Derek - 18 Years Old, In Prison for 40 Years for Sex with a 14 year old girl.
Derek’s StoryWhen Derek was 18, he had just moved out and was living on his own.A friend had turned him on to selling books on the internet.He was making a pretty good living.He was chatting on the internet with a 13 year old girl and I am sure it was not his first time. Anyway, the 13 year old that he was chatting with turned out to be a 45 year old undercover cop.They agreed to meet in a town about an hour away from where he lived. When he got to the meeting place and got out of the car, that is when he was swarmed and arrested. They took him to the police station, got his statement, had him booked, and them a search warrant was issued for his apartment.He was arrested and stayed in jail for 3 days. He called and told me that he had been arrested for aggravated sexual assault of a child and his bond was set at $25,000.This was in July.We being ignorant of the laws did not think that they could make this charge stick, so we really didn’t put much effort into it. He got a cheap lawyer and we finally went to trial in February. we were in for a shock.The D.A. from Garland portrayed him as a monster. It was horrible. She wanted to give him 10 years in prison. They gave him 5 years deferred adjudication. I thought this was kind of harsh since there was no real girl involved in the first place, but we could live with that decision. What I didn’t realize was that he had to register as a sex offender for 15 years. That was when the nightmare began…I wish I could say that he was a model citizen and that he did everything that he was supposed to do, but that wouldn’t be the truth.He couldn’t get a job, had no money since he was not allowed on the internet anymore. 2 years later, he was at a party where he probably shouldn’t have been, but he still can’t grasp the seriousness of his crime.Anyway, there was a 14 year old girl there who came to have a good time. She has sex with three guys that night, one which was my son. This was on a Friday night. Nothing more was said and on Sunday, at church, she was bragging to her girlfriend that she got laid by three different guys.Her girlfriend told her mom, who in turn told the girl’s mom, who coincidentally worked at the police station.The mother went to the police station and filed a report. They arrested Derek, and since he was on probation, he was denied bond.I was going to let him just stick with a public defender because I thought he had to learn a lesson. The P.D. said that the D.A. wanted to give him 40 years. When I heard this, I knew that we had to get a better lawyer.I hired one that I thought would get him a better deal. Now here is the tricky part…my son kept saying that he was innocent. I don’t know why he wouldn’t tell his lawyer the truth, maybe he was scared, maybe he thought that I wouldn’t help him if I knew that he really did do it, I don’t really know.Anyway, after 9 months we went to court. Our lawyers told us that if we took it to court, he would lose. Derek could get life. We both were scared.I know that a lot of people say that they would take that chance, but we couldn’t do it. I really regret it now.Maybe a jury wouldn’t have been so hard, but like they say, hindsight is 20/20.The courts gave Derek 40 years in prison. Then, for the rest of his life he will be on the Sex Offender Registry.I’m not saying that he shouldn’t have been punished.We all know that we have rules that we have to abide by everyday, but I think that 40 years is way too harsh. My son is a good kid, not some kind of monster that they portray him to be. I couldn’t ask for a better son, he is an all around good kid.