There Are Nearly 1 Million Americans on a Sex Offense Registry. These Are Their Stories.

Arnaldo V

Arnaldo V
Arnaldo V

I have been on the registry since 1996. My lawyer recommended a plea at that time, even though my wife and three daughters testified to my claim that my offense never happened.

I am a computer tech and network tech and own my own business. I had many clients that I would maintain their networks on a regular basis. From the time of my initial charge until this year, I had built a decent business, enough to provide for my family and buy a home. The registry forced me to move to a rural country town, where I have a lot of acreage away from everything. I was happy to have a loving family, and kids, and parents that supported me.

I made a decent living, and I have awards from the local VA for contributions of computers to vets, an award for contributions to a local youth ranch, and even an award from “Locks of Love” for contributing my hair for kids with cancer.

My life was going forward; even with the setbacks of being on the registry, I was not giving up. I was a US Marine, and “give up” was not in my vocabulary!

About 3 years ago, Florida decided to put the words “Sexual Predator” on my driver’s license. This hindered me from doing work for larger businesses that I had done before, and I was also not allowed at some of the local auction houses, and NONE of the government ones! Well, guess I have to make do with smaller venues for my business.

About 4 1/2 years ago my wife passed away. It was hard and thank God my girls were all grown and had lives of their own, except my youngest (25) who still lived with me. A few years ago, I was ready to date; I didn’t want to be alone anymore. Well, being truthful as I am, I never hid anything from the people I dated. I would tell them after the 4th or 5th date. Needless to say that fact did not go over well.

I was about to come to the conclusion it was going to be me by myself. And lo and behold, God put a wonderful woman in my path! We have been together since then and got married. There was a bit of a hiccup at first, because her daughter was 17 at the time, so she stayed with her mother till she turned 18 and then moved in with us to go to college.

It was all going well. A few people that had seen me on the RSO site commented, and even made rude gestures. My kids while going to and from school on the bus were made fun of and asked rude questions, but we all grinned and bore it. Even with the hardships we were relatively okay.

Then the state arrested me for failure to register a monthly contract, saying that it was an employer and I should have reported it. I am back on probation for 4 years now for a registration violation. This has cost me many clients. I am trying to keep a bright outlook, knowing that organizations like NARSOL, FAC, and ACLU are fighting for us. It isn’t easy considering that according to my plea bargain, I should already have been off the registry after 10 years with no problems.

Still I keep on “trucking” and I will not let it beat me. I am a human being, and I don’t deserve to be treated any less.

I have moved my parents in a house next door to me to care for them as well as my step daughter’s biological dad who has cancer.

I am doing and living my life as a good Christian. I am keeping the faith, both in my religion, and in people like NARSOL, FAC, and the ACLU, and the great USA that I served. I hope we all will finally see an end to all the lies, and hate, and such.

God Bless you all.

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  1. These are all to familiar stories, I along with 70 other men listening to a shock jock went to the website for a stripper on the radio. We all just had to see what she looked like as a girl on the radio show. Once the website was entered we were all hacked to some Russian site of pornography. What more can be said, yes in Florida no one is believable. No attorney provided by the feds will spend an hour defending you. Florida in my opinion is a huge part of the problem.

  2. The general public for the most part think offenders that violently hurt the victim are the offenders they get put on the list (not no contact offenders). The public should know that talking alone to a under-age person without knowledge can put you on the offender list forever.The salutatory rape (teenagers that are a few years apart) can get a young person identified as a sex offender for life. That is another topic the public will agree that is wrong. I think there should be commercials that inform the public of this fact and how police departments have not used this law as it was intended. This law should have federal guide lines or prodigal
    just like going to federal prison it is the same for every state. I do not know why states get a free pass to do what they want with this law. Even a person in favor of this do not want it used as a umbrella law for every and any sexual crime.

  3. Good job staying level-headed. I have a great deal of respect for anyone who would put their best efforts to weather this kind of storm. Some of you out there really have it bad so there’s twice the respect given there.

    I’ve been helping my brother who was falsely acccused. It’s so easy it can happen to anyone really. Given the right time of year (before some new legislation or an election) your case is stacked against you right from the start. I learned a lot and every bit of it hurt. Because I saw how we’ve let it get this far. And how much worse it can get if no one calls it out.

    Fight the good fight in the best way you can. No cause is ever so hopeless that you can’t make progress in some way or another. Take your victories as they come, big and small.

  4. I’m in Tennessee and everything I have to do seems connected to a for-profit business. Whether it’s JPay to pay my fees. The company with the contract to monitor the states GPS monitors or the treatment providers. Therein I think lies the answer to many of the problems we face it has become for-profit

  5. Hi Sam. Your brother is lucky to have you on his side. Be sure to join NARSOL if you haven’t already. We’re one of only a handful of organizations fighting for rights for persons convicted of sexual offenses. Our affiliate FAIR is active in Maryland, small but at least preventing things from getting worse. I would be surprised if there is any law preventing your brother from moving to CA just because of his offense. While he is supervised, though, it will be hard to get permission to move out of his state because often supervised people with sexual offenses are heavily restricted when moving. I know it is small comfort, but I hope for the best for your brother and you!

  6. My name is Sam. My brother is a con cited offender but for the last year since he was released has dealt with everything you mentioned and is now sitting in jail accused of the same charges again. Though even his spouse has told the investigators that it was a man she was seeing who is guilty of fabricating the evidence which is circumstantial. With his previous charge I’ve learned that all someone has to say is he did it and bam they pick you up. I should mention the accuser is serving five years for assaulting my brother and spouse. Coincidentally the anonymous tip happened shortly after my brother reported the assault.this is not why I’m writing. For the last year I have been his only source of income until by the grace of God he found a warehouse position. Mind you before the registry my brother was computer programmer who acceled in college. He is an extremely intelligent man bit he too was damaged by his childhood no excuses. For the last year my brother has endured unemployment assaults and slandering. And here I thought that when you finished serving your time you could more forward for your life. I live in California and my brother is in Maryland. How do I help him go forward with his life when the dust settles but the world continues to kick it in his face. As his older brother I feel helpless. And because of rso they wont let him move to CA with me. It feels as if this system of law wants to see him punished indefinitely. Can someone please tell me how to help him or what organization can help protect his rights as he tries to move forward in the future

  7. Our dreams seem virtually identical, yet you are well ahead of me on achieving them. I very sincerely hope you’re able to move forward, with no more bumps in the road. Hang in there and keep working toward the dream!

  8. Thanks to all on here commenting about the registry. I agree that registry is a joke. It doesnt work at all because for the fact is that the people who offends are first timers. The ones who reoffend are the ones that gives up on everything because they have nothing to loose. I’ve been fighting in Pennsylvania Registery since 2012. I’ve spent thousands of dollars to get off the registry and I will continue to fight. The States in America uses us as a hate crime and along with Federal Funds to support their state. Basically we are money to the States without an end in site. In Pennsylvania I went from 10 years to Lifetime Teir 3, then to a Teir 2 and finally back to 10 years. Right now there is an very important case in Pennsylvania that is courts that might be available to all. ALL REGISTERY IS, IS A HATE CRIME…

    1. My son just got charged for a lie. Was told to take plea deal & was kidnapped because of the lie. Terrible like other readers state why convicted murders, etc are not labeled too easy to be lied on & pay the cost but actually doing it oh well you might get a slap on the wrist & set free!

  9. What is so illogical to me is, you shoot a person or kill someone,the law might give you 25 to life, but since prison is so overpopulated, you might do 20 years and get off for good behavior…. But if you make a mistake like all of us reading this have, its a LIFE sentence, and you are made fun of and disrespected

  10. I am so sorry this is happening to you. My husband is getting out in April of this year. You know one thing this has taught me, we know what real love for a person truly is. I would never leave my husband, I know I love him for who he is, a really good man. There aren’t many left.

  11. What state do you live in that is good for Sex offenders to live. I am looking for my son and family before he gets out from the 20 months they gave him. He is level 1, low risk.

    1. Not knowing your options for moving, we have a son living in Oregon which is much better than his home state of Missouri. Our biggest challenge was getting housing and it was just by pure luck I found a property management group that would worked with us. Our son is first time offender and was ranked tier 1 low risk. He had no verbal or physical contact with anyone but did accidentally receive child porn when downloading movies. Just the same if he wanted to come home to Missouri. The state would change his status to a tier 3 and he would have to register for life. In Oregon, five years after his probation he can petition the court to be removed from the list. I haven’t spoken with anyone in Oregon if there is problems getting off the list even after you complied with the court demands. We a caustiosly optimistic. I feel your pain and wish all the best.

  12. My son is also on the registry in Idaho for an accusation of possession of child porn. His attorney also recommended a plea when his case was, I believe, defensable. I agree that the registry is wrong and the system is set up to cause people to fail. Luckily my son only served 90 days in a work release jail program. He worked long and hard to get his engineering degree and I only hope he will be able to use it for gainful employment sometime soon. The registry must be abolished. Nobody should have such ridiculous restrictions put on their lives after they have paid the price for whatever they did. I am inspired to hear of your successes Arnoldo.

  13. I am in a state that leaves me alone and have been blessed to have no issues. Self employed – great clients (some know) and married 26 years.

    Facebooked banned me after 4 years out of the blue. Was it because I passed the PSA Pre-check that same week or did someone (neighbor) alert them? Who cares about Facebook.

    I would be happy to be a sounding board to those in need.

    Go live your best life.


  14. I took a plea for something I did not do because it was 50/50 but I could of been doing 15 -30 years. I took my freedom but my freedom is like I’m on probation for 15 more years. I can’t get a decent job and I’m qualified for many things. I’m at my wits end I’m ready to just go on the road as a trucker.

    1. My son did the same thing because the lawyer told him it was the best he can get because the DA will not bulge. The lawyer stated he can go to jury trial & prove she lied all day but it is up to the jury if they give you a chance or not & the jury will be prejudice because of race you will have a 50/50 chance of not going to prison or up to 15 years in prison. He is only 24 & as other stated female lied because she said, she wanted to get him trouble so she lied & now the witness & plaintiff are walking around stating they lied & laughing about it. The lie pertain to his kidnapping as well was put out in rural area cold winter night no clothes & shoes & the sheriffs said, they found tape w/his hair in it. This is harassment & discrimination against him because of a simple lie. Why is is so easy for someone to lie & get away with it while someone else suffers for it. Terrible situation for all!

  15. Thank you all for your heart felt comments. It is true it is hard, but I will NOT let this state run me off!
    I will ONLY do what the law requires, and Not a thing more! I am extremely tired of the “bulling” of us all!!
    I am praying that on June when I go before the judge to get early termination (since I will have done 1/2 my term) that he/she grants it. I am so tired of not being able to leave the county, for work or otherwise(like a bday party my friend had) its ridiculous. Only good thing so far is my PO is getting a bit nicer since I guess she has seen I am not a PIA and I always do what she asks. Heck, even the cop at the sheriffs office I have seen since I moved here, told me I got screwed over, and if it was up to him, he would never have done that to me. he even suggested that I be better off in a less draconian state!
    All I want to do, is live a “normal” life, or as close to it as possible.
    Thank you all, and God Bless all of you, and NARSOL, FAC and ACLU .

    1. I will be praying for you brother, I am RSO but that doesn’t mean I can’t tell others about God, for 20 year’s I preached the word on street corners. My beloved brother may our Lord and savior keep you in the palm of his hand.

  16. I truly appreciate all of you who have endured this Sex Offender Registry law. It has really put people in jeopardy to be productive citizens again. Why do they have this unfair law in the first place? Has it made people feel safe? Has it diminished the crime rate? No, this crime along with many other crimes have been going on from the beginning of time and it will continue to go on until we all are six feet under including the lawmakers who make these ridiculous laws. It started with New Jersey “Megan Law” and like wildfire it spread to other states and four states have made these people lifetime offenders…so sad!!!

  17. Perhaps moving to another state, that does not have the same ridiculous types of rules. In most states there is no driver’s license S.O. banner, for example.

    I think your efforts are fantastic and encouraging to others. Persevere!

  18. Thank you for your story. I can’t say anything about the registry that hasn’t been said before. My son is on the registry and has pretty much lost everything. But stories like yours inspire and sometimes that can make a world of difference in someone’s life. You are obviously a good man who has served his country, family and community with pride and dignity. I also applaud the amazing women you have had in your life who never gave up on you. And like Jorge stated I am grateful for the groups he listed who keep fighting for those on the registry. Some day this witch hunt must end. I hope I live to see it happen.

  19. I admire the determination in you and being able to move on. Thank YOU for sharing your story. I too took the advise of my attorney and made a plea deal with the State of FL that ended up being on this registry. My crime was being online chatting with an undercover cop posing as a Dad. Never met him. Never traveled to meet and No kid porn on the computer. Lost everything from a dumbass mistake in life and now paying a heavy price for it. Sometimes, I wonder what’s the purpose of life is anymore if everything you try to do your slapped with the SO label and the registry that prevents from having a decent job. I try to move on with life daily but these stories do keep me going. We may be labelled and registered but at least I know that groups like NARSOL, FAC, and the ACLU are fighting to make a wrong into a right and fighting for our dignity. thank you !

  20. I feel the same way, And why does “The Government” need to know who “Visits or lives ” with me ?? I’ve had to give FDLE (Florida Dept of Law Enforcement) a list of over 30 VEHICLES !!!!. Because I own several, My Girlfriend owns several, And my Dad owns several and visits almost every weekend !!!. And according to “,The Law” I have to report EVERY VEHICLE I have access to !!!. This makes my Woman and Father SO DANG MAD!! They even want the info on JUNK Vehicles in my yard !!!. JUNK !!!!!. They don’t even run !!!!! There PARTS Vehicles for a Antique Vehicle I have !!¡!!. And when I was “In Business” EVERYTIME I had to leave the state because of a “Tow”, I owned a Wrecker Service, The Sheriff MADE ME come IN PERSON Before I could leave to report the address where I was delivering the Vehicle to !!! Then report in person when I returned !!!. They also tried making me report EVERYTIME I left the state for Personal reasons. But I DON’T !! I’m NOT REQUIRED to unless IM MOVING !! I’m (and everyone else is) allowed to travel ANYWHERE in the USA Without reporting it UNLESS you stay past the time that that state says you must report in !! BUT, As long as your “On The Move” and not staying at a address (like a hotel) over the required time, You can travel the ENTIRE COUNTRY and be 100% LEGAL !!! I travel in my RV all the time, And NEVER stay over a couple days in one spot !!!!. I’ve had encounters with several “Law Enforcement”, And told them what I was doing, And so far, I’ve not had ANY Issues !!. FYI, A RV is the way to travel !!. Theres no “Red Tape” to deal with !!. Anyway, I don’t think it’s right OR LEGAL for a EX Offender to have to “Report” his Contracted Employers !!, Technically, Your still “Working For Yourself” and it’s NONE OF ANYONE’S BUSINESS who hires you to do a job for them ¡!. OBOLISH the Registery NOW !¡

    1. In Texas, an RSO is required to notify the jurisdiction whenever they are leaving the area for more than 3 days. You also have to report when you are back. You have to leave an address where you will be staying while out of area. A year ago I was going from Texas to Oklahoma City for my father’s 93 birthday. When I notified my local police department, they contacted the OKC police to let them know that I would be coming. They told me that I was required to supply an address that met their super strict rules about where RSOs can stay. There were about three motels in all of the city open to us due to the residency restrictions, etc. And while their laws say I have 72 hours to report into them, they demanded that I stop at the police station before going anywhere else in OKC to provide my fingerprints,l photo, and vehicle info. They also demanded that I visit them on the way out of the city.
      They visited me every night at the motel to make certain I was staying there at night and even knocked on my father’s door at 11:00 at night to see if I was sleeping there! I decided not to stay any longer since they were targeting my elderly father and it was stressing him out. I was only gone for two days, not even breaching the 72-hour limits in either registration area! As far as “traveling the ENTIRE COUNTRY and be 100% legal”, I’m notcertain that is correct. I strongly suggest you do some more checking with your local jurisdiction officials or attorney to make sure you are not in violation of your state regulations and charged with failure to register because you didn’t report your absence from your local jurisdiction.

      1. My son is still serving his 20 months. I looked at Denton Texas for a place to move to. I heard Texas used the tier system, and Denton have good probation officers. Can you give me incite on Texas registry.

  21. A,
    Do you find it as odd as I do that our government claims they know who ,we want to fu$%?
    Total nonsense.

  22. What reason does the government have knowing who you have contracts with? If others do not need to register their contracts then you are being discriminated against and it is a clear violation of equal protections. This is just crazy. They are trying to produce failures and wards of the state.

  23. I’m all for abolishing the Registry. There are not many success stories. However when there are, it’s few and not without enduring much hardship.
    Did those that created and support the registry ever think twice about how that is going to affect ever minutia of their life, their families lives?
    There’s no other crime that has this archaic type of cruel punishment.
    Society has not evolved much since the witch trials in Salem. I congratulate you Arnaldo, for your determination to live a decent life. I wish you every success- thanks for sharing.

  24. I plead to a crime I was not morally guilty off but I guess legally in the state of Michigan I was… I mean how is someone guilty of statutory or underage sex if they are lied to by the other person about their age??? Girls always wanna go around acting older, pretending to be older. It isn’t right that they can lie and mislead and young men can pay what comes down to a life sentence…. I’m a good person but yet I am permanently scarred by a mistake I made in my youth that I didn’t even know was a mistake at the time…. it has completely ruined my life

    1. My son is serving time for the exact same situation. The girls get away without a slap on a wrist. His “victim” had fake ID saying she was of age and lied to him for months. It is truly a tragedy.

      1. This is so sad but also comforting to know I am not the only one in my situation. I was also basically forced to plead guilty to a crime I felt I was innocent of when a girl lied about her age. I was 19 and we even met at a night club on 18+ night. After pleading my 10 year registration turned to lifetime and my status to sexual predator which is ridiculous I would never knowingly hurt anyone. Just yesterday a job offer was retracted solely because my name is on the registration. I was 19 when this situation occurred I am now almost 44 and I am still being punished. I really hope we can find a way to come out of the shadows and fight against this injustice.

  25. Sorry for your situation. I also had an attorney who recommended a plea when the case would have been defensible.
    My aunt and my father in law are retired in Florida and I contacted a local Florida lawyer and he recommends noone on the registry ever visit Florida. They want a visitor to change the driver’s license and are very restrictive on where you can stay. You can be instate no more that 5 days. I will not be able to visit them again.
    Alaska is more welcoming. You do have to check in with the local authorities, but you can visit for 30 days. Guess where I will spend my tourist time, eh?
    Follow my attorney’s suggestion, folks, “Never visit Florida.”

    1. Wow! That’s awful. I grew up in Florida & my son who’s incarcerated for sex offense was born there. I’d never live there again. We live in NY State.

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