I got a call from my son in the fall of 2019. He said he had something important to tell me and wanted to meet me at a private location. He sounded worried. I felt a sense of urgency in his voice. I had no idea what he was going to tell me. He shared he was under investigation for being with an underage girl. This girl had been with my son for almost a year. We thought she was 18 and a senior in high school. She was 14. My family was surprised as she did not look underage. I even interacted with her and congratulated her for graduating high school. I met her mother who drove her daughter and my son together.
The police raided his apartment and had a warrant for his arrest. We hired an attorney who seemed like he knew what he was doing. His attorney managed to put him on no bail bond. At the first hearing, she and her father showed up. She admitted to lying about her age to enter an adult dating website.
We went to the Court of Common Pleas hearing. I heard the district attorney reporting to the judge that he “found her” on snap chat. My son’s attorney did not dispute this. He convinced my son to take a plea deal to avoid incarceration for ten years. My son agreed to the charges of Child Pornography, Statutory Rape, and Indecent Assault-Without Consent of Other.
The sentencing date arrived, and we were all nervous. The girl and her father were present. My son’s attorney tried to defend him by presenting that my son was with her for love and that he was only 18 when this happened. I was given a chance to say something. I begged the judge not to incarcerate my son. He had a good job and an apartment. Incarceration would make it almost impossible for him to get another job. The judge incarcerated him citing, “he was a man and she was a little girl”. However, they were both teenagers. Not only that, but the judge also placed him on an internet restriction, stating that he used the internet to look for this “little girl” when she admitted that she was on an adult dating website.
The final nail in the coffin: on the impact statement, the girl stated that my son placed her nude pictures on a website, which wasn’t true. My son and I were perplexed by this accusation as it wasn’t argued during the court hearing, only on the impact statement. My son said he never did that.
His life was in danger as he was in a supermax-level facility along with those accused of committing heinous crimes. My son never got into trouble with the law until this happened to him. I got notifications from my son that gang members were asking what he was in for. They came by his cell one by one, all seven of them. He said a correctional officer told the gang members he was in for being a “sex offender.” He asked for protective custody, but they instead moved him to another pod to the maximum level.
The stress that this ordeal put me through is unbearable. I would have a nervous breakdown if it were not for my faith. My son went from having a promising career at work and having an apartment to being a “sex offender” by deception. – by M.S., Mother of a PFR by Deception
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