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I am writing this to make you aware of the many lives being irreparably harmed here in Charlotte County, Florida.
All convicted "sex offenders" pictures, addresses, phone numbers, etc., are being published in the local newspaper, The Charlotte Sun Herald, beginning 11/7/99. This is to be repeated on a monthly basis.
This action has been taken and paid for by the Charlotte County Sheriffs Dept. and supported by the Florida Dept. of Corrections probation and parole Dept. Charlotte County Sheriff Worch has been key in bringing this all about, even publicly demanding that the local media's provide air and printed page free of charge.
There are some (80) registered 'Sex Offenders" living in Charlotte County, and (1) registered "sexual predator."
My case is not unusual; I was living in Florida for some time and had serious allegations of sexual abuse levied against me by my disgruntled ex-wife after my legal obligations for child abuse terminated. Although there was absolutely no corroborating evidence of any kind (physical or otherwise) The attorneys and experts assured me I would not receive a fair trial and basically indicated that "I was toast."
I pled out after losing my business and everything else we owned to legal expenses, (Read- Lawyer's fees) I pled under the Alford Plea to (2) lesser counts (one indecent liberties, one aggregated sexual battery) and was transferred under interstate compact to my home and family here in Fla. under fifteen years probation.
[Editor's note: An Alford plea is a plea where the Defendant can insist he is innocent, but nevertheless consent to take the deal offered by the prosecutor that involves pleading guilty. This procedure was approved by a 6 to 3 vote by the U.S. Supreme Court in North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25 (1970), and is legal in many states.]
My wife (of fifteen years) and my thirteen year old son lives are being devastated by the ensuing publicity. My son was "Student of the Year" last year at his school, is a straight "A" student and very active in the community and his Church here in Port Charlotte.
Where are the Child protection laws protecting him from this very real stigmatization?
I will probably be terminated at my work. Although my employer is well aware of my criminal conviction, I doubt if he will stand for the continued embarrassment my mugshot appearing in the local paper each month will bring his company, and this is understandable.
I am writing to ask you folks to please help in any way you can. Please help end this mad witch hunt. If this doesn't qualify as "cruel and unusual punishment" then what does? How can any offender, falsely accused or otherwise, re-assimilate successfully into society, in the face of this kind of adversity?