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

Phil L

Phil L
Phil L

I am 35. At 23 I took a plea deal and was given a suspended sentence, spent 1.5 years in jail and then began probation. The first hurdle was making sure my son could live with me as his mother had issues of her own to deal with, and could not keep him. I successfully completed the ISP probation, and began regular probation in May of 2008. In November of 2009 this was revoked due to substance abuse.

After my revocation sentence expired, I moved back in with my parents, and began again. I went back to cooking, but saw that my past mistakes had a lot to do with the lifestyle of cooking, so I made a career switch in 2013.

My mother had worked as a hostess at a steakhouse, and they needed a maintenance person so I applied. This helped me build on my existing carpentry knowledge. I worked at the steakhouse until 2015. Doing this helped me build the confidence I needed to run a construction job. I met a local businessman and was hired to renovate an old theater. The theater was built in the late 1920s and had tested positive for asbestos materials. My employer sent me for asbestos training. With that training I was able to build our company into a demolition focused endeavor.

My now wife was chef at the steakhouse at the time I began working there. She thought I was stupid. But in 2014 we married and bought a small house together for herself, my son, and her daughter. In 2015 we brought her mother home, and cared for her till her death. After her mother passed, we purchased an old RV from a neighbor, and had a rather fun adventure. My son is active in our church youth group, and has interest in engineering. The daughter would visit for the summer. She likes to go “mudding,” rides horses, and hangs out with her friends.

In 2017 we discovered that Arizona, where her daughter resides, requires that you inform if a sex offender may have access to the child. The man who believes he is the father sued her, and she was forced to move back to Arizona. My wife’s lawyer has reviewed the requirement, and I have read AZ statute 25-403.05 and it violates peoples 5th amendment rights plain and simple.

As someone who was homeschooled, I naively believed that the investigators, judges, and court system uphold the Constitution of the US, and are there to make sure that the laws of the state are in alignment with the US constitution, and that truth and justice are their guiding principle. This belief has since been trashed.

My proudest accomplishment is my marriage to the love of my life. Despite our current ordeal, we are still together.

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  1. Your life sounded basically normal thru most of the story and sadly I knew it had to take a turn for the worse. They don’t want us to enjoy our lifes after the registyry. Here in Oklahoma you can live in a non green zone as long as its in a tent but if your trying to make a life for your self , banishment.

  2. Deb,
    Before you move into a community you need to check with the city to see if they have registry restrictions. Some smaller towns don’t have the restrictions and will make life a lot easier for both of you or buy/rent a home in the country or just outside of city limits. Get a map of the city that will outline the city limits. Every city and state has different rules plus your son will have rules being on parole and they also have to approve of the location and the living conditions before they will let him even move in with you. It will be difficult starting over in a different state with no family or friends. I’ve lost friends due to my sons charges but have gained better friends who are understanding. Keep your faith in our Lord. There are resources and support groups online. To bad there isn’t a way for us to keep in touch as I’ve been down this road. God Bless

  3. Please help!!!!
    I am trying to sell my house and buy another in a state that my son will have probation with the tier system. He is a level one at low risk. I am frustrated at looking online because there is not much help for sex offender and their families. My son also has a 4 year old son that I have taken temporary custody of. Trying to move without my son (whom is still incarcerated) for another 1 1/2 years is daunting. There is not even support groups for families of sex offenders in my area, Alabama.

    1. I know this post is 3 years old and may never be read but I’ll try anyway. I’m registered in Des Moines, Iowa. From things I hear of southern states and even some Midwestern states, Iowa…. for a register individual isn’t nowhere near those horror stories you hear. Here in Des Moines, those that you report to for your (although disgraceful and horror illegal) annual or any changes, actually treat you in a professional, and I dare to say… a human. When they do their surprise house checks, they only do them once a year as well as show up in a unidentified vehicle and wearing regular clothes. I’ve recently moved here from another bigger Iowa city (big for Iowa) . Just food for thought if it’s still needed or even ever read by anyone.

  4. I read in the story here the exact same description of life that is in the ‘Timothy’ story: RV adventure, bought house, dying mother in law, visiting daughter who goes mudding and rides horses. .
    What is up with that? Kinda has me questioning the credibility of this platform.

    1. Thank you Observer. What you are referring to was a mistake where someone accidentally posted the wrong story under a name. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. We have corrected the mistake.

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