court mandated or anything, that's my decision.  I don't want to put myself in that position."

Frankly, I can admit, when my hubby said that, I literally winced inside.  As an advocate, I have had to learn the hard way that when speaking, one needs to be absolutely clear about what they mean.  I knew what he meant.  Our lawyer knew what he meant.  Even the prosecuting attorney knew what he had meant.  But, I knew that statement could be taken the wrong way.

Still, when the judge asked our final witness about my hubby's statement, he very eloquently explained that he completely understood that my hubby needed to protect himself from a false allegation.

The judge seemed satisfied with the witness's answer and the hearing proceeded.

Our lawyer made her closing statements, citing other offenders with more severe crimes who had been successfully removed from the registry, and then it was time for the judge to decide.

I was sure we had this in the bag.

Only, we didn't.

Apparently, the judge was still not satisfied with my hubby's statement and the explanation provided by the final witness.  He said he took the statement to mean that my hubby "still has urges and needs to remove himself to avoid re-offending".  Why he didn't just ask my husband to clarify what he meant while he was still on the stand is completely mind-boggling to me, although not surprising.  Why should the judge do any sex offender any favors at all?  It was pretty apparent that the judge despised my husband and anyone like him.

Thankfully, the judge did NOT rule against us, however.  He asked for a new assessment that he could use to render his decision.

We left the court room with the wind knocked out of our sails, but at least it wasn't over.

In the weeks that followed, we learned that a new assessment would not necessarily provide the judge with the answers he sought.  All an assessment is for is to determine an offender's level classification.  It would not have been very useful to us as a means to determine his likelihood to re-offend, really.

Our lawyer was able to get the case re-opened and to bring my hubby back on the stand and to bring in another witness with the ACIC (Arkansas Crime Information Center) who could give their opinion on the statement in question.

Yesterday was our second court hearing, before the same judge in the same court room.

This time the judge was on time, his hair was combed and he appeared alert.

Our lawyer put my hubby back on the stand.  She asked him, "Do you leave the house when your daughter has friends over because you are afraid you will re-offend?"

He replied, "No."

She asked him why he leaves the house.

He replied, "I leave the house because I want to avoid any false accusations."

The prosecuting attorney asked him why he was worried about false accusations.  He responded that, "it happens every day."

Then our lawyer asked him if he had ever been falsely accused.  He responded that he has not.

The witness with the ACIC was put on the stand next and was asked for her professional opinion about the original statement.  She explained that either way, whether he leaves because he is avoiding accusations or because he is avoiding re-offending, she perceives that to be a positive thing.  She felt that if an offender removes himself from tempting situations, then it shows that the offender is attempting to remain offense-free and that is, according to her, a good thing.

Then, the closing statements were made, and again our lawyer cited the same cases she originally cited at the first hearing, and read over the law that states if the offender shows proof by a preponderance of evidence that he has not sexually offended in 15 years and is not a threat to society, that the court shall grant the petition for removal from the registry and all obligations to register as a sex offender.

The prosecuting attorney made his statement, citing only that my hubby's assessment from 2007 is an old assessment and indicated he felt a new assessment should still be made.

The judge then proceeded to express his opinions about this law, saying it was bad law, that offenders should pay the consequences for their actions, blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda.

Yeah, like the last 18 years has been a cake walk for my husband.  Believe you me, he will never touch another underage person, and wouldn't with a 100 foot pole. No way in aych-ee-double-hockey-sticks would he ever, ever do that again.

In the end, the judge very reluctantly granted the petition because he had no other choice but to do so.  He simply could not find a valid reason to deny the petition.

So, within a few weeks, after all the red tape, i's dotted and t's crossed, my husband will get his registry listing removed and he will not need to report to the sheriff's department on January 1, or ever again.  He will be free to live his life.  He will be free to travel--even to Florida--where every registered offender who steps foot in the state MUST register to be on the Florida state registry forever, which will be great because he has never met most of my family members who live there.  We will be free to move anywhere we want, should we ever decide to move.  Getting a new job will still be difficult since so many potential employers run background checks and he will still have a criminal record.  But, many things will change for the better.

The best thing?  Not having to live in fear any more that our daughter will ever be bullied for having her daddy's photo up at the local community center or in her schools.  We've been very, very fortunate.  She is in the 7th grade, and so far so good, and now, just as she begins to enter high school next year, she will not have to worry about this one thing and can just be a normal teenager with normal problems in a normal life.  This is the biggest relief of all.  After all, she is the reason we did this.  She is the reason I became an advocate.  Everything I've done, all of it, writing the book and everything, everything was for her.  Not for him.  Not for me.  Not for anyone but her.

Now that the dark cloud of the registry looming over us for the last 18 years is finally beginning to break away, clear blue skies can finally be seen.  I feel like the Lorax returning to his once beautiful land now made beautiful again.

It feels wonderful.

So, here's my message to you:  Don't give up, don't lose hope.  If we can reach our goal, so can you.  It won't be easy, and it might take a very long time, but you must remain vigilant and keep moving forward.  I hope pray that things get better for each and every one of you living under the dark cloud as we have for so long.  Just.... keep the faith.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013


 adjective \prə-ˈmis-kyə-wəs\
: having or involving many sexual partners

I think I've talked about this before, but alas, such a topic warrants yet another look.

With the recent freebie of my book on Kindle, I should have known to expect a few new reviews of the book on Amazon, and of course, Amazon readers do not fail to come through.  I hadn't even noticed the new reviews until a friend of mine emailed me alerting me to one in particular, saying, "Regular folks -- rather than those affected by RSO laws -- found a [FREE] book they could sink their teeth into and rip apart."

Of course, I just had to go and take a looksee for myself.  Sure enough, there is just one negative review and then somone else commented on that review.  I can't say as I'm surprised all that much that these two individuals are hung up on the fact that I say that my hubby's young victim was "promiscuous."  The reviewer by the name The Book Lover "Lou" says, "How can you dare call a 14 year-old girl promiscuous? If men weren't doing things to her, she couldn't be promiscuous."

(Click here to read the review.)

Seriously?  NO fourteen (or fifteen) year old girl would ever be interested in sex and want to have it?  The reader goes on to say that I "can't see the forest" because I was molested by a family member at a young age myself and therefore Lou seems to think I am incapable of making a smart choice for a husband some twenty-five years later.  As if I was molested one week and married to my hubby the next; that the span of 25 years of life experiences did not teach me anything at all about sex and healthy relationships.

Sounds like Dr. Drew all over again.

According to any one of the statistics out there that you can find on the net, anywhere from 20% to 38% of 14 and 15 year old girls are sexually active.  Does "sexually active" equate "promiscuity"?  If the number of partners is greater than two, I would say yes.  Cass Lisane, the commenter who responded to Lou's review accuses me of "slut-shaming" the victim.  Let's be clear:  I said she was promiscuous, I didn't call her a slut.  Just to be sure, I just ran a Search of the word "slut" in my 256 page PDF of the book, and, nope! "Slut" could not be found.

I am sorry if they disagree, but I do not think that "promiscious" and "slut" mean the same thing.  To me, "slut" is derogatory, whereas "promiscuous" is simply a description of a type of sexual behavior.

Anyway, back to the girl.  Here are the facts:

  • Raised and lived in an extremely remote Hippie community where attitudes about sex were open and free. (Information provided by community members.)
  • Nudity among community members were common place. (Information provided by community members.)
  • Was seen walking with friends down a dirt road and through the woods topless on a few different occasions, as young as 12 years old. (Information provided by community members.)
  • Sexually active beginning about 12 years of age. (Information provided by community members.)
  • Had multiple partners (more than 2) by the time the incident with my husband took place. (Information provided by community members.)
  • Says she has NEVER been sexually abused in any way by anyone including my husband. (Information provided to me by victim herself.)
  • Was sexually involved with another man, 24 years old, at the time of the incident. (Information provided to me by community members and confirmed by victim herself.)
  • Was attracted to and had a crush on my husband for a period of time prior to and during the incident. (Information provided to me by victim herself.)
  • Initiated sexual contact with my husband. (Information provided to me by both the victim and my husband.)

You decide if she was promiscuous or not.  Even if you believe she wasn't, you cannot deny she was sexually active.

Now, regarding my dear hubby.  Here are the facts:

  • Was 34 years old at the time of the incident.
  • Was not involved with anyone at the time of the incident, had been celebate for nearly two years.
  • Was not aware of the girl's age, nor did he care to know.
  • Was left alone with the girl by her friends, brother and her parents.
  • Was in a state of depression.
  • Knew better, but did it anyway.
  • Was drunk.
  • Was stupid.

Both Lou and Cass Lisane felt that such facts were no excuse for what he did.  On that note, I agree completely.  At no time throughout the book do I attempt to excuse his actions, I am merely stating the facts as I knew them to be.  Stating the facts does not equate excusal; just merely explains how the incident could have taken place.  If any one of those factors had not been present, the incident might not have happened.

Lou stated, "I don't truly think you can objectively see what your book sounds like."

When I wrote the book, I definitely worried about that and that was why I chose two different editors with different backgrounds than me to edit the book.  One of the editors had suffered tremendous and extreme child sexual and emotional abuse and the other had never been touched by any form of child sexual abuse whatsoever and grew up in a healthy normal environment.  I felt, with their views based on their own experiences, they could help me keep the book balanced and focused.  Believe me, the book underwent some serious editing at the hands of these two remarkable women.  The book would not get published until it met their approval and they were comfortable with the final version.  I didn't just willy-nilly write the book and send in the manuscript unedited without any serious thought.  I knew that the book might strike a nerve or two here and there, and wanted to be sensitive to that end.  I still believe I accomplished that goal and my editors still back me up.

A few little facts about me:

  • I was exposed to sexual topics at a very young age by both my parents.
  • I was taught that sex was a good thing and was not dirty.
  • I *was* a victim to child sexual abuse, I am NOT a victim now.
  • I could have ended the abuse at any time but since I liked the attention, I chose not to, for two years.
  • I received two years of counseling after I finally ended the abuse.
  • I was a sexually active promiscuous teenage girl beginning when I was 15, (after the abuse ended.)
  • I was horny and I liked older boys and men.  One of the men I sought out was 25 years older than me.
  • I do not consider myself to be a victim of any form of sexual abuse by anyone else beside the family member who abused me.
  • I went 25 years between the abuse and meeting my current husband, living a very normal American life.  As a teen, I never got involved with drugs, (just smoked pot a few times.)  I graduated high school.  I graduated art school.  I got married to a very normal college-educated man and we shared a very normal sexual lifestyle.  No weird stuff.  We had two daughters together.  We worked hard.  We bought houses and cars and lived the American Dream.  Then, finally, at 39, my life simply changed.

A few more little facts:

  • My hubby was not a "Registered Sex Offender" when I met him.  At the time of his conviction, he was only asked to sign a paper at the court house.  There was no annual or semi-annual registration of any sort required, and therefore when I began a relationship with him, I was not worried about that stuff.
  • After we married, and after our daughter was born, the laws changed and he was then made to register every six months.  Still not a big deal.
  • Eleven years after the incident, when our daughter was five years old, the state raised his classification to a Level 2 and online and community notification was required.  This is when our hell begain.

People often say to me, "How could you marry a sex offender?" or "How could you have children with him?"

These things were NOT an issue at the time of our marriage or at the time of our child's birth.  I ask them in response, "What would you have me do?  Get a divorce and wish my daughter didn't exist?"

So, in closing, to Lou and Cass Lisane, I would like to say to them to walk a mile in my shoes and their eyes may then be opened.  I think I see the forest just fine, thank you, and I think maybe they could learn a thing or two if only they looked.  As for promiscuous teenage girls, they do exist, yet it is clear to me that neither Lou or Cass has ever been one.  You know what they say, "It takes one to know one", and well, I believe I definitely and completely qualify as one who knows one.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Finally Number One at Something

Hi all,

Just a quick reminder here to run right over to Amazon and download your FREE copy of my book, Consensual Consequences, on Kindle.  I believe today is the last day you will be able to download the book FREE!


It's been a typically busy week for me as work has picked up for me (yay!) but the down side is I have not been able to watch the ranking of the book this week like I wanted to. (boo hoo!) I have no idea how many copies of the book have been downloaded as my publisher has that info.  I will have to email them to ask.

Meanwhile, I think it's worthy to note that on September 12, the Kindle version of the book ranked #825 as a result of the giveaway.  That is, by far, the best the book has ever done.  Since then, the ranking has dropped a wee bit and today, the ranking is at 1,074, which is still pretty good, even for a free book.

But, check out the ranking for:

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Professional & Technical > Law > Criminal Law > Criminal Procedure

It's Number 1!


I just had to take a screen shot in case the ranking dropped in the next minute or two.  :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

124 and Counting!

I just asked my publisher if anyone had downloaded any FREE copies of my book on Kindle and she responded with:

"Holy S...   124 already!!!"

Awesome!!!  That's 124 new people receiving an eye-opening education.  At least I hope!

Carry on, my friends!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Get a FREE Copy of My Book!

Hello all,

I have some exciting news tonight!  Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, September 10, 2013, my book, Consensual Consequences, will be available FREE on Kindle for five days!  (At least I hope!) I have been working with my publisher to set up this free offer for a while now...


Click here to get your FREE copy.

Also, coinciding with this exciting news is a new You Tube video of a complimentary reading of Chapter 1 of the book that I have just launched.  Chapter 1, "Melody" describes the events that took place just prior and leading up to how I came to meet my loving husband.  This video is almost a half-hour long, so I would recommend starting the video and once you see the cover image of my book, go right ahead and begin multi-tasking while listening to the reading.  Play some Candy Crush.  Eat some popcorn.  Do the dishes.  File your fingernails.  Pick the lint out of your belly button... whatever it is you want to do to occupy your hands while your ears do the job of filling your noggin up with the narrative of the story that begins my life with my beloved man with a horrible label.

To see the video, click here.

The video is nothing fancy, and is narrated by me, which was especially challenging as I've had a cold, but nevertheless, I feel pretty good about how it all came out, considering as I've already stated, I am technologically challenged.

Maybe you will find it interesting enough that you will want more.  If you have a Kindle or a Nook or even just a Kindle app on whatever device you do have, you can skip right on over to Amazon and download your FREE copy tomorrow.

Happy reading!

Oh, and please tell all your friends to download their free copy as well.  :)