Monday, July 14, 2008

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.


lovestowearhats said...

....yet we let drunk drivers kill our children over and over again, drug dealers sell and kill our children over and over again. Kids having sex should NOT be a criminal offense that is made to register. NO ONE should be on a public registry. If completely ruins lives and, as proven, has people KILLED because of it. This young man should be at home, working a job (whatever he wants to do with his life) and NOT "given up" by Texas law. This has to change and SOON. Shame on the legislators making this ridiculous laws, shame.

Marty Lee said...

I believe Mary K. Letourneau originally got 6 months in jail as part of a suspended sentence. Only after she violated the conditions of her probation was she sentenced to seven and a half years.

Derek was the victim of of entrapment to begin with. For his "second" offense, 40 years is disproportional in the extreme.

To politicians and legislators, whether a law is good or bad is often immaterial -- just so long as it's popular. Texas in particular is infamous for its persecutory judges and legal system.

Derek's 40 years is another feather in these witch hunter's caps.

A slight perusal of the laws by which the measures of vindictive and coercive justice are established will discover so many disproportions between crimes and punishments, such capricious distinctions of guilt, and such confusion of remissness and severity as can scarcely be believed to have been produced by public wisdom, sincerely and calmly studious of public happiness.

Samuel Johnson

Marty Lee said...

I would like to second lovetowearhats observation.

There are many people who have committed murder, done their time, and are now out and about but not any public registry. Many more have committed multiple counts of assault, battery, armed robbery, forgery, theft. Many others have sold drugs to kids and, after doing their time, they're released back "on the streets, " into society without being put on a public registry. Odd, very odd..

So why the radical distinction between "pee pee crimes" and non-pee pee crimes?"

Except for the neuroses inherent in our reaction to these broken sexual taboos, we would treat them no differently than other offenses.

Marty Lee said...

I mistrust anyone in whom the desire to punish is strong. Prosecuting attorneys who place ten year olds and teenagers on a sex offender registry for trivial and antiquated statutory offenses are nothing short of malevolent. While many insist upon the incorrigible pathology of some sex offenders it should be noted that many of our sex laws are also rooted in pathology. The recent trend of prosecuting teenagers who cell phone explicit pictures of the themselves is a case in point. Prosecutors assume serious offenses where their are none except by some antiquated legal mind set. The law's net is cast too broadly in this witch hunt for sex offenders with politicians, the media, and sexual neurotics leading the way. The law is, as always, an ass.

In my own view, it is enough that the authorities know where offenders are. That's what we pay them for. Public registries cause undue public anxiety. They also cause certain obsessive individuals to be constantly perusing through them and foster vigilantism. In fact, that's what public registries are - vigilantism. There purpose being to brand people for life; to excommunicate and banish them within their own society. The punishment is often not proportional to the crime nor is it intended to be.

The media in particular exploits societal fears. The reporting of sex offenses is more sensational, histrionic reenactments are standard, and life long psychological damages and not just presumed, they are insisted upon.

On the other hand, I have known persons who've suffered sexual abuse. It does alter them but not indefinitely more so than many other tragedies which are common to our lives. Any categorical imperative that counts sexual offenses as exceptional when compared to other offenses against the body is cultural rather a matter of logic written in the stars.

Jim Lagnese said...

My question is, did he know this person, or supposed person was 13? If he did, he should have known better. Should he have gotten that sentence? No, I don't think so. I hope he gets a better lawyer for appeals.

caileach said...

I am so sorry for you both also when PARENTS are the ones who do the abuse the most and it is not necessarily sexual but physical to the point of death. The public just doesn't get it. I guess it is the old "sex sells" and "Joe Public" loves the voyeuristic ingredient here and the fear mongers love to grandstand their heroism, hiding behind projection and transference, all the while we all will suffer from their ignorance and yes the perversion of the Justice System.

TruthBrigade said...

Wow! I'm so sorry for what you've gone through.
This is absolutely ridiculous!
What happened to the famous celebrities that raped me? What happened to the man who raped and sodomized my daughter?
What happened to all the pedophiles on capital hill???
I'll tell you...NOTHING!!!!

They have a free pass to terrorize our citizens, including Derek to appease the sheeple and make them think they are actually doing something about the criminals.

Derek used poor judgment, or none at all, but most children do...he is not a criminal. The people prosecuting him are though.

Of course they will rot in hell and I would bet are rotting already!!! A life in the absence of light and love is a lonely existence.

I wish you all the best in your healing...Abundant Blessings and Love through this difficult time.

Lunarshape said...

Your son is being way overpunished for this!
Like the other commenters stated, how can America let out murderers and not require them to register when these young men and children commit non-violent crimes and are branded for life?
This new wave of Nazism in America needs to end!
Shame on these wicked judges and legislators! Your judgment days will come.
Blessings to you and Derek and all other victims of this political corruption.

Anonymous said...

Its good we have neo conservatives in office when Bush was president. Now we have Obama in office. Now it seems things are headed for the worst. You can just walk around like on egg shells. I cannot believe the America we once love and cherished is gone. Now the invisible government has taken over, That invisible government must be overthrown and banished from society. The state and country needs as Revolution to better serve the people of the State and Nation.

Now that we have nafta, and cafta, then we have TTC, Problems will eventually get worst as times goes on by We need to get the people who commit crimes.

I have an idea........

Lets get all people who engage in criminal activities including the law on the registry. I truly agree that a second tone will be sung. The nation will be bent backwards with nothing to hold it.

The conclusion, Study the Roman Empire and its fall. Are we walking the same steps of the Roman Empire, You bet.

Its all part of the conspiracy theory.

Now that Florence Shapiro passed the law on protecting kids, lets catch her kissing her grand kid and put her on the registry. Give her a taste of her own medicine. there is nothing wrong with kissing. It is a healthy way to show affection. I guess we the people should be kept to ourselves. We the nation will rot unless the people wake up and repeal the laws that has infringed upon our liberties.